you hum to yourself on street corners and shove cold hands in deep pockets and watch dead stars at night, figments of the world’s collective imagination
on hot nights in warm apartment buildings, a million fireflies caught in glass in your blackened gaze.
you’re twenty two years old, live in the poorest rich city in the world and sometimes you think maybe you’re actually buried down the street, the old cemetery with gates like eyes, a hungry mouth to eat the living and consume the dead.
you’re twenty two years old and your name doesn’t matter. you’re twenty two years old and you were five years too late.
the answer is blue.
you bite your lip at dreary pop songs, bite your tongue at confrontation, and the sky isn’t the right color even when the clouds are gone.
you lie on your back and feel wounds that don’t exist, never did really, and hold yourself like you have too much pride when the truth is—
the answer is in piano keys.
discordant notes and you think maybe at some point you knew how to play, but it’s lost to you now, only another worthless talent wasted on youth.
you trip on nothing, hands braced on the bloody sidewalk, and bleed black blood the same shade as a bruise.
the answer is in