Me Too

Silent dinners, home alone
bring memories back from long ago
upheaval of images that turn my stomach
appetite lost by what I once thought irrelevant

Half formed memories of homecoming dances
getting shitfaced and sharing cigarettes after sunset
finally contextualizing the confusion that came after
shattered pieces suddenly coming together

Nervous hesitation and not quite understanding
never even considering that I was not to blame
angry at only myself for consenting to the circumstances
unable to account for the way I collapsed inward, the way I cried

Surprised by my swift spiral into suffering
not grasping what occurred for over a decade
friends that were worried probably figured it out first
I'd never questioned for a moment that it was my fault

Insight gained through the eyes of a younger generation
compassion found secondhand for who I used to be
the saddest part is knowing how long I carried secret shame
stuffed down so deeply that I couldn't see it

I got drunk, we were on a date, I didn't say no loud enough
boys are just like this, I should have known better
part of me still feels unworthy of acknowledging
I didn't deserve that 

I Still Love You More

I still love your memory
more than anything real
all my affection is eaten up
by a ghost

Compulsory comparison
everyone else comes up short
and I'm left here craving
what can never be

I still love these memories
more than what is offered to me
I don't think anything else
will ever be enough

Not even who you are today
can soothe this aching shadow
that obscures everything else
inside of me


Thick silence between raindrops
the empty ache inside a soul
starts to feel like hunger pangs
the dry crack of patched lips
after a long drought

The body learns to numb sensations
that have so long stayed untended
like a constant shrill sound that will
eventually fade into the background
pain can for a while be forgotten

Soft cascade into feeling nothing
is suddenly interrupted with the spring
a stirring starts to awaken old memories
the restless internal insistence
to return to the whispering woods

Paradise Lost

It takes so long now to turn back the pages
to the time filled with most treasured memories
afraid to stop flipping back to them in case they fade
afraid to tarnish their edges too much with tears
and tender touches from oily fingertips

Current joy is caught up and compared
to the fiercest feelings of first experiences
forever falling short of what I'm hoping to find
can I never recapture that electric current
of overwhelming raw emotion?

Adolescent chemicals cannot be the only reason
for the deep, searing pleasures of the past
I'm unable to accept the possibility that
the container of my truest happiness has
already been capped off

How tiresome it is to live a life through
tiny sips from seasons long since passed
unreasonable to hope that they won't run dry
that stale taste begins to set in even now
as I pull from that deep well each day

I only pray that there is a rain still coming
to quench this burning thirst in my soul
fresh liquid delight to fill up my container
something to replace those precious days
that now feel like they happened to someone else

Terminally Yours

Missing you is a chronic illness
an ongoing inflammation of the heart
it comes and goes in sudden flareups
then subsides back into remission

Regular checkups have become routine
monitoring my emotion for warning signs
self screening for the sharp pain of longing
trying to stay mindful when it overtakes me

Some days it feels like I'm finally better
probing into those tender places doesn't hurt at all
but then for some reason I start to ache again
and all the stiches inside my heart are unsown

An ocean of grief opens up inside me
bright, blood-red waters fill my lungs
with the violent crashing waves
of all that once was

This condition of loving you cannot be cured
I think I'll always carry it with me
I think I like the days with pain
they make me feel close to you again


Twenty-eight years spent
in the same place
that felt like a prison
when I was sixteen

It once seemed like failure
not escaping to surroundings
exciting and unfamiliar
somewhere far away

But now I see it as a blessing
to grow where you are planted
to traverse the same worn paths
through friendly trees in summer

To sit upon the same faithful earth
that holds mementos of my childhood
and watch the slow changes in myself
reflected back by the whispering hillsides

Sharing secrets with the soiled river
that has always known me more deeply
than anyone could through words alone
as it runs alongside my inner life

The quiet protection of the thick woods
softly urging me onward in time
tiny hands searching for fish hook treasures
among steep, rocky shores just outside of town

The awesome unfurling
of a life and a land intertwined
the profoundly soothing resonance
of a home that's greater than home

House Fire

How can I ever forgive myself
for the fire I set in ignorance
and intentionally used to burn down
the only place that I belong

