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Gasoline male-tears, do you remember how we got here?
Because I don't; or rather, I prefer not to recall
the tragic, heated argument down Memory-lane that
we had with my dad, how angry he was.
No, boy, I don't want to remember anything about
the beginning; middle or end of that
serpent-Sunday under scattered sunlight and showers,
all shadows, confusing bi-curious weather.

But you tilt your head to the side and say,
“Don't be afraid, Charleston-boy.
It's over, we're still here..”
As if I didn't notice the metallic taste of
blood in my mouth; as if I didn't notice
the shard of glass in my hand, the dull
pain in my side, broken stars across my cheekbones.
Can you tell me, honey; what is worth forgetting
when I'm pretty sure I killed my own father?

And yet, you say it's not my fault.
Boy, you run a hand through my hair,
blood on your fingertips; rust-colored
sand, whispering, “Stay with me.
Keep breathing; you're strong enough
to do this, to stay with me..”
Oh but I'm not the same; hearing
sirens all around us, feeling
these blinding red-blue American Odyssey
lights puncture through my eyelids.
Boy, I don't feel the same way
I did when I first woke up this morning
to the sound of birds chirping
on my window-pane, to the smell of chicory
coffee burning on a stove-top.

Then, I was just a kid; waking up
early, running through the woods
at daybreak to get away from my dad,
to get away from that traditional
suburban house; pretty and white on
the outside, bleak and dark within, filled
with ghostly echoes of my mother's screams.
Yeah, this morning; I was a high school kid,
trying to get through another year, blending
into the prideful eagle walls,
sitting in the back of a boring chemistry class.
But now what am I, tell me?

Are you my friend or someone I just dreamed up,
let myself get involved with because I was lonely?
And now I regret ever falling, ever trusting you
when you invited me to play ball with you and
the other jacked-up jocks on the lacrosse team.
“Don't say that,” you say,
your eyes looking pained, for some reason.
But it's true, Cancer-moon..
I guess I just wanted to prove that I wasn't
such a sad case, someone
to feel sorry for in a red-white jersey.

No, I wanted you to say,
“Damn, I was wrong about him”
when you saw me make that last shot,
hurtling the ball right into the ghost-net
of the other team's defense.
I wanted everyone to glance over at me;
silently shocked, thinking,
“God, we underestimated him.”
Because maybe then, I'd believe I wasn't
such a waste of precious space like
the demons in my head always
chanted in the background.
“But you don't need me or anyone else
to tell you that.”
Boy, we're lying here on sticky asphalt
on a darkened street corner,
our fingers wet with rain and hatred;
our shirts tattered, displaying
vulnerability in the form of
teenage limbs not yet fully grown
but still glistening, dirty in the
silver light of a gas-station moon.
And you want me to believe
that I'm somehow special?

“But you are.. It's not your fault.”
Words tumbling over each other,
wanting to be innocent like somersaults
on spring-humid grass, but they're not..
I want you to say thanks when I help you up.
I want you to look at me like I'm not a devil,
not quite an angel but something inevitably close.
And you almost do, my teardrop-star.
“But is it real?” I wonder out loud when you brush
locks of sweaty, bloodstained hair from my eyes.
“Why is it so hard for you to
believe that I honestly care?”
Well, because after my mother faded away;
a photograph no longer traceable
in our family album, I was blamed and now
I have no one to look back on, call my ally.
“That's over,” you say, wiping gold dust,
red-sand from my cheekbones.
“You're mine now; in my clan,
my circle of friends, protected night-magic.”
And yet, why are we still on the ground?

“Don't give up,” you whisper relentlessly
like the EMTs pressing down on our chests
when we're loaded into the ambulance.
They keep fighting, trying
to track merman pulses, in vain.
“Don't close your eyes;
boy, no matter what..”
I remember that's what you said
before they came, flashing lights
and all surreal panic.
You murmured,“Valley-spirit,
you're stronger than the ash-gold
feathers attached to your raven wings.”
Oh before you blanked out; boy, you told me,
“Those will fall off, I promise.
Then you'll grow new ones; demon-proof,
angel-born heaven-drawn things.”

But even as fresh blood rushes through my veins;
clears my head, I think,
“How can you be so sure?”
And you laugh weakly, look up at the tainted sky;
say, “Because nothing lasts forever..
Don't you know, it's a wonderful life?"

