Why I Don’t Quit
I saw an oddly melodic adventure
When through my snow globe I longingly peered
I have stared, mind racing, into the overcast sky
Since long before my first recalled memory.
An orange and purple tapestry
Now, a sucker for sunsets,
I see them and marvel, rejoice,
Colour declaring majesty
more powerful than the lunatic eyes I see
Leering down over screaming teeth
and laughter like a nightmare’s end
through the haze of a sleep so sound only a baby may have it.
Where goes my logic today?
How feel the ones lost,
Robbed of all choice?
Chocolate romance like fealty.
No one really understands.
Hell, I barely comprehend
why I cling to this world like a foist!
Throwing rocks at paper people
hiding in cardboard houses
A mystery beyond even me, nothing seems to stick.
Another milkshake melody for the gods, I suppose.
But I grow.
Alone again and again with my worries for company.
My turbid brain. Sick of her most times.
Slouching and defiant,
I slam my back against the sheet rock head of my bed.
Cold as always.
Soothes the fever in my metabolism.
But the bed is as empty as your pillow,
Fluffed and unused beside mine.
Glass of water tastes like brine.
Sparkles like a New Jersey gulp beneath the table lamp
Waiting for you to click it off for our repose.
My heart stumbles around inside my pale chest
Like a drunken piano-playing mechanical engineer from Tucson
Skipping beat and crossing feats.
Broken strings and gear-teeth,
rotted in places, dead inside.
I fear for you, throw back my feathery tethers
and play anyway.
For my mind never strays
from thoughts of you.
I triple-check for the thirty-second time
your greyed-out status bullet on-line.
Got not a whole lot of much but jots
maybe a tittle here and there
left to my motivation.
Your smile, your laughter, are my only elation.
Seems nearly impossible to self-inspire
Where once I could climb any spire of any parapet alone
and find triumph there.
But now, only your handsome face, your gentle voice,
even when it clucks like a chicken will suffice.
Jutting from the style-sheet we share
access verification and I am there!
Rising above myself and able to breathe again.
Oh, the please I make for your less-than-three’s
for your ‘Tites with a hug.
Something gurgles and tosses restlessly behind my bosom.
A profound defiance of all the pills and juice I swallow down.
Time to take our meds song, singing it all damned day
every damned day long!
I don’t care to dream again.
Running low on running headless, heedless through halls
along streets stained by night and random fights
dressed in panic and absurdity
So I preface sleep with a touch of oregano.
Where did you go?
When did you know?
You always come back, though.
And that’s the hope that keeps hitting GO
At the start of every dungeon I purvey.
Keeps me on my way.
I know I am a lot to carry sometimes.
Writing in half-rhymes and broken thoughts,
fragments like a key lime pie in October.
Most find me so easy to abandon.
They cater to considerations of value
find me dearth and step through curtains of probability
leaving me to hysterically silence my worst nightmares
again and again.
But you….you are always my friend.
Beyond all that I do to push you,
Beyond all that I care to end this view
Maybe I lean to much on you.
But that’s what we’re supposed to do.
I love you.
That will never change.
No matter how time and circumstance might derange
the rest of what decays inside me.
One thing, one man, is always true.
I love you, Paul. Through and through.
– Alecia M. Shepherd, 2018