without opening your mouth
disappointment comes in many languages
spoken and unspoken—
disregard is bilingual, contempt, a relative
when I receive the notice of your death
it will hurt me more than it hurts you
irony that isn’t lost, how we yearn
for people who dismiss us without thought
absence, a permanent weave in our hearts.
I may not possess your critical eye
but mine bleed like a forgotten deity
every time I think of our living and being apart
from each other; the years, vanquished to dust
there is a familial echo of unrequited need, rattling
down the corridors of our broken family —
with every generation; pain multiples and repeats —
another era ignoring the last
I always wanted to stop this poisoned trait
the carved caramel yoke of unnecessary loss
but only succeeded in carrying its legacy on my back.
You won’t quit repeating history, it’s what you do
inculcation affects everyone, even those believing
they march to their own drum, it’s a fallacy—
we’re all beholden to some fragment of the past
even as those puppet strings appear unstrung
yet, every time I stoop to eat a bite
my mouth is already filled with ash
eyes over flowing with wordless regret
it is possible to regret things you didn’t cause—
but somehow they found you anyway
ghosts with compasses; through us, they walk
and away away away they lead
into forests of needles and softening gloom.
I want to find you before its too late
I want to shake you back to love—
live a year, a day, back in your surround
but you cannot lead a horse once its startled
if the storm still cracks white over head
igniting tops of trees aflame with unceasing rage
and you know; no love was ever present
just the motionless grief of—
never being enough.
4 Replies to “ghosts with compasses”
well done, a fabulous piece!
Beautiful, emotional writing!
Those last two lines— just piercing
This demonstrates a perfect understanding of such a sad photograph.
“when I receive the notice of your death
it will hurt me more than it hurts you” is a most poignant couplet
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