And when we're cured,
when we're no longer in danger;
out of the hospital and back at your warm house,
smelling of cloves and
your funny, sweet mother making us tortilla soup;
I finally feel okay with myself, boy, but I still
hope to be as brave as you.

Yeah, friend; I want the courage to say to my dad,
“Even though it's taken me awhile; embarrassing
and frustrating as this whiskey-toned reality is,
I can finally admit that I am bigger than this situation.
I'm bigger than your confusion;
your subtle-as-violets-in-winter,
sharp-as-dragon tails harassment.”
Yeah, I want to say to him:
“You didn't care when you were pushing my face down
in the mud, making me feel guilty
under some fake Betty Crocker heaven;
making me want to disappear forever, fade until
there's nothing left of this body
but throwaway Lego-pieces, breakable flesh.
So now I don't care about how you feel, either..
What goes around; comes around, right, dad?

I'm a child; no, I'm a hero..
Bottle-cap survivor, you can't take me;
rip me up into useless shreds
of bourbon French silk.”
"And what do you think you'd understand?
I'm a boy, no, I'm a man..
You can't take me and throw me away."

- "I'm Still Here", John Rzeznik
Stolen sunset, we had a pact when we were kids..
We'd run up that dead-flower hill near the cove
overlooking those thrashing Pacific waves, too
dangerous for any sailor to explore, and
we'd scream into the roar of the ocean;
that bipolar sea, all of our pain,
stuff we never wanted to feel again.
Oh yes; and wherever you were, wherever I was,
we could hear each other calling;
our mad, desperate pleas for help.
And that was my wish, bronze-skinned siren; that
you'd never have to go up there, cry alone.

Eight years and counting, you couldn't pay me
enough to forget that last good day..
We rode our bikes along the boardwalk;
had ice cream, watched the Ferris Wheel,
people setting up a new carnival.
Girl, you asked me if I could only choose
to live on land or in the sea, which would I pick..
“The sea, of course,” I said. “I'd be a dolphin.”
And you laughed, asked me then why I was always
pretending to be a shark whenever we went swimming.
“To scare people,” I said, shrugging casually.
“But  the truth is;
I'd rather be smart than intimidating.”
And you nodded thoughtfully,
licked ice cream from your half-eaten waffle cone.
Girl, I brushed a drop of mint chocolate
chip that had somehow smeared across your cheek.
You gave a smile that pretty much destroyed me.

Girl, what hurts the most now is
how you look at me; wary, as if
a part of you isn't at all sure
I'm the same boy; the same neighbor,
friend I used to be.
And do you think maybe all this
distance has made me immune to
your once nonjudgmental stare;
your burnt-sugar irises, your birthday-cake charm?
Well; it hasn't, even though
now you wear plaid skirts like a North Shore
schoolgirl, put on a forced apple-grin for
all those lacrosse-playing dudes.
Even though now you maintain a rigid posture,
walking with determination down
the hall, to your car; I know that inside,
you're still the girl who made me kill spiders
for he and would only sleep with the light on.

And I'm here to say it's okay;
to admit that you're not a robot,
that you still get scared sometimes,
Pompeii-martyr, it's okay to admit that you're still human.
But you shake your head no.
“I don't want to feel like a sand-castle all my life, boy.
And you give me this intense half-angry-half-damaged glance.
“One thing I've learned is that we can't
always depend on people to protect us,”
you say with sadness in your voice.
“You've been gone for too long.
You don't know what I can do..”

Oh girl, I'm ashamed.
You have every right to be mad; doubt my intentions,
debate on whether or not to trust me now, let me in.
So even though I know it'll take some inevitable time
for you to come around; peek inside my window again,
make sure I'm home before rapping on the glass with
your tiny fist and ask
if I'd like to go for a late-night swim in the brook
behind the old Baptist church,
I'd really like it if it proves not to have been
a waste; all those years,
meager months away from you.

Girl, can you help me get back on track;
make my way through this tunnel of a hopeless town,
because I'm tired of feeling like a pariah,
a faceless phantom?
“Sure,” you say grimly.
“None of us are innocent.”
But girl, you don't let me take your hand.
You merely toss our friendship
bracelets in a coral-sand fire,
watch it all burn.
“Let's start fresh.”

But girl, I know you don't really mean it and
so I vow to prove you wrong;
to show you that even though I was cast out,
put in juvenile hall, I didn't
commit the crime they said I did; the cops
who stormed through our house,
humiliated my mother in front
of my young, dreamless eyes.
I'll prove to you that I'm still
the smiling kid you painted so beautifully
in your sketchpad one summer.
You gave him dimples and
Teddy-bear brown eyes.
So somehow, I'll find a way back
into your Matisse-heart.

