wrong way

Do you love me enough to hurt me?
I don’t mean in a sick way
And I don’t mean for no reason
I want to know if you’ll rip the band-aid off my skin
or let it fester, pretend it hasn’t been on too long
And smile so you’re not the bad guy.

Do you love me enough to disagree with me?
If I ask your advice, and I’m treading on ice
Will you tell me to move? Or better yet-
Throw a rope and get me somewhere safe?
Or will you tighten your brow and say nothing?
Tacitly approving while pleading in your silent heart

Do you love me enough to make me uncomfortable?
If there’s some flaw that I have in me
Spinach in my teeth, snot on my sleeve-
Would you tell me? Or will you hold your tongue
So that maybe someone else can say it?
And you’re saved the embarrassment

I’m not talking about public shaming, and I don’t
Mean simply being contrary. I said it before,
And I say it again: discomfort. Am I worth that to you?
Is anyone worth that to you?
See, it’s sad, because there’s a lot of people, I think,
Who don’t consider a soul in this world worth that cost.

It isn’t a very big cost.




Fear should lessen with age
But often it doesn’t
It seems the stuff of children
yet it fills the hearts of men

A child fears the dark
Because he suspects there’s something there
An adult fears it too
Because he suspects there is nothing

Wild fears age into mundane ones
But it is all loss and abandonment

“What if there is a monster?”
Means “Will no one save me?”
“What if I lose my house?”
Means the same

“What if I don’t know where to go?”
Means, “I fear I’m lost”
“Things just don’t seem to work out”
Means the same

There are many what if’s in fear
There must be, for they lack substance
Only what might or may
Never what is
There is no uncertainty with the tiger before your face
Only of the one that lurks in the dark

And yet fear is childish still
Though men and women adopt it
They practice conceit, yet the vice
Is no less childish because of it

There is only one object that should rightly be feared
And its fear should not age

Loss is not it.

On the Grass by the Sea

For when words seem vain

And damnation is plain

Searching, crawling, gasping

For a way out


But still clinging to the bottom

The grime and the slime sink into your toes

And you think,
“This is where I belong.”


There’s sun above, grass for your feet, and love

But your attempts to climb are half-hearted

Your eyes have always darted

Back to the hole where you started


For when words bring pain

Icing the nerves in your brain

Wondering if you could ever be sane

To lay in peace beside the ocean


See, you were made for the ocean

To walk at its edge in this life

To plunge deep inside it in the next

A hole’s not where you belong, just what you’re used to.


When a rope’s tossed down

You bat it around

Think, “That’s nice,

But it’s not for me.”


Your home is the hole

Black is your soul

And that is where

You decided to stay


I look down my pit sometimes

Even lean down into it, now and again

The pull is there, but in truth I swear

It’s better on the grass by the sea.


For when words are more than they seem.