Painted Vessel of Passage

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Skin, oh the falsities stretched over flesh
As a smile, or a laugh, or a wish
Twisted in foreign hieroglyphics
Subtle nuances of portrayal
With which we deftly parry
The thrust of probing questions
Or misguided salutations
But skin is not what I am
And this boxcar bears no resemblance to the passenger within
Merely a painted vessel of passage
Oft’ the canvas of a graffiti made to fade
A forest, blocked by trees
Or, perhaps, a tale that no one would believe
That is us
That is me
Beneath

Blanket (A Riddle)

Silent, a blanket is spread
But not meant for warmth
Dwarfing the size of my bed
Yet clean and so soft
Fragile, the blanket is drawn
But just for one day
Though most of my town put it on
They will throw it away
Lovely, the blanket is sewn
But so easily torn
It lays on your shoulders and head
But it cannot be worn
Silent, a blanket is spread
But is not meant for heat
I leave it outside–unless
It comes in on my feet

The Pressure of Being Plastic

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Stitched carefully together
Her words trickle slowly
In clandestine tribes of marked apprehension
Tiptoeing shards
Split from glass figurines
Cracked by screams
Tracked at higher frequencies
Than dreams sold here

Corner vendors spin her love
Or some simile of
At sales pitch speeds
Drinking cellophane and regurgitating demographics
If I dance to the jerk of these marionette strings
Will I be pretty, like plastic?
Are our measures so drastic?

Claw

Ah this skin I’m in is faulty
I can’t seem to get it off me
Claw away at my humanity
Still I lay here quite imperfectly

Ah this mind I own is broken
Too aloof and quickly stolen
Like the wires are untidy
And a meltdown is quite likely

Along For The Ride

Urban walls cascade along the interstate
Old abandoned inns and shoddy bars
Corner stations keep their place like sentinels
Watching over rows of passing cars

I collide with feeling I am in another life
Maybe like an actor in a movie
Stealing glances at the faces as they pass me by
Eyes distracted seem to look right through me

But it’s fine for me
Because I just want to be
Alive on the street
With a sidewalk beneath
Nowhere to go
But that’s just where I want
And I walk with the thought
That this grey city block
Is home for now
And it’s good to be alive
With my hands and feet untied
I will take you in my mind
Along for the ride

Carved

Into the strong unbeating heart
I drove my blade and made the mark
And there upon its rigid side
The letters stayed with time

A thought engraved in wood and bark
Portrayed above has stayed through dark
And lasted though the blade is rust
Yet still remain the lines

I cut upon that summer noon
A shape into the deep maroon
And bled the life force of the plant
To make forever sure

A message could be seen and read
Beyond the day they find me dead
And evermore the cut will last
A sign to still endure

Into my strong and beating heart
You drove your love and made a mark
And there so deep the cut was made
And so will stay with time

Though pain it cost still love remains
And evermore will speak the same
To say you gave yourself to me
And I may call you mine

Coming Forth

Close me in a warmth
Like a blanket in the cold
That never loses heat

Quiet in the dark
With a tiny beating heart
And your arms around me

All I ever knew
Floating peaceful in this room
As I rock myself to sleep

Every day I grew
Hidden safely in the womb
With my head between feet

Then it was the day
When my world began to break
Like the walls around me

Taking me away
To an unfamiliar place
How the lights were blinding

Pressing on my bones
For the burning in my lungs
And I cried for mercy

Suddenly alone
Skin exposed to all the cold
I was tired and thirsty

Somewhere through the pain
I can hear you call my name
And your arms surround me

Nothing I could say
But I’m grateful for the way
I was not abandoned

Maybe here again
When my world is caving in
And the walls collapsing

I am coming forth
In a different kind of birth
As I cry for mercy

Even through the pain
I can hear you call my name
And your arms around me

Nothing I can say
But I’m grateful for the way
You have not abandoned