Because without you, these months are just raw
reflections of a time when people pick flowers,
let them die on their porches and
forget to say thanks to the fairies
who put them there, in the first place.
Yeah, I'm remembering how you used
to believe in all those Celtic legends,
telling me all about your family history;
how your great-grandfather traveled over here from
Britain, fell in love with a coffee-skinned singer.
“She was like a lighthouse and he was a lost ship.”
Girl, your eyes were so bright
when you related this fact, like
you thought that was the rarest thing;
to find a safe haven in someone else and
how you hoped there was still some
romantic-luck saved up over the years,
waiting for you somewhere.

Oh I wanted to be that for you;
a protective sea-shell wall, but
I wondered if I'd missed my shot.
Girl, you are so far; at least,
that's how you seem on the really bad, confusing days.
I wake up and see an orange-red glow streaming in
through the blinds of my misshapen bedroom window.
I think about how it felt to lie
beside you on the hottest day of the year; sprawled
out on the redwood floor of our club-house, chewing
on ice cubes and memorizing
lyrics we learned from a shared vintage CD player.

All battery-lit, girl; that was our world back then;
full of plastic stars, glowing neon and
the best damn cartoons on television.
Yeah, you imitated Peppermint Penny so well..
I told you if we ever made it to Hollywood,
you'd be an award-winning actress.
I'd be the director of some crazy live-action film.
Small-town horror; you laughed and said,
“Boy, will you ever stop daydreaming?”
And I shook my head.
Just ten years old, I leaned over and kissed you.
Your cheeks flushed red.
“My daddy wouldn't like this..”
But just when I was about to say sorry;
(even though I wasn't really
because girl, you tasted like lollipop-heaven),
just when I was about to mumble an awkward
apology, you pressed a tiny
kiss on my lips like a stamp from Georgia.

All peaches and cream; you were the town-darling,
following your mother around
as she went to brunch with the other ladies
at the country-club, all dressed
like 50s housewives; too much
floral, too much everything subtle and
hypocritical, dandelion-fluff.
And I; I was the son of a high school drop-out,
a woman who everyone still gossiped about and
a man from the Navy who  
drowned somewhere overseas.
“But I don't care what they say about me,”
my mother promised.
“As long as they don't hurt my baby, ruin
his future; then, I can survive anything.”

Oh she's strong; my mother,
but not so much behind closed doors where
nobody can see her cry; on the stairs,
sipping her bitter grape-blood wine.
Oh girl, you'd hate me for saying this; but
you two have a lot in common.
“Maybe,” you say grudgingly.
“Except, I don't drink to forget the pain.”
“No,” I agree. “You just go to parties,
try to smile for all the wrong people.”

“What do you want from me?”
Your voice is clipped, your throat
tight and I almost feel guilty.
But I want you to say it; say that
you know I'm not guilty of anything monstrous,
selfish like strangling a clean-cut
angel with a jump-rope.
“I-I can't,” you mumble, your words shaky.
“I wasn't there, I don't know what happened.”
But I want you to look back,
over your shoulder at the neighbor's house.
Can you imagine that kid standing there;
bones trembling, fragile all over, no blood
anywhere but his eyes solemn; haunting things,
begging someone to believe him?
Girl, can you imagine it?

“We've all got pain,” you whisper before breaking down,
beating your hands against my chest.
“Why?” you scream, moon-tears clinging to your lashes.
“Why did you let them take you away?
If you're innocent, then tell me why you left..”
Stupid, selfish boy; I know those are the words
you want most to throw in my face like ninja-stars,
cutting my cheeks.
But instead, you sob for all those missed calls;
those sweet, torturous years.
And I hold you close; arms around your shoulders,
feeling the heat of your body
wash over my cold frame,
inhaling your cherry-top perfume.

Girl, you are more than nostalgia
in a thin cotton-wood sweater, more
than the last days of cupcake-spring
before summer sneaks up behind us like
a copper-head in the desert.
You're more than an unsaid goodbye.

Oh “Turn over a new leaf” people say
when there's nothing left to lose;
when the present doesn't disturb them,
when the future doesn't
seems terrifying and ominous as crows.
Oh in our picket-fence brains, we're safe,
girl; or at least, that's what the preacher
used to say in Sunday-school
and your mother, too.
But you never believed them.
“They're sneaking around,” you said.
“Behind the pews.”
Girl, I still remember how broken
you looked when
you told me your parents' deepest,
dirtiest secrets on that tire-swing.

