this poem is not about you, but that’s up to you

Photo by Ron McClenny on Unsplash

I start off every poem by changing

the font to Hoefler. Makes me feel

a bit more … dignified …

as though I have earned my right to say

dear world I am a confessional poet

when I never really do fess up

and do I really write any poetry

and this too is another attempt.

I want you to imagine the ellipses

as pauses in my typing. Maybe

you could picture this:

I’m … cracking a knuckle …

or two… staring out the window.

Which knuckle is up to you.

Which window too …

Got it? Great. Video by text.

Anyway …

I wanted to tell you that I love you.

Wasn’t any big secret really.

Let’s just say … I would

let you decide

what paint we’d use …

or which leg to cut first if I were caught in a bear trap.

at the height of my fever

I imagined you down at the pound

picking out a stray mutt

and robbing me of part of my affection…

And in another breath I want to tell you I don’t.

Maybe this is the world’s ugliest dog.

Maybe you cut both legs and I die of blood loss.

Maybe this is desperation

pulling … me by the … wrist

like I’m a dart. Is this love?

Most of my life I imagined it

as the inertia of fucking

spilling over into society

because it sure never happened to me now did it homeboy

and maybe it’s a feedback loop

of negative energy … and I’m wrestling

myself in a cage match … I’m working

myself into a chokehold …

… if I were to see you tomorrow

I would have no idea what to say.


Trepidation creeps on the spine, a tightrope act. 

We are both audience and whipped animal. 

Who will hold my hand? Hopefully myself. 

Every day I see is its own dying breath.

This is the future we walk towards,

a destination we cannot afford,

a world of our own choosing

but not of our making. 

This is the moment where 

you find your lips sewn together 

and yourself, the unforgiving needle,

and a smile breaks across your face but 

not the strings you chose to seal a life away. 

I watch as I dip into the sordid pool, pitch-black. 

I watch as I become naked, freezing and/or afraid. 

I watch as I grow into the mold I sculpt for myself;

I watch as He lays another finger on my back. 

I watch as you tie yourself down to the earth;

the needle and thread embed themselves in me. 

I watch as I walk down the road’s centre line;

I watch as I fail to catch up with my own feet.