Poems

Good Night

I went to bed around 11
It’s 1:40 now and I’m still awake
and I can’t shake the feeling
that a part of it has to do with you.

It’s not that you did anything wrong.
I just know that there’s a difference
between being honest and being a dick
and I’m too old to start shit.
I just haven’t figured out where that difference is.

So there’s a lot of silence.
I don’t know what to say
because I don’t know what you want to hear
and I know you say you don’t care

But you react
or worse you don’t
you’re somewhere else
and that feels worse than talking to myself.

This whole time I feel like shit writing this.
What a fucking hypocrite.
Besides who am I to criticize?
I’m a terrible conversationist as is.

 

Good night.

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Short Stories

The Priest, the Imam, and the Rabbi

I can’t say I liked the new president, but I thought he was better than the other candidates.  He promised to keep certain institutions intact and so I voted for him.  Not really for me, I thought, but for my parish.  For that, I am sorry.
I remember when they first came for my neighbour.  Ahmed was a nice enough fellow.  Smelled a little, but polite.  I remember having a few exchanges with him that led no where.  He was devout in what he believed.  But we would joke that with all our conversion attempts he would become the priest and I would become the Imam.  I hope to meet him again and perhaps I will.
I called the elevator.  Ahmed was there with a large soldier–or whatever they called themselves–on either side.  He looked at me with desperation and I looked at the soldiers.  They nodded and escorted him away.
I didn’t do anything, but I assured myself that it was okay.  It wasn’t my fault.  Everyday I could see more people being taken away through the bars of my little window.  When people started to realize what was going on and that they couldn’t even hope for the skewed, racialized justice system that had been in place before, they started resisting.  I stopped looking out my window and did what my Father had taught me to do; I prayed.
And soon the resisting stopped.  The news turned from fear over an ungodly Islamic uprising to stories of hope through steadfast leadership.  And I believed it.  I wanted to.  I needed to.  I told myself I had tried to save my friend, but he wouldn’t convert.  That that couldn’t be put on me.  That there was no way to even know what happened to him so there might not even be blame to place.  That I was a good person that did good things.
The positivity in the news didn’t last.
They came for the Jews next.  The synagogues were raided and the more prominent figures were beaten publicly.  And as long as I took a small detour, justifying to myself that I really need the groceries or whatever was in that direction, I could avoid seeing the problem.  Besides, I had my own people to take care of.
Another few days of hope.  Who else could they come for?
During Mass, our service agreed that we would support each other through these uncertain times.  That that’s what God would want.  We lived in a more privileged part of town and surely our members could do something.  But when the guards came and asked for names of the few minority members, none of us fought.  We complied forgetting our promise of solidarity and repeating to ourselves the reassurances from the soldiers we knew were lies.  Someone said they heard our members were just going to move back home.  We all thought that would be for the best.
Surely we could have peace now.  The rest of us fit the literal description of angels according to last week’s news.  But that was last week’s news and there always always an enemy to fight.  There was a knock at my door and two soldiers greeted me, each taking one arm.  The image was rather silly I thought.  From one look, anyone could tell that there was no realistic way that I could fight back.  But I suppose it was more to send a message.  I pleaded silently with everyone I came across, but anyone left only survived by looking away.
Poems

I have a dream

I have this dream, see
And I’ve had it since I was kid.  Maybe ten years old.
And ten years later I’m still pursuing it.

I have this dream, see.
And I know I can’t fail.
I can’t tell you how I know.
All I know is that I know I can’t fail.

I have this dream see.
And I know I can’t fail.
I’ve been working towards it all my life.
So the question of if I fail
has become my major anxiety.
All from this one dream, you see.

Poems

the second person

Last night when I laid down to sleep
I closed my eyes, the voice started to creep.
It started as a quiet thought, but grew so loud
that this voice in my head took control of my mouth.

“Kill yourself.  Kill yourself.  Kill yourself.”

It had unsaid reasons that I knew all about
I couldn’t argue with any of the voice’s sounds.

In all that, to me, the weirdest thing
and why I haven’t shared these thoughts that cling–
despite knowing it will only worsen–
that thing that I find the most embarrassing

is that I talk to myself in the second person.

Poems

The Road I Took

In sweat I woke to the morning cold,
Road on road covered in foggy mist.
Tried to find comfort in lies I’ve told,
But as I look down that cold, cold road,
I thought, ‘there’s no point in doing this.’

There was no choice in these concrete woods
Or none that any difference make.
And I thought of the road I took
And remembered what I always could…
That path I could always take.

And with those thoughts standing idly by,
Picturing that shortcut to the end.
I stood on that no-choice road and I–
I chose to walk down that road not mine
And that has made all the difference.

Poems

sanctuary

it’s scary how scary the sanctuary can be.
maybe by praying, God can rescue me.
Jesus, Joseph, Mother Mary,
the Father, the Spirit,
Christ i’d pray to the tooth fairy.

i’m going crazy, just waiting for someone to hear me out
waiting for anyone to get me out
before my demons get me now.

Hell
maybe the key is to let them get me
apparently there’s no one left to save me now.

family · Poems

eyes

You looked off camera.
Guess all that theatre experience didn’t prepare you for this.

Dad leaned over your chair to show us the full picture.  You could see how hard he was trying by the veins in his head.
You could see the strain on his face as he wheeled you around the sunny day.
He was smiling with everything but his eyes.

And yours?  You just kept looking off into the distance.  Not blinking.  Not moving.
Apparently you were eating, but I couldn’t see you chewing.
Apparently you were breathing on your own now, but I couldn’t see anything.
No movement, no life, no light in your eyes.
I hope you could see or feel that day was nice at least.

I’m sorry I kept looking away.  My eyes
wander sometimes
looking for something a little simpler to understand.
And for running away to a class I knew I’d be late to.

I guess I’m sorry for a lot more.  To you.  And to mom and dad too.

Poems

doubt.

i wonder if i’ll be happy.
i wonder if, when i’m eighty and i look back, i’ll think it was worth it.
i wonder what my purpose is.

i wonder what love is.
i wonder if i’ll be a good husband
or father
if i’ll love my son or daughter
or if i’ll be caught up with work and finances and
the rest of life that i end up not living.

i wonder if i’ll lose track of the big important things
because of the small details
or if i’ll find a way to focus on the small good things
during the big nasty trials.

i wonder if i’ll be alright.