Ten years old, you trembled in the Westminster heat;
angel-thin sunlight, making me want to hold you and
never let go, even if you squirmed;
even if you told me how fine you actually were,
tried your best to shove me out of
your sheltered world.
But I'd never listen, you know..

I remember thinking then;
I was young and yet, unafraid:
“It's not fair, desert-eyed girl.
You shouldn't have to feel bad
just because people here are selfish.”
And I remember you slapped my cheek;
almost screamed, your voice trembling.
“Don't talk about my mother like that!
You don't know anything..”
And yet, you were the one
running away, jumping over the fence
and throwing our friendship away for
what; an unfaithful, irresponsible parent?
Years later, you say you're sorry;
run gentle burnt-sugar fingers
down my cheek, as if you could erase
the memory, the sting of betrayal.
But know this, sweetheart;
I'll never take it back.

My words; though harsh-as-winter-storms were
true and you know it, girl..
In my opinion; then and now,
you deserve better; always did and always
will in my tattered thorn-rose book.

Yeah, you make a mockery out of
this infatuation but I don't care.
If you tell me to leave, girl,
I'll give you something to think about
tonight; Saturn spinning-wheels, beach
bonfires, cemetery parties; so beautiful,
so morbid among the drooping
Calla lilies, blind angel-marble.
Girl, you claim they can see the truth,
speak to us in our sleep.
Or at least, you used to fall so easily
and yet; now I wonder,
do you still believe in love..

If you tell me to leave, I promise
I'll pull you in again with another earth-shattering kiss.
“Stop,” you gasp, one hand on my chest; pressing against
my rebel-heart, pinning it against
the wall of my shadowy, fleshy rib-cage.
But your other hand, girl, is tangled in my dark;
shoulder-length strands,
evidence of my Lakota heritage.
Girl, you're the one who should stop
sending such mixed signals.”
I whisper these words but they're cutting-edge, I know.
Your cheeks flush red.
For one moment, I think you're going to hit me.
Like a child, you're angry.
Like a teenager, you're torn.

“Maybe none of us are innocent,”
you murmur to the wall of
our tree-house, to the ceiling of stars.
An hour after the argument,
we're lying on a floor of acacia-wood;
arms outstretched, we look infinite.
We feel confused and I'm thinking,
“Girl, will you still love me
when the sun comes up?”

What if I said the bracelet you threw
in the fire wasn't the real one I made
out of silly-string memories?
No, I kept the real friendship bracelet
because even if we fall; this time, for
real, even if you move away to college
or just to escape the fate of
being love's ball-and-chain,
it'll remind me that first and foremost;
you were and will always be my pearl
shelter, a tragic partner-in-crime,
a diamond friend for life.

Yeah, heart-breaker; fast-dreamer, girl
with satin-eyes, maybe you were right..
None of us are innocent.
You fell asleep, listening to Maroon 5 in my room.
I slid a pillow under your cheek.
Before, your head was resting on my shoulder.
My arm went numb but I didn't care.
Boy, I've missed you all week, been thinking about
the last time at that juice-stand near the freeway;
under the Carolina sun, how you brushed a dark lock
of hair from my eyes, didn't care who saw.
Oh your confidence is what terrifies and
turns me on the most..
You should know; I'm like putty in your
warm, brown hands.

And yet, when you finally show up at my door,
I notice instantly that your smile is forced.
There is rain in your hair, cascading from
my mother's hibiscus petals hanging off our balcony.
There's also thunder echoing from deep
inside your chest, through the powder-blue shirt that
you wear with such cool Great-Gatsby grace.
And boy, in your eyes; lightning flashes, hazel-lust.
“What's going on?” I ask but you kiss me
unexpectedly in the foyer; wordlessly, instead.
Your hands drive me wild; on the small of my back,
and when I hesitate, you make a sound
in your throat; a low, desperate plea.
And ready or not, I drag you up the stairs..

After your maple-sugar mouth has bruised mine
about a hundred times and our bodies are now
officially exhausted, drained of all teardrop-lust;
at least for the time being, chests rising and
falling like tidal waves, our limbs vibrating with
Nirvana adrenaline; Passover darkness, boy,
you finally tell me the truth.