A decade spent sifting through ashes
ears still ringing from the roar of the flames
a warm home replaced with the
unbearable weight of my own mistakes

How can I ever trust myself again
to hold what is precious to me
when all I've ever done
is ruin what I love

All I can offer is to stand apart
and busy my hands by sifting through
the charred remains of my sanctuary
forever laid solitary and silent

How can I bear to move on from these ruins
of a life I loved more dearly than myself
to commit myself to a waking world that
pales in comparison to burnt memories

A Precious Aching

Sometimes my heart strains toward you
spreading so thin across the expanse between
that it quivers like a tightly strung guitar string
sending notes of anguish into all that empty space

Reverberation of moth eaten memories
stirring up stale dust in a long abandoned room
as it echoes off the walls of aching lungs
until I'm almost sure I should reach out for you

The half formed fantom of a future
grips my heart so suddenly in some moments
that it feels worth risking anything for
even certain humiliation and rejection

But then the sharp, pinching recoil always returns
to snap me out of my pathetic, forlorn reveries
my hand is not worthy of even reaching
a frenzy of hope can overcast the wretched truth

I have no right to continue pining
a don't deserve the bittersweet comfort
of these carefully enshrined memories
let alone the audacity of asking for more

My lot now is to keep languishing
moving inevitably away from a future
that could have once been mine
but was long ago forsaken

My selfish heart keeps me from
even the respite of one day forgetting
pouring warm tears over ice cold memories
I will be grateful for this aching

Green Tea Memories

Tea has been a re-occurring theme throughout my tangled life. My mother always preferred drinking tea to coffee. Her nervous nature simply couldn’t handle that much caffeine. Mornings filled with the fragrance of spices and herbs, clinking spoons, and tiny damp disposable bags.

Tea soaked wounds of my first broken heart remind me of moments of reluctant connection. It’s easy to wake up early when you’ve slept for over twenty four hours in the last two days. Dreams can only provide an escape for so long. When even that sanctuary is stolen from you, I learned that peace can be found in the slow ritual of sipping tea before sunrise. The begrudging silence between mother and daughter, the surrender of accepting help from someone you despise. Because you need her, and that hurts in its own strange way.

New love blossoms around a very different tea routine. Evenings after school, every day spent looking forward to this small, private heaven. Boiling water in the microwave and adding too much honey. The laughter we once shared when you finally admitted you couldn’t bear the way my overly sweetened tea made your lips sticky. Flirtatious frustration from the way you used to tease me for blowing on my drink before every sip instead of waiting for it to cool.

The soft haven found beneath the crumbling roof of your mother’s house. Her hovering hospitality of sharing joints with underaged teens, providing refreshments of my first teas made with milk. The strange, yet soothing smoothness of the subtle flavor. Savoring the mouth-watering smells of the best home-cooked dinners I’ve ever had being prepared in the next room.

All these years later, my heart can still rekindle those tender memories involuntarily as I sip my milky matcha. The most delicious ache, a powerful longing for a life that no longer exists. Beautiful lapping waves of private sorrow, never to be seen or shared. How can so much pleasure be found in such pathetic pining? Surely this secret clinging is a sickness, a delusion that corrodes all chance of a future. Even so, even so…

You’re With Me On My Own

Living lattice of spongey spiderwebs
stitches supporting the dark, damp earth
connecting networks transmitting information
between the trees' deeply buried toes

breathing in pulsating energy particles
that permeate the thick air above
quivering conviction of nature intertwined
magical mirror image, veins beneath pale skin

Sacred assurance that all is not lost
the same sun still rises in the east each morning
you reside in the red light beneath my eyelids
retinas stained with sweet remembrance

Everything fades except for this feeling
bitter things only taste better as I age
including this patient pain, the prize I protect
hopeless happiness harbored in secret

Silly dreams pluck breath from lonely lungs
pathetic mantra of "maybe one day"
vindicated by comparison to other
laughably unlikely anecdotes

The small, sharp pleasure of
planning this impossible future
fills my cracked cup enough
to keep going

Besides, we're still connected by
that complicated underground lace
linked inextricably through shared sunlight
eternally sown together with this earth
Mycelium Dreaming – Autumn Skye