I am what I am but
I’m inspired by what I could be —
the smoldering bit of coal named
Dissatisfaction that sends my gut
jumping and jittery towards
dark precipices of desire,
dangerous as they are infinite.
A sign reads: “Leap into the abyss
and find what you want most of all.”
I want to cast off my shameful youth.
I want to shed these second guesses until I
reach the glossy chrysalis of maturity.
In goes the fragile, powdery wings —
torn at the mere suggestion of strife.
Out comes the hardened caterpillar,
with legs made for stability and not beauty.
I want to catalogue each time I bleed
so that one day I might staunch the flow.
I bleed mental absence and naivety.
I bleed nervous-tick nail beds, picked raw.
I bleed most of all on pristine white panties
because fate likes to feel a little tempted.
I prefer bleached sand-dollar to ink-stain tar
but neither are nice to the touch.
I want to pull on the threads of my heart
in search of the one that might unravel
this great and terrible love within me
that spills into all I touch. Midas’ love.
More curse than blessing.
I fear that only once my fingernails
are forever stained with the red of my love
will I have unpicked every knot.
And only then will I realize that
the tangled mass was a single string.
I chase these counterfeit wishes
with the hopeless hope of one day
digging damp sand from between
my toes rather than jagged glass —
blessedly succumbing to a bubbling cloud
of rolling sea foam with no familiar
trace of burnt hair or acrid sulfur.
Few stand before this great blue expanse
and find they don’t long for something more.