You say, “My father thinks he can change me.
On our drive today to Montenegro,
he was praying that you didn't exist.
I could hear him silently criticizing science;
heaven, La Virgen Maria, whatever
made his son less than human.”

“Lo siento,” I told you quietly.
But you shook your head, just
kept glaring out the window.
“Don't.. I know I'm not broken.
If I were, you wouldn't be here.”
But I want to know what the means, boy.
And for a moment, the sadness in your eyes
fades and you go back to being
the rebel-teaser I fell in love with.
“It means,” you reply, a crooked
smile on your lips. “That you have great
taste in everything; from music,
books, to even punch-drunk lovers.”
I laugh but you're dead serious, boy.
Your warm hand appears again
on the back of my neck when
you return to the moment,
your body turning away from the window.
Kissing deeply; hotter than before,
we drift into a quiet limbo between
a candy-cane heaven and lost Atlantis,
a beautiful hell at the bottom of the ocean.

Sand, skin, bone; remember when
we took your little sister to the beach?
She was trying to surf but
kept falling off the board.
You were patient, though; more mature.
Unlike other big brothers,
you never made fun of her.
“I think that's because I know what it's like
to mess up so much, that
your teachers; tutors, guardians,
start to give up hope.”

Oh but that's not true, boy..
If anyone ever told you that you're a failure,
then they're blind or just envious of your
Taino-creek stare; your warrior-carved jaw-line
and the way you hold your head high,
stand up on your own, no matter how many times
they've knocked you down.
Yeah, I said it; you rule this world,
it doesn't break you.

And you laugh, shake your head.
“You make me sound like a superhero;
one of those free-fall constellation gods
up above, hidden in the silver-lined heavens.”
Oh but you are; at least, to me, a shadow of
who I want to be someday; brave, saying,
“If you people don't like me,
then I deserve better than this two-faced
Carnivale mask that you call love.”

Oh yeah, I wish I could leave as easily as you do;
so confident-looking, packing a duffel-bag,
saying goodbye to your old room, to everything
that ever put fear in your little boy-king heart.

Oh but you say, “Inside, I'm hurting.
Inside this cedar rib-cage,
there's no pretty picture of freedom;
framed, and glowing on top-shelf bone marrow.
Boy, beneath all these sparkling shell-layers
that you admire is just a feeling I know I can't fake.
Because you're just as much a teen as I am;
because maybe the people who say we're wrong are
actually the unreasonable ones, assuming that
our nature is just a flame we can blow out.

Oh but I don't want to ever turn it off, boy.
If I'm going to hell, then I'm taking this memory;
your cinnamon kiss, along for the ride.
Yeah, I said it once and I'll say it twice;
I'm going to let this life here in Dorado
with you burn until I'm no more, until
there's nothing left but wood-smoke,
scraps of metal and ripped Hollister shirts.
And you look at me like I'm crazy
but also like you can't resist feeling the same.
Oh isn't it exhilarating?

Boy, come for a ride with me
on the back of this dirt-bike,
borrowed from a time I no longer regret.
Yeah, I don't think you'd remember;
it was before we officially met
when I was sixteen and a half; still
dazed from watching Saturday night specials,
drinking orange juice-vodka between Spanish
and English classes, wishing all my hopes away.
Yeah, I'm not that kid anymore.
You wouldn't be proud to be with him, I'm sure..
But if you tell me that all you want now is
a real-live action figure; coastal
Superman-clone; someone who doesn't wait around,
standing on the side-lines, silently
watching this firefly-life die before his eyes,
smoking a crystal-clear limp cigarette.

If you tell me that you're done
hiding in this seemingly perfect
island; golden Paradise Lost, then
I'll step out of the shadows, boy.
I'll take your hand if you tell me
that all you want now is to dance
with me in the streets, out in public
under a woodpecker's white throat-moon.

So come with me; race down
that cobblestone driveway,
your Magi heart beating inconsolably
fast, your cheeks flushed, eyes wild
because I promise you're not broken.
Mi cielo, I'll be anything you want..
Paradise Lost
honoring Puerto Rico on the legalization of gay marriage
Blond hair spilling over the armrest;
you're like that candle shaped like a rose or sunflower,
whatever, on the fireplace mantle.
Lying on a post-war cream-red sofa;
one hand cradling your cheek and
the other poised on the fifth page
of your favorite book, girl, you're just like a Hollywood
starlet who's forgotten how to dream.
And now you lie awake, thinking about the good old days
at the Dominican cafe and all those boys who left too soon.
Yeah, Gloria, you look like innocence
with wide clear-water eyes, but darling;
the truth is, you're the reincarnation of
a dark memory, and I still don't mind..

