I’ll leave it all behind, one day I’ll look back
At this place stopped in time, these people that are mine
They line the nights, stretched into a road
That I’m driving down in a car of stars and smoke
A smile for mistakes
How many miles will it take?
Before the sun rises
How is it so bright in a place where the sun rarely rises?
I pass these streets where I changed, for the adulthood I chased
Pavement painted in the glittering portrait of perfect poor decisions
Parties and promises for love
Keys in my hand
What a lovely sight
Windows down, drinking in deep breaths of summer air
Following the long intake of smoke or light
To make the days even brighter and blur them together
With those sweet black nights, which blotted out the sad bitter truth
That with each inhale, I was leaving something behind
Still, I was so excited to leave it all behind.
I thought the boy would become a man
When her tempting voice whispered she was mine
Drunk on recklessness and liquor
I believed her
Even sober, the boy just became a more arrogant boy
And he was everything in his eyes
But in her eyes, he was just another toy
Or maybe she was just as careless with her chaos
As I have been
Can I really blame a tornado of flames
For burning me in her self-defeating game?
She taught me the meaning of fire
And drowned me in liquid desire
When she left I saw a truth,
That love is most blissful and carelessly open,
Blinding and beautifully broken
In the eyes of the youth
I drank those fantasy fragments
Tasted lustful lipgloss
Glossing my mind, flooding my thoughts
Washing over my eyes,
I was a blind boy to whom omniscience was taught.
A boy who once thought, “This is obviously why I’m alive.”
Life was nothing but a series of exhilarating decisions
Most starting with the phrase, “Fuck it.”
Still the feeling lingers
That adrenaline in being dangerously detached
Then pressing down hard on the gas
Swiftly striking my match
Setting fire to a field of dead grass
I can still feel the heat,
The power and uncertainty in my feet
Always inevitably finding their path,
On a shattered map
Of infinite, indescribable emotions,
All leading to the same place:
Indifferent freedom.
False freedom.
Because I was trapped
understood that it was by my own hand
But I blamed it all on them
As I slashed at their desperate ropes,
Their reaching hands
Even as I was forever falling
I insisted that, without them, I could stand
As a fish abandons his bowl for the promise of land
I fled that sturdy boat
And I was lost at sea
But the separation that I reaped
Was drowned in crushing waves
Most brought on by me
I was crashing and thrashing
Pushing simply to push
Ignoring my karma
Uncaring to the hunch
Drinking the ocean
Fighting the ebb
Begging for the universe
To give me its best punch.
But in each taunt there was terror
An unwavering fear
That face-to-the-mat,
I wouldn’t hear the world count: 10
That one day I would blearily look around
And wonder where all those years went
Where all my people went
That vision pulled me back to my ship
To find it was still docked at port.
Boarded once again, I took in the view
Then breathed in—not smoke and summer wind,
But a simple breath.
The intake of a runner after a race.
A writer after the final page.
A boy who is still growing
but accepts the decisions he’s made.
My finger is no longer on the trigger
Because it’s tracing an amazing girl’s face.
One who has taught me, not of melting
But of belonging in a place
Where I’m not bound, but I choose to stay
I can say anything to her
She does not meet my truth with judgment
And, unlike the lit, wicked wick with no room to judge,
Her spirit accepts my flawed ways
And, for her, I will spend my days
Improving, pondering ways to hear her laugh
That perfect sound has silenced my past
She is honestly mine and I’m completely hers
In her eyes is the serene calm
After my stubborn storm
Her smile is stitching together
The pages I’ve torn
Out of a book I’ve barely begun to write
And it started with this place
Where the sun is rarely bright
Where all but a few are stuck in groggy time
In them, in my family, and in her
I finally see my light.




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