The Saddest Word I Know

Is hollow
I’d rather be filled with 1,000 wasps
Or perhaps trapped in a tailored Dante scene
Recognized by me because I am someone with a body to tailor punishment to
Someone with a mind to torment and a heart to break
Than nobody at all.

When I graduated my teacher assigned me a word with speed, derived from lyric
And she called me an active participant in my own life
And I never felt a more beautiful assignment, a compliment with more weight
Than that of a comment with density and interpretation
Because I’d rather be non-stop
I’d rather take a turn too fast and hit the wall
Than to stall.

I’d rather be my biggest fan and my worst critic
Than to have nobody read my name and to have life, or death, assign it nothingness
In silence tell me that my servitude was worthless

And I’d rather be filled with 1,000 butterflies
And feel my illness at its peak, and to turn in my sheets and watch the clock climb with struggling old limbs,
Than to never feel worry with its partner excitement.
To never hear them argue with each other before a speech.
To never hear them make up and take a vacation and hire a babysitter named peace of mind.

And I’d rather love at 1,000 times the normal amount to love someone
And accept 1,000 times more risk
Or love even 1,000 people and open myself to loss
Than to live this life without connection
Than to feel an emptiness in my ribcage
To have bones like a bird.

And fly above the connection darting like movie magic on the level where people walk and exchange smiles or even peripheral awareness of each other
I love these heavy bones and this loaded transcript I carry in my synapses

The saddest word I know is hollow, and the implications that follow.

Spinal (A Poem on Loneliness)

Solitude feels like an itch between my vertebrae as I am unjustifiably exhausted from routine

It smells like nothing because I don’t catch smells from the air, I only breathe and I only know this because it is the last standing measure of my living, I only see grey and white and I only speak longer conversations with the future and shorter words with myself and others in present time

It feels like clean hands because I am not digging through emotions searching for remedy

It is less sleep and blurry vision

It is losing grip on the ability to ask for someone’s language and with that their time and their care

It is losing the ability to reason that they would care if you can’t

It is a passive, secret longing kept from even yourself

It is craving without remembering the taste and without conjuring an image to match it

It is mute     and      slow       and         a silver veil between yourself and the world you don’t necessarily despise

I just fail to notice or invest myself because I do not see a reflection in high definition staring back at me in the dreary oval above the sink

I do not see that which to invest

I only feel the spinal irritability and the longitude of time

I am only a submissive participant, a cameo, an extra, in my own life

Monopoly

They bought Boardwalk and Park Place
Hotels on each
No they didn’t buy it in competition they were theirs before the rest of us passed Go the first time and collected 200 dollars
They broke the bank and I have
What is it?
A House on Atlantic Avenue
They have 4 railroads too
A Monopoly
On a game of self-love
An arm-wrestling of who gets to hurt
Who has the pulpit
The banker is their own reflection
In their inflection, they seem generous
I know they are but I am not a recipient
I spy the utilities left unmarked but in trying to pursue this any longer I will not own, but I will be
The Water Works
Oppression Olympics
Their piece moneybags
And mine a shoe, tattered because it’s rusty
The catch is I could flip the board I could call the hypocrisy I could break out the manual
But I am an adult
So they will never know my story
It hurts that if they did I would feel okay and I know they would rejoice in the power of learning the notes behind my name
They will never see the bills I’m hiding in a towel draped under the table where the game is played
They have a monopoly and I sold my equal opportunity I sold a friendship I’m hiding my wealth and my stories and my earnings because I don’t believe I need to throw dollars on the board
I don’t want to buy Park Place and Boardwalk
I’m trying to walk
I’m trying to breathe
And I’m trying to give them the privacy that was denied me
I want
I want socialist monopoly
Let’s all just own our respective property
I’ll have houses on North Carolina and Tennessee and when it’s someone else’s turn I won’t pretend I own their colors too
They’re all different and it’s turns
It’s turns
We roll dice and we take turns
You listen to me
I listen to you
What a world that would be equal opportunity monopoly
Played in the course of the instructions
But everyone hates a person who reads them aloud
So I’ll burn my wealth I hid under the towels
I’ll say “you’re right I don’t understand, I have no pain, and you are the most important person on the board”
I’ll lie that the banker didn’t keep me up for 7 nights
And that their house isn’t a place where my heart gets tight
And I’ll pretend I’m fine being waterworks
And knowing they will never know and will hold a public speech based on the non-information
They accumulate by seeing me as a passing face
I’m a poor old shoe
But nobody will ever see
Because I am an adult
And I fucking hate monopolies