Spent Years Unwaiting

We didn’t know which words came first
and were too young to read the messages of rain.

But chance bet on us
and we sold our all for air
and sometimes paper
or pints over pizza.

At times the wildness took us
and our mouths swallowed whole
the dreams we dared not live by day,
sparing us a few seconds of scattered thoughts
after the facts
to wonder if we was really us
if I was an arm and you were a leg
or if we were ourselves and what alone meant.

Under tattered covers we clutched the words to our breasts
as worlds drowned outside our door
and our days were spent crying hope to death
in classrooms bored of trying.

You read me Bukowski
and peeked thru your window late at night
to see if my light was still on
and now
too late
it is.

But that was before we took the plunge,
came up gasping for time and direction,
swam with the current for once and found the sea
but for you it was not me.

So we turned a page
and burned the stage we stood on
would have burned all the way up and out
if not for the words
that gasp of last words we never spoke
for fear of falling.
too deep
too deep
that now we drown each day in words
to hold back the emotions we cannot let go
for fear of failing him
or her
or us.

The words gave us a trust,
a well we cannot seem to drink dry.
But if this life’s a lie
then what should we have done?
did we lie too long in the sun
or not long enough?

Our words become us:
miserly wicked things with
shadowy subtleties
furious tempers
and ill-begotten dreams.

The world turns
and we watch from where we stand.
Words at the ready.
Ready to drown
or be drowned.
just thirsty.


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