Alternative Housing

February 14, 2010
I can see
that you have built a make-shift shelter, in the dusty glare of an imitation sun.
With the heat, and the silence of responsibility as your roof,
and walls of spider-web glass; the hope that it will all work out.
Can I do the same?

I know
that you have made your home where no one can help you;
removed from those who could reach you by the grimy edge of a stage,
and all the darkness of the space between two stars.
Can I do the same?

I detect
a smile broader that the one I’ve forced upon my lips
and comfort, asleep in the lines of your skin.
You have learned to balance in the world of my dreams and my nightmares.
Can I do the same?

But where do you find the glue that holds that world together?
Is there some secret ingredient, scribbled in the margin of an ancient volume?
Or are squeezed-shut eyes and a hasty prayer enough to do the job?
I might be able to manage some reckless courage,
if that was all it took.

But do you ever wish that home felt truly safe?
I used to think about such things, but
I’ve grown sick of deceiving myself for romance;
and the fear of choking on each gasp,
when I realize it was me all along.

I imagine
standing in your footprints (where one thousand eyes prick my skin)
and blinded by the brightness of recognition.
Adrenaline launches me; and for a moment, I am airborne.
But in all the commotion, I’m afraid I never learned how to fly.

I wish
that someone had thought to warn me of my greatest foe;
who lives beneath the layers of my pride, deceptive in his modesty.
Perhaps you will think I’m foolish, to fear such a powerless creature;
but I am the one who wraps his fingers around my neck.

I wonder
have you encountered such a beast before?
I’ve heard that the only way to pierce his tender skin
is with a carefully polished silver sword, lifted high to reflect
the playfully up-turned corners of your lips.

But where did you find the minutes that it took to craft that blade?
(were they hiding in the sheets of your bed; or underneath your fingernails?)
And how do you grasp the sharpened edge, without
a handle made of something smooth and warm and constant?
Do you watch the palms of you hands, waiting for them to bleed?

…can I do the same?

Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

Still_Waters26 said...
Aug. 8, 2010 at 7:18 am
Beautiful, stunning piece of work.  Very soulful and deep, and very poetic in descrbing things.  I was amazed by how deep and vivid this was.  Excellent, excellent job!!
browneyedpoet said...
Feb. 24, 2010 at 10:45 pm
Wow, this is stunning! The imagery really brings your point of view to life: a knife blade slicing hands, minutes hiding under fingernails, a sword reflecting a smile.... All very well done - keep writing! I hope to see your work in the magazine soon.
Volleyballer33 said...
Feb. 23, 2010 at 8:19 pm
The title was the first thing to captivate me but wow great! 5 stars!
Anna-TheDarkOneInTheCorner:) replied...
Feb. 23, 2010 at 8:21 pm
Volleyballer33 replied...
Feb. 24, 2010 at 4:38 pm
thanks so much
Volleyballer33 replied...
Feb. 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm
woops got five browsers up and posted wrong comment lol but i do love this peice every one need to rate five stars
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