I'm cursed, girl; so if I'm going down,
might as well fall all the way through
that Alice-meets-rabbit labyrinth.
Gloria, wouldn't it be fun; just you and I,
slow-dancing to Louis Armstrong
just like you've always wanted?
“Even better than Frank Sinatra;
he's the catalyst to every romantic film,” you tell me.
“His legacy; Louis stood for something forbidden.
People loved his voice too much,
to hate the color of his skin..
Boy, that's an epic win.”
Gloria, you're clever but I wouldn't know about
anything romantic, it seems because
the few girls I tried to impress only wanted to kiss me
behind the old gas station on picnic-Sundays.
Gloria, they weren't interested in a word I said.

“Well,” you say with a devilish grin;
not befitting your ginger freckles,
the chalk-marks on your fingers.
“Boy, that's because you're always acting superior.
You think everyone should just agree with you but
life doesn't have to be some stupid debate.”
Oh Gloria, fear burns my cheeks.
Lavender-spirit, you see right through me.
Then when I think I've had enough of your
destroying madness; strawberry-charm, you
run your hand gently through my straw-colored hair.
“Boy, you're more than cotton-blue eyes and
a biting ego,” you say. “So let them see that,
what you're really made of; snow-capped teeth,
paintbrush fingers, scars from climbing trees.
You cover it all up beneath those
football jackets, autumn colors.
You think people won't see you as strong
if they find out you study landscapes and
create your own; in your imagination, in
your sleep, on the blank sheets of
canvases that sit so tidy up in your bedroom.
But if anything; this makes you brighter;
the fact that you know all the poets, all
the drunk, heartbroken ones
who still made it through.”

Oh Gloria, are you in love with fantasy
as much as I am because you see me
as the hero that I'm not..
“You are,” you argue,
the green in your eyes suddenly
sharp like frozen-clovers.
Girl, I know you're remembering
that ghost-toned night we both
try to smother beneath all
our Sunday-Monday clothes.
But you bring it up now because
you're only thinking about
proving me wrong, winning an argument.
Oh how cruel, considering
that you almost died that night;
considering how the creature,
the monster next door, tried
to choke you to death when
I barged into the room..

Gloria, I heard your screams; a needle in my chest,
I pulled him off of you.
But when I picked you up, darling, your body turned
to glass in my arms.
And as the sirens wailed
down the street, I rushed out to meet them;
to show them the price of their negligence.
Yeah, girl; the cops said,
“Those kids will be alright.
There's nothing wrong here.”

“Now look at her,” I think, coldly
as the sheriff walks toward us.
“Look at this girl who used to ride around in your car,
who used to play with your own daughter.
Back then, you promised to protect her like you promised
to protect everyone, saying that it was your job; your
duty as this town's guardian.
Now look; her skin so pale with purple, yellow
bruises peppering her slender arms and legs.
Her ankles are swollen from
falling down stairs, from running too fast.
You can't tell me you care,
when this is all your fault.
Sheriff, you let it happen.”
And he looked at me like he understood,
like he was dumbfounded.
“Good,” I said out loud.
“You deserve to feel bad.”

But Gloria, you took my hand.
Even in the hospital, you looked at me sweetly.
You broke me once again..
“But you saved me,” darling, you keep insisting.
“I didn't turn to ash like
Sleeping Beauty; comatose-poison in my veins,
because you were there.”
Oh don't say that..
But it's too late.
"I love you" isn't enough to fix this.
You're way too young to be broken..

Still, can anyone help us now;
when we've already felt this hot-and-cold
rush through our bodies, when
we've already tasted maple-sugar,
rain-water vanilla on each others' tongues,
without dying because that's not
how the world works..
We just keep on sinning like fast-dreaming,
gold-winning angels.
We keep on kissing, until we're out of breath;
until we've gone too far, can't find the way back.

