In the Dim Red Light of a New Mexico Dive Bar

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See through the smoke and spot those hazy Autumn eyes
Every fallen leaf is another year gone by
Trying to turn back time and forget about the lies
But the world refuses to forget
The seasons change
But the world, it won’t forget.

Neither do I.

See you through the mirror
Looking just like the photographs you showed me years ago
Just another reprint of the imitation
Like everyone else in the room you know
You bring the cigarette to your lips – pale pink from rubbed off lipstick
Knees vaguely wobbly
Face wondering if you’ll be sick

“I thought I’d never see you here.” You mutter, to me or not at all
Perhaps it’s just the thick nicotine perfumed air
You stumble once, then twice – and I reach to grab you before you fall
“Do you know how many times I tried to call?”

I look down at you and realize I don’t recognize the hair, or the piercings, or the clothes you wear that you used to hate
I don’t recognize the beat poet friends falling out the front door with men smoking cloves and wearing turtlenecks even though they promised to wait
But still the same are those Autumn eyes I always knew, still perched in the same still silent sadness
crying tears that roll down your cheeks
to the floor beneath us
It never changed – what you were running from never left
For the world refuses to forget.

I held you for five minutes
No longer
before I returned you to your chair and I walked out the backdoor
to rid myself of the angsty overly introspective menthol air
I didn’t know if you were drunk
or if you’d even remember me in the morning
If you’d recall me crying softly
and telling you I was sorry.
But you are who you are now
And I’m all set to go
You may forget me in the morning
Yet I remember your eyes – cursed to always know

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The Sun at 8 PM

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Reaching, outpouring
Wanting to forget about never knowing
Falling or sleeping
Or dreaming of being awake
I can’t find someone to give back
All this regret I continue to take
Wake me up
Before I go under
I want to remember the way
You looked up at me in wonder
There’s silence in the trees
And a lack of air at night
And no matter what medication i take
Nothing I stick inside me feels right
All the depressive
Without a manic to be found
I reach for your hand
But i’m not safe
when you’re around
And across my eyes
There’s a forest burning
They all cry for help
Because the earth keeps on turning
I don’t think they get the monopoly
Humans have on hate
Because even with loss
They just want to get away
So the sun melts
And you walk out the door
And at long last I remember
That you weren’t there anymore
There’s been years since your touch
And the trees are now ash
And when I get a little better
I’m just close to another crash
But in the cinders and dust
From that old wood
Life will rise again as it should
Yet only in a dream
Will you come to me
And my life is always fleeting
Just as it should be

Circular Anxiety

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Sitting idly
No silence in the air
So I’m left in my head
Thoughts in rotation
Every word I’ve said
Autonomously moving
Like the changing of the clock
Tick tock
Tick tock
Why did I?
Why did I not?
If there’s reason for the Viewmaster in my head
Constantly changing between the scenes
Of fixated regret
I can’t make it out or try to get it to change to a different reel
There’s no choice or chance or change to American monuments or creatures of the rainforest
Just monumental fuck ups
And the list of people I’ve made dislike me
I wish I could stop the flash
The fleeting thoughts
But they come and go and tick away
Tick tock
Click of the reel
Constantly in motion and when it stops it begins again
Circular anxiety

Glaring Omission

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(red curtain)

don’t forget
we all fall
and there’s nothing left
at the final call
to leave behind
or store away
because we can apologize
some other day
i won’t please you
you can’t speak to me
we don’t understand
the language of being
softer words
than the touch of your tongue
and my mouth writes monologues
that your lips haven’t sung
yet despite the lack
of oxygen
between you and me
i still find far too many allusions

to our own soliloquy