Fetish For Saving Sinking Ships

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Maria, we used to count each others scars like stars
we grew too old to wish on
when did we stop thinking of ourselves as children
and more just like casualties of our depression,

Did we stop believing when they took you away Maria?
When they considered you a threat to yourself
placed you on the red light floor
called you troubled
called you sick
called you a mess and a cry for attention
but never once called you child
Maria you were 13

Maria I was the first person that knew
when they took you away
you called me everyday while you were there
you used more of your phone time on me
Then you did on your parents maria
I was the first person you saw when you go out
Maria you were the first person whose phone #
I memorized
I repeated it over and over and over maria
like a chant maria
I have said your name more times then
I have prayed recently

But now you don’t answer maria
what happened?
Did I lose you or did you lose me
did I leave you behind in my attempt to stop sinking
or did you finally realize that no one needs two
titanics in their life
I don’t blame you

But I can not love yourself for you
I can not save a sinking ship
that still puts gashes along its sides
that cuts along the crevices of its hip
that likes bleeding until it makes the red sea
out of bath water

Maria I’ve seen your scars lately
and I ask you where they come from
and you say you don’t know
but Maria...
Your scars call me father,
call me home, love.. judas
ask me why I left
ask me when I’m coming back
ask ..if I could have saved you

Maria I watched you starve yourself
over a boy who was nothing more than a dog
watch you turn into a wisp of a woman
a skin veiled skeleton and then throw him a bone,
but maria at that point you had nothing
left to give him

Maria this is not me patronizing you
I’m not a saint and I don’t claim to be
in fact most days
my demons get the best of me
but I’m tired of exchanging nothing more
than church hellos and funeral apologizes
and worse than that
silence Maria

Silence used to mean something between us
It was the pause between breaths and conversations
it was the moments that our secrets sunk
through each others skin
is that why you picked up cutting again?
To get all of me out of you?
was slipping my silhouette out of your
time line not as easy as you expected?
I don't know

So Maria
I’ll write you poems and letters
stuff them in one of the old grey goose
bottles we emptied
along with one of the many pictures I
have of you and save it for the
next time I go to one of the beaches
we visited together
I’ll cast it out to sea
like you outcasted yourself from me
but I’ll get to the bottom of this
even if it means sinking with you

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