And I don't mind, serendipity-pride.
I don't regret lying next to you,
Gloria, feeling your warm hand on
my sand-dollar chest.
Till Gloria Dies
"Who shot that arrow in your throat?
Who missed the crimson apple?
It hung heavy on the tree above your head

This chaos, this calamity, this garden once was perfect
Give your immortality to me; I'll set you up against the stars

We lied, we can't go on
This is the time and this is the place to be alive

Who shot that arrow in your throat?
Who missed the crimson apple?
And there is discord in the garden tonight

The sea is wine red
This is the death of beauty
The doves have died
The lovers have lied

I cut the arrow from your neck
Stretched you beneath the tree
Among the roots and baby's breath
I covered us with silver leaves"

- "Wine Red", The Hush Sound
He wanders around a night-skin city,
thinking maybe he'll find his shadow-twin;
long-haired, Korean-born, somehow
he made it to New York and now
that part is pirate-Jack history.

But years have passed since he last
played pretend with his look-a-like brother;
acting like angels dropped down
from a quilted heaven, their wings
cheap Wal-Mart things strapped to
their immigrant shoulder-blades.
Too many hour-glass winters, sharp summer
months have gone by, without these boys
even noticing how big and jet-black hollow
the holes in their toy-soldier hearts are.

The older one swears that even though he was
adopted into a world of sun;
glass-menagerie chandeliers,
he still feels terribly frozen..
Oh paper-god, where are you tonight?
That kid; now grownup but
still craving answers from a muted society,
he now drinks his fair share of
orange juice-vodka in the morning before
going to work, inheriting an empire.
I see him all the time; in the elevator,
across the road, on the bridge
tagged with adolescent broken hearts.
But still, when I show you a picture
from twelve years ago; honey-scar,
you claim that the smiling kid with
haunting eyes isn't you, that you've never
seen him before in your privileged life.

Oh stop turning the other cheek;
glancing away from my inquiring stare,
as if you were ashamed.
On the outside; I may look like
a sand-paper royal, someone born with
a silver spoon in her mouth but
backyard angel, the truth is grimmer,
as I'm sure you've guessed.
You don't know anything about
what kind of hell I've been through..

Money isn't everything.
It doesn't promise security; a warm bed at night,
maybe but that doesn't mean you'll be happy,
surrounded by grandfather-clocks, gold watches,
wine-roses in the garden.
Look closer, boy; where there are roses, there are
thorns, sharp, reeking of snakebite.
Sun-dance star, you know that better than anyone..

But can you blame me for trying
to reach out to you, where you stand
on the doorstep of a solitary tree-house?
You were the one who said we didn't
make good rivals; do you remember
that in college, two years ago?
When people were cheering for us to
debate blood-and-fire onstage, dive
head-first in an ice-cold Olympic pool,
and even race on a mid-morning track..
My gender never mattered to you.
Lighthouse-glow, you saw me as your equal;
fair competition by skill, not form or ego,
so maybe I should thank you for that.
But you make it so hard sometimes..
Flightless eagle, always so distant.

You say you're sorry but does it even matter now, night-hawk?
Our wings will never work the same as they did
in the late 80s when we were fresh out of our
respective homes, starling nests.
Maybe we should try something else..
And you say, “What, run away?
Take off for Switzerland or Paris?
America's too close, girl; they'd recognize us
in New York where we lived on
opposite sides of that bourbon-laced city.
I was on the midnight-streets;
just eight years old, begging
strangers for cash, and you were high up
in the Empire State Building,
looking down on everyone else,
wearing a promise-ring given to you by
a school crush you don't even remember now."
Oh boy, I roll my eyes..
You always try to make me sound so horrible;
so high-maintenance, shallow.
Don't you know that was just
a mask I put on to try to intimidate you when
I thought all you wanted was to see me fail?

“I know,” you grin, tuck a lock of hair behind my ear.
“Your tiger-lily eyes had me fooled from the very start.
Girl, I didn't want to even try to figure you out and
see if there was any depth, any secret charm
hiding beneath your strings of pearls, emeralds;
your annoyingly cute, predictable laugh.
But I was stuck, fighting something that was getting
harder to ignore every day; my affection for you,
ran deeper than whether or not we had
the same mixed-up, fabled childhood.”

Oh catch my breath..
I can't when you're near and yet,
we still say no one has to know like two naïve teenagers.
But can you imagine; boy, you with James Dean hair,
gesturing for me to get inside your blue
cotton-candy Cadillac, speeding away as
I hold tight to an Audrey Hepburn hat?
Oh California dreaming; that's what it sounds like to me
and yet, is this just pretend?
Is it just for fun that we're doing this;
sneaking around between corporate meetings,
fooling the staff of your daddy's hotel
who think we're rivals?
Is it just for the thrill that you push me
up against a wall; trapping my hands on either side of
my head, saying,
“If you trust me, girl; turn the light off”?

