Marionette

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Tugged from the box where her wrappings protect her
Carefully placed on the stage
Strings on the joints that will make her an actor
Fit for the part she will play

It’s a clever surprise
It’s a perfect charade
Not a soul would suspect
All the nights she has cried
With this sturdy disguise
And a smile that won’t fade
She is dancing in time
But she’s empty inside

Held up by ribbons and strings to support her
Well rehearsed lines and replies
Looking so much like the girl they have ordered
But for those colorless eyes

It’s a masterful turn
It’s a desperate act
To protect what is left
Of a magical life
But she packs it away
When she exits the back
And the smiles are gone
When she’s down for the night

Little marionette, you don’t have to pretend
You were made without strings
You were born into tears
Little marionette, you have color and skin
You can mount up with wings
You are stronger than fear
Little marionette, let the audience wait
They can come back again
You don’t have to perform
Little marionette, it is never too late
If you really must dance
Would you dance in my arms?

In

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Eyes threaded like needles
Sewn up with crude little stitches and sealed
Lips tied up with ribbons
Beautifully binding the passage of sound
Barbed wire and fences
Guarding the secrets we never revealed
Lashed, knotted and twisted
Under these cables that hold it all down

But, underneath, the rest of me
Is struggling to breath
And it may be the death of me
But I would like to leave
If only it were safe to be
The things that I have been…
I want them to unfasten me
And let the sunlight in

No Reply

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I found the tears
They were waiting for me
In the driver’s seat
On an empty street
Parked over the line
Where no one cared
Jill Phillips told me
“If we danced like this everyday”
But I cannot breathe
And just barely move
Enough to push it out
All of it out
This God-awful pain
But I don’t complain
I can be civil and sweet
Faceless and obsolete
I just wish that life
Could go away
Stop nursing me back to health
Just leave me here
To slip into the dark
In the car
With a guitar and a bleeding heart
Beneath blinking red lights
Can I come home tonight?
“I want to go home tonight”
I. Want. To. Go. Home.
But there is no reply

If Only I Were

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If only I were bulletproof
The words they shoot could not offend
If only I were bulletproof
I would not be afraid

If only I were bulletproof
Opinions would not break my skin
If only I were bulletproof
I would not feel a thing

If only I were diamond cut
I could not shatter easily
If only I were bulletproof
I could endure the pain

If only I were hardened steel
These arrows could not puncture me
If only I were bulletproof
My shoulders would not strain

Alas, I am not bulletproof
But wounded here upon my back
If only I were bulletproof
But no, I am too weak

I never could be bulletproof
And so I fell to these attacks
But though I am not bulletproof
I still refuse retreat

Healer

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Down is not where you belong
A creature of such grace
Should never need a cage

Though your body is not strong
And sometimes misbehaves
The molecules betray you

I would take the very breath out of my lungs
To give you one more moment
If I could be your healer

I would break the hands of death to keep you warm
And give you one more moment
If I could be your healer

I would siphon off the blood
And steal the beats from my own heart
If I could save the ones I love
Is it too late to wake them up?

I would trade my fading pulse
And break my hourglass apart
If I could give the grains to you
If there was something I could do

I would forfeit all the smiles that I am losing anyway
To put the stars back in your sky and for a moment make you safe
Do we have to be so helpless? Does this distance have to be?
I wish I could be your healer

How I miss you here with me

Wake Up Screaming

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It’s been too long
Too much on my mind
I don’t recall myself at all
It went so wrong
Too much undefined
Before the last of me dissolved

Asleep
I thought that it was real
I thought that this was life
But I must have been dreaming

I keep
Noticing the threads
Starting to unwind
Someday I will wake up screaming

It’s cut too deep
Too close to the heart
I feel I’m slipping down a hole
What I can’t speak
Is tearing me apart
And I’m afraid that if I go…

To sleep
I’ll think that it was real
I’ll think that this was life
But I must have been dreaming

I keep
Noticing the threads
Starting to unwind
Someday I will wake up screaming

Somebody please
Won’t you pinch me and wake me
Something in dreams
Is attempting to take me
I once believed
All I needed was right there
I want to live
But I’m living a nightmare

Oh, sleep
I thought that you were real
I thought that I was right
But I must have been dreaming

I keep
Tossing in my bed
About to lose my mind
One day I will wake up screaming

Vampire

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Feel, oh feel the blood congeal
The organs stutter
Heartbeats flutter

Feel, oh feel the thickened skin
Eyes recolored
Breathing smothered

Maybe I’m alive
Or maybe I am living dead
Apathy impaled and disenchanted

Maybe I’m infected
Maybe I am the disease
Am I too far gone to understand it?

Am I a vampire?
I feel like I am burning in the light
This transformation…
I can’t see my reflection anymore

Am I a vampire?
I suffer but I never seem to die
Am I a monster?
My bed feels like a coffin on the floor