Death at 22

I used to tell myself I’d kill myself at 30
But I think I killed myself at 22 because I couldn’t stop the hurting
The burning, the yearning
The twisting and turning, mind always whirring
In the same old dusty corners
In the same old clouds, darkened with doubt
In the same full rooms in which I wanted to but couldn’t shout
I just stood there, looking around
Wondering what the secret was that everyone else seemed to have found
Why do their smiles come so easy?
Why do their eyes alight?
Why does it seem that I’m the one who wakes up feeling like
He’s been in a nasty fight
And I know I’m not the only one
I know I’m not alone
I know I’m not the only person claustrophobic in their own home
But I sit here in my arm chair
Arms bare
Holding the world tight against my chest and
My silver flask and empty glass ask
“When will you pour the rest?”

“That’s the problem with drinking,” Hemingway thought, “as I poured myself another drink.”
Doesn’t that line alone give you enough pause to make you think
To put the bottle down
Or maybe don’t
Maybe continue the pour
It doesn’t change that what came before will always be “Before” and
To capture “After”, you can’t be afraid
To open some intimidating doors
But those doors seem too heavy
Too complicated
I can’t even handle them

I’m still working on walking
This one foot in front of the other rambling
Shambling from one stage to another
Dead for years without even knowing
Only drawn to the occasional candle in the window, glowing
A flicker of life offered
A reminder there’s an end to night
But then my excited breathing inevitably snuffs the light

I used to say I’d kill myself at 30
On my own terms, in my own name
But I killed myself at 22
I’m in Purgatory and everything’s the same

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She, of the Pale Stars

This first line was something I had wanted to write around, so after keeping it in my back pocket for a while, I churned this piece out this morning. I could have done better, probably, but I’m not feeling so hot physically or mentally, so anything will do:

She was a glass of wine dressed in sunset
The kind of eyes it took
A cold shower to wake from and
A drink to forget
The shadows fell long from her
Winding, twisting
Insisting every secret I had be traded
For a whiff of her incense hair
For a glimpse of the smokey way she moved
She was autumn colors, but I took the fall
The dream ended in ripples across the pond and
She left me dead in my sleep

My friend, Halia Janssen, took the same line and wrote this superior piece, which I will share to make up for my own half-assing it:

She was a glass of wine dressed in sunset,
A silhouette bathed in light of the crescent moon.
She was the echo in my turbulent midnight dreams
Wandering the pangs of our reverie
Hiding in shadow, intangible to say the least
She is my heart, my laughter
Forever out of reach.