And when I do, your hands drop to my shoulders;
fingers crawling across my collarbone,
skimming up and down my throat,
as though you're trying to find the weakest link;
the softest spot in my entire body.
But starting off so slow; you're the clever one, boy.
Yeah, don't make me sound like a vampire when
you're the one tattooing flowers on my skin,
sucking all of my self-control.

“You can leave anytime” you say.
And I know, boy; your grip isn't too tight.
But we have to compromise in the dark, without words.
You have the upper-hand when it comes to
knowing your way around a shadow-world;
all jagged edges, glass everywhere,
sharp eyes of tail-less animals.
And I trust you, though I shouldn't.
But it didn't happen overnight.

No, at first; you were the enemy,
the person standing in the way of my inheritance.
Yet, here we are; both outcasts
because we dropped our masks
in the garden between the grove of plum trees,
Manila paper-petals, yesterday's grins.
And now everyone knows how vulnerable,
how tragically human we are.

So honey-scar, why not just take the night and run with it?
Boy, why not go all the way with me when we're already
on a train heading south towards nowhere, past city lights;
blinding, and a mountainside cold-front?
If we get lost, at least this time;
we won't be alone, wandering separately
through a deranged sleepwalker's 5 AM tunnel.

“Yeah, I can tell; you already know me,”
you whisper hoarsely, as though you're unsure
as my hands circle your shoulders; slowly and
carefully slide down your spine,
trace bottle-cap bruises, mostly-faded bite-marks.
And I respond as we move closer and the springs in
the bed creak, the clock ticks in the entryway like
the perfect moment-of-truth in a southwestern crime flick.

Boy, you can be the in-between character; in-between
the chalk-white moon and orange-peel sun, good and
evil, red-eye, blue-eye, plum.
I can be the mysterious one; the character no one
saw, coming with a shotgun.
Yeah, I can defend you, even though I'm small.
I can face your demons, even
though I don't know them; even though,
I'm just as scared as you are.
And you smile, thinking maybe
I'm not cut out for this action-drama.
But I can't just leave you here in a pale-rose garden;
in the dark, wandering lost,
fighting off nightmares alone.

No, we started off enemies; fell in love midway, and
now, we'll finish this race together.
So give me the past and wrap it up in jasmine.
Boy, stick it in a drawer under all your rainy-day sweaters.
We can look at it again when we're old and frail but happy;
drinking green tea, rocking back and forth on a porch-swing.
Yeah, we can open that drawer;
pull out those memories when we've got nothing left to lose,
no more battles to fight in, nowhere
left to explore but a bright paradise ahead.

“You're a dreamer,” you say, smiling
in the crook between my neck and shoulder.
“Yeah,” I say, staring up at the ceiling;
at the painted angels, at the fake heaven
that you thought was real.
When you first moved here, amber-king;
you opened those almond-shaped eyes
of yours, thought you had died young.
But now, you breathe evenly.
Smiling; relaxed but fearless, you no longer
cringe in the silver light of morning.

No, boy; now you drink it all in like star-burst orange juice.
Rising like a skyscraper,
shadow-people no longer creep across your periphery,
startle your toy-soldier heart into beating
like a wicked; haunted train-engine.
Unlike a paper-god, hanging in the doorway,
boy; all traditional red-ribbon, unfinished prayers,
you're unmistakably alive here; no cursed script..
And no one can ever toss you out with the vintage rain.


United States
Current Residence: Texas
Favourite genre of music: rock


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TheFlawedOne Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the facs!  Bunneh Wants to Give a Hug 
shining-gloom Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the favourite :)
DylanSeto Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Student Artist

Just wanted to thank you for the fave!

Also, since I'm currently focusing on music, I was wondering if you'd be interested in supporting me in that endeavor of mine?

If you are, I can link you to where you can find that stuff!

-Dylan Seto
autumn-spirit Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015
I'll check it out :) you're welcome
DylanSeto Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Student Artist


Let me know what you think :)

And if you like it, sharing it would be cool too. ;)
BlackBowfin Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Much thanks, Sharon.  :)
Monocephalized Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Appreciate the favourite.
Devils-n-Dusts Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you 
Patri-ck Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  New Deviant
Thank you very much for +fav :) (Smile) :) (Smile) :) (Smile) !!!
autumn-spirit Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015
you're welcome
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