You Owe it to Yourself

Let’s go. 

Doesn’t matter the place. 
We can wrestle over details later. 
For right now, 
do yourself a favor and 
ride out on out of here, 
to your favorite hide out
miles south of fear
or northbound
to a little town
to disappear
so I could repeat 
our meet and greet. 

I’ll reintroduce myself
as your cowboy, 
your eyes
will blink themselves
into my sunrise
so you’ll always know that home
is a faceful of sunset
and a smile full of my pride. 

I’ll lick the postage 
you stamp the seal of approval. 
Let’s work
on the removal of you
from the mundane. 

We’ll saddle
your imagination, 
book inspiration
into your now to take flight
upon planes of existence
that knows no resistance
to your determination. 

You, 
you need to know 
that you’re free;
that the weight of your obligations
are proportionate 
to how much you tip your scale;
that your excuses
only feel like handcuffs
til you decide
you’ve had enough. 

I need you to know
that you don’t have to go
anywhere life may lead; 
your heart
doesn’t have to kiss the floor 
every time it trips 
over something handsome;
that your dreams
don’t need to learn French
to consult more ceilings. 

I need you to know, 
you owe no soul apologies, 
reasons for being:
late, 
early, 
on time
on your days off. 

Off days
will feel like
they’re on time
to being early;
your being
will always be late
for no reason
but when your soul, 
throws a manhunt for apologies
to betray itself,
I need you to know
you owe it to yourself
to never let go
of you. 

LOL 

Three letters long
was your reply.
The idea acronym
for when you catch
a case of the funnies and,
you were laughing out loud
all over again.

It’s not that I don’t love
your episodes of jubilance
to be authored by me.
I’d gladly sponsor
every moment
your lips part open
to release an ocean of felicity but,
your waves of elation
are no longer exclusively mine
to love and cherish.

Your reply
inundated me with questions
that I’m ill-prepared to accept like:
Does he at least
have his associates
in making you laugh
like I did?
What octaves
can he make you reach
without tickling/cheating
it out of you?
Show me his diploma
in humor
and I bet
I could spot the watermark
from your local flea market.

But to all of these you’ll tell me:
“He’s a good man.”

You see you left me questioning
where did I go wrong.
If I can still provide you
an inkling of joy
to pen into your day,
when did that stop being enough.

I realize
that I’m the butt of the joke
in this predicament.
One day
I’ll laugh out loud about this
but today,
your last laugh will be with him and
to that I say:
“May you laugh hard,
and laugh long,
just remember me when you do.
#lol”

Eden of a Mind

She asked:
“Where’s your favorite place?”

My sass
would reply in sarcasm,
my wit
would dismiss
the question altogether,
my humor
would reference something
short on laughs
by Amy Schumer,
but my honesty
teetered upon my tongue;
my lungs,
rehearsed a song unsung
and I remembered
that I was there.

I was,
dusting memories
off the dendrites
that held dwindling images of us
a quarter to never was
and half past never will be,
before arthritic hands of time
cropped you out
of my frame of mind.

I remembered,
we finished more
than each other’s sentences.
We were verses,
that flowed
into the echoes
of our heartbeats.

I remembered,
my favorite place
wasn’t a bus fare away,
an Uber of convenience,
a plane to catch
a subway to miss
or a ferry to board.

I remembered,
your thoughts
were the holiest of grounds
I’ve ever walked,
and surely,
the cathedral of your mind
I’ve always preferred
unlocked.

My favorite place,
is an Eden of a mind
I’m no longer welcomed to;
a mind I used to crave
even now I wish to say
that I seldom do.

When She Called Me Her Rose 

She called me her rose.
I blushed,
red as warning signs
to cease activity
but my smile
was rebellious to heed;
her heart,
a precarious beat
skipping capriciously
into rhythms that rhymed
with all things broken.
At the very least
the end of us would be
a harmonized tragedy.

Trust,
it is not that my soul
has ceased to be enamored
by the fragrance of your affection,
the virtues in your spine
I pine to hold,
the truth on your lips
I resign to sip,
the modesty of your hips
to my eyes you’ve sold,
but I can’t help but fold
when our hands,
in origami-like embrace,
still cause my pulse to race
in a ghost lap of promises
and intentions,
you trust these feeble hands
not to break.

