One Of Us

Sun, 01/07/2018 - 12:24 -- shmay

Present in class,

under the antiseptic light of the lecture hall my words infect the air,

and my fat brass opinion dissipates into discussion.

The next hand raises


Absent in mind,

the pad of my thumb swings, I pretend infantile Instagram pixels

scream as they’re flung off the screen. I see your smile.

The next hand raises


Present in my neck,

forced to grasp — fail to gasp — dagger of reality in my throat

snags the hem of my breath. With chills the cleanest, softest tears fall from me.

The next hand raises


Present in memory,

grainy hallucination of VHS-quality clips materialize and play back our playdates with pain;

we only met to feed parasitic fleas and howl as mortals sleep.

The next hand raises


Absent in tomorrows,

the you I knew fled those with me, racing hell’s hotwired madness-mobiles

fueled by our preferred pill, drink, drug, pain — I never knew you sober.

The next hand raises


Present is the guilt,

struggle make out hostile whispers from the sterile hum of fluorescent bulbs.

translated, they spit that I don’t deserve to mourn someone’s life that I do not know but

You were one of us.


Class ends. Hands leave, attached to their respective bodies.
I can not move.

You could not either,

You never raise a hand in a coma.

You will not move again.

You can not get high in a grave. No


you can only twinkle in distant black space of my mind now,

sweet small prickles inside my eyes.


Absent from the present,

a backpack shoves my petrified shoulder, the twang of guilt reveals itself in a cocktail

exposing the meager hint of sour, twisted jealousy mixed with hot undeserved understanding.



I am alone now. The stillness accuses me of murder.

I can not move.

We could not stop,

We never talked about who would be first.

We will never meet again.

We can not save each other. No


we were a galactic system of dying giants, sweltering cores, burning atmospheres, swallowing meteors and crossing orbits in our infinite vacuum.


I can no longer feel the pull of your gravity,

only the lust of dark matter from the collapse of your star

I stand against the magnetism of a black hole,

exit the auditorium and return to earth.


my softest tears fall for you.

You were one of us.


This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


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