Common Stories – 1

Once, they fed each other cake,
Now, all of that seems surreal —
Once, they felt each other’s hearts,
Now, they each can barely feel

Anything for one another:
Anything but pain and grief —
Once they dreamed of one forever,
Wow. Forever turned out to be

 
Brief

.the phases of collapse.

what? i’m sorry, what?
this, no — no, this cannot be true.
you’re leaving for awhile, is all.
it’s what you need to do.

but i’ll be here when you come back.
or if not here, i’ll be
someplace, much smaller, cheaper, but
you’ll know where to find me.

we’ll not do anything rash right now.
we’ll wait. just wait and see —

= = = = =

you want what? to work out what?
you LEFT — who cares? screw you.
you don’t care about us, so why
should we change what we do?

we were not good enough for you,
go on, go lead your life —
you didn’t want this home we made;
you didn’t want your wife —

so go on, ’cause i’m tired of this.
go live that life so vaunted:
and screw the woman down the street –
that’s what you really wanted

= = = = =

a new start we could make. it would
be better now, by far;
you could just quit that second job,
i’ll get a smaller car

and we can go and get some help.
you’re going through depression:
it’s not a thing you fix by only
going to one session

we’ll work on this. we’ll make it work.
i know that we can do it.
there’s lots of people struggling.
stay here, and we’ll work through it …

= = = = =

i love my child, but maybe i’m not meant
to be “in love” with anyone at all.
for years, the guys ignored me, and i spent
a lot of time just staring at the wall

i thought we would be different, but i guess
that i was not enough for him somehow;
my child’s life and mine are now a mess,
and nobody will ever love me now

to dream of being cherished, and to know
that all these dreams are simply foolishness;
and notice now, wherever i might go,
the couples everywhere, that now depress

my sagging spirit here, alone and low:
this wasn’t how things were
supposed
to go

= = = = =

he’s gone, and i go on, no, WE go on.
my son and i go out to claim our place;
i will not be ashamed of who i am
or set more grief upon that precious face

for many struggle daily in this world,
for love, success, to feel that they belong –
but i am not defeated, now, by love;
i am
and will be
here
alive
and strong

Reflex

Letting go is all he knows.
She told him to, and so he did,
But feels an emptiness inside
Like oceans full of everything
And nothing

For what has been
Is nevermore:
There’s just an ever kind of ache,
For both the love that went
And all the hope that it
Took with it

She told him to, and so he did —

A bright day in his memory

Outside his darkened room, a warm wind blows

Such things aren’t meant to be

Why is it
Just a scent
Can bring her back
Into a brain

That swears to everyone

That letting go is all he knows

Smothered Fire

When love becomes a smothered fire,
The heat and smoke are trapped inside;
As here, contained within ourselves,
Desire and poison, both, go unremarked upon

The dance we dance is formal now:
You know your steps and I know mine.
We each perform our silent parts,
But how we leave the floor with grace, I couldn’t say

The music we once heard is gone,
There’s no one else left on the floor;
Just you, and I, these dishes, and
A series of banal cliches we share, politely

The dance that is a dinnertime;
Our words, wet blankets on the fire
Of what was once spontaneous, and new —

The ritual of rinsing off the plates that we just used,
The empty glasses stored away to clean another day,
Our food, detritus scraped into a bag –

As after every dance, there’s someone
Has to turn the lights off

Who just might catch
The last slight glow
Of smothered fire

Tell Me Again

Tell me again of all the days to come,
Of how you’ll be my partner through it all.
My eyes aren’t working right, my hands are numb;
The story’s at an end, here, in this hall,
And I am left with dreams I’ve held so long
That letting go of them, though right, seems wrong.

Tell me again you’ll never, never change;
Tell me the lies I must have longed to hear.
There are announcements, but the voice seems strange,
As down the passageway you disappear,
And I am left to grief and to despair —
Another feeling you and I won’t share.

Instead, I guess, I’ll tell myself again:
I made what-never-was what-should-have-been