A guy can scour his life
to collect all the keys
so no one can slip into
his heart without asking.
But it seems one or two
will always escape
his protective diligence.
Maybe one fell from his pocket
that day as he walked out
of their heart.
Or perhaps someone purloined it
just to mess with his key count
when he thought he was safe
from anyone looking into
his unmentionables in there.
Or maybe (most likely probably),
he just slid it under their pillow
or at the bottom of a pile of
memories he left with them.
In that case he’s abetted
his own breaking and entering,
which is interesting
when you think almost anyone
can enter what’s already broken.
But only you would use the key.
Probably would even knock first.
I suppose I’ve got nothing more to lose.
That’s the consensus of all the voices I hear,
though none come from out there with you.
I’ve been scraping along for quite a while
with this rudderless, leaky vessel,
which probably is why it’s still so busted.
I just can’t stop trying to make it go,
when I know it wants to sink in a final dip
from where it will not rise. You didn’t wreck it,
nor did any other You.
And now it’s time, I’ve made my decision.
I’m pulling it from it’s upstream fight,
because I need to make that final stretch,
with you aboard or not.
It won’t hold the sinking out
and it can’t keep the love in.
Whether anyone admits it or not,
we’re not done yet. So now
the only thing left I can do with
old, adrift broken hearts…
is mend them.
I remember times I thought of calling,
but then stopped short after some reflection.
See, sometimes I get that feel of falling
and can’t help but think about our connection.
Soon, though, I realize my delusion,
which is a step in the right direction.
I’ve always struggled with love’s confusion,
which led to many kinds of rejection.
I sit down and put these thoughts in writing,
which you might think is half-assed projection.
But really it’s my way of inciting
a muse-less artistic resurrection.
So this is my way of self-protection:
poems of love with no real affection.
Just warming up for Valentine’s Day, y’all, with this sonnet that needs a lot of correction.
I believe I’m Nobody, nothing new,
those mirages I’d just never believe.
It’s why you so easily bid me adieu,
and then hardly took any time to grieve.
Of course, I could be Anybody, too,
a face in the crowd, a drop in the sea.
But, really, whether it’s many or few,
an Any’s a No who’s part of a We.
And so I sit here and write for no one —
anyone who’s Anybody won’t read.
Once, I thought I might catch your attention,
but many words have nothing on one deed.
Emily asked if I’m Nobody too;
I asked just to be Somebody to You.
Do you recall that one I wrote you back
when I was a good guy and not some fool.
Or do you think I’m just a clueless hack,
despite that piece you considered a jewel?
I wish I could still weave such lovely odes
but I seem to have lost that ability.
They’d flow from my heart and soul by the loads
and you loved my poetic facility.
But those days are gone, returning no more
like the friendship we shared like no other.
Necessities fall from where my heart tore,
each poem bloody Invention’s mother.
I’ll never admit you were ever my muse,
but for some things I wrote, you lit the fuse.
Was it really that long ago,
when the music washed over us
like a warm breeze off the ocean?
There in the dark I closed my eyes
so imaginary sand wouldn’t seep into them
and tears would not weep out.
Is it really so long ago that you
“wow’d” and wondered how I knew
so much about this and that,
and nothing about you and I?
I stopped wondering long ago,
after I “why’d” and answered
my own question. I still sit
in the dark and let the music
wash over me, but now with
eyes open and imagination shut.
It’s another day which might
as well not have a name.
Each of these expanses of light
compared to the next looks the same.
They’re just a period of hazy
darkness on the way toward night.
And night’s a chance to escape
what I cannot face come the light.
But even abed I see too much, of what
my mind uses to break my heart.
When sleep finally comes, it lasts but
a moment before dawn’s new sadness will start.
And so I move through day and night,
all the same save when an owl might shout Hoo.
Life’s an empty space in which I grope
with no one to hold my hand without you.