Trust,
it is not
my lack of confidence in you
but rather in me.
Tell me,
how do you trust
a heart to nurture love
when it’s soil
has only experienced the toils
of failure,
disloyalty and abandonment?

Truth is,
I’m more prepared
to watch you stop tilling,
drop the plow,
run out of the rain
into the comfort
of someone else’s arms
where I’ll witness you flourish,
in the hands of a man
that has noticed
every cut,
scrape,
or wound
for a thorn
is masked by the beauty
of its roses.

On Our Last Date

On our last date,
I was force-fed
disappointment
and choked
on your apathy.

As I watched your attention
unreluctantly
get kidnapped
within your pupils;
no one flinched
or batted an eye
as if they all knew:
no one searches
for lost cases.

Unprepared to brace this,
we sat face to face
and yet,
were the furthest apart
in attendance.
Proximity,
became a luxury
priced too high
for your eyes to buy.

I reached for your hand.
You pulled away as if
Anthrax was on my fingertips;
after being dipped
into disloyalty,
they might as well have been.

“Are we done here?!?”

The miasma of the question,
thick in the air lingering
heavy and low
poised to strike
at any answer I could offer.

Your eyes
were glazed with questions
that made your mascara run,
and I couldn’t summon
an unselfish enough reason
to justify you staying.

“Was it worth it?”

The question
left me more blank
than the waiter’s gaze,
more empty
than his tip jar.
By far,
she left me
with the fairest self-estimate
my ego ever alluded to.

On our last date,
I force-fed myself excuses,
chocked on my lies
and no one flinched,
or batted an eye.

Cavern of Despondency

She’s captive.
Slave to an emotion
her smile wishes
to be more foreign
than domestic,
more fictitious
than intrinsic.

It has evicted
every blush,
every grin.
Every joyful brim of laughter
it has shattered
from within.

She’s shackled.
Cuffed just enough
to grip life by the handful.

She hands you
apologetic smiles
sometimes dipped in sarcasm
just to silence you.

You’re not fighting
her battle,
you’re not winning
her war.

If you really
want to help
then stop asking her:
“Is everything okay?”
As if she doesn’t
megaphone the answer
in the concave of chest,
watch it echo in unrest
over her sloped shoulders
and avalanche her neck
into rolling boulders.

She’s crestfallen for a reason,
wears her heart on her sleeve
not because it’s in season.
Her deportment,
has fashioned enough of a statement
to warrant:
#is she always like this
#it’s just one of her phases
#we don’t really know
the troubles she faces but
I hope to God it’ll be over soon.

She’s consumed.
Despondent,
beyond hope.
Searching for the respondents
who’ll lift this iron yoke.

She’s baptized herself
in her tears
enough times to know,
that her newest feeling
is her highest low.

You want to know
how she got these scars?
She fell in love with depression.
He offered his commitment
as bracelets of endearment
and she
has been carving herself out ever since…

His Eye is On The Sparrow

When you discover
that every tear shed
will not purge you
of his memories;
that every fallen drop
isn’t equivalent
to the distance
he falls away from you;
that your
rain-forest eyes won’t reset
to detect a love
better felt than seen.

When you unearth the value
in your coarsest traits,
disassociate his appraisal of you
with his attention.
Your self-worth
has always been
independent
of his last name.

When you realize
your loyalty,
your commitment,
your efforts to
“stay the course”
while he detours
to another’s arms were all
to strengthen your knees
to kneel amidst the rocks
and find God
in the hardest of places.

When you realize
that every sip
of his rejection
is followed by the aftertaste
of finding yourself,
it’ll still taste bitter,
you’ll still want to chase it
with a gallon of whys.

It still won’t make you feel
any less used,
your time
no less wasted,
your love
no less abused.

But you
will love yourself better.
You’ll discover
that tears can indeed be for joy.
You’ll unearth
the precious,
the beautiful,
the richest
of jewels in you.

Most importantly,
you’ll flourish in his absence
when you’re alone
in His presence,
for His eyes
are always
on the sparrow.