I have become a keyless creature.
I, even I, the inveterate locksmith, the Queen of Doors,
The custodian of moon-sized jangling rings,
Keys braided in my hair, hidden under floorboards-
Now all my keys
…are no more.
Twelve years ago, or so, some unknown day,
Gaping, ajar, a lock unclasped,
I pressed a key into another palm, giving it away
Before I could rebolt the trap
The cross-breeze lent a peaceful sway
…and I never looked back.
All my life, jostled between
Direct candor and stray wit
And people who hate what I have to say
But love how I say it.
For the life of me
I can’t figure the parts
Stuck between where I’m going
And the spot I started
As anything other than
Some odd bird’s migration
North for the chill
Against the invitation
To follow the crowd, or
To just freeze
Admit some kind of defeat
But I ruffle the breezes
And walk on alone
I can’t understand
What I was supposed to do,
Was there some parcel of land
I neglected to climb?
Some trail or tour
I’m confused by the feeling
I’m a failure
When there was no clear mandate
Aside from learning
To love and be loved
To mitigate the pain and yearning
Of humanity, aware.
And I’m still here.
These ebbs erode the shoreline,
Carrying the banks to build bars
For the oyster to ingest
Constructing pearl from the hard sands
I once stood upon.
Time erodes my story,
Washing away the grains
Of days and hours and potential roads
And the details are the same
But the game of charades lilts to a side
Our birth pitches us into projects
We cannot honestly complete
Like writing the ill-conceived
About the stranger.
All the roots I sank
And I’m still just a duffle bag
One goodbye away
From a homeless nomad
Too tired to roam
Watching the churning sea
For the bits of debris
That feel like home.
I’m stressed; scared to death
The pain in my chest
Could be transferable.
Fighting the blues; waiting for news
With so much to lose
For those who’ve loved me.
I resist defeat; my faith complete,
But earth tilts beneath my feet
Waiting, waiting for the diagnosis.
Am I so sick? My mind plays tricks
All my exhales burning thick:
Must loving me always be a risk?
Shhh, I try to deny
That age old lie
Repeating that I am contaminated,
And every soul drawing close
Pays a toll
Atop the kindness
When I mean no harm.
Glad to hear you’re doing well!
I can’t complain! Doing fine,
Though I’ve got this feeling lately
Maybe it’s finally time
To pull all the words I’ve written,
Pile every piece into one tall pyre,
Every jot and every tittle,
And the light the whole damn thing on fire.
But what’s the point?
I can’t escape who I am.
If I burned every thought to earth
I’d take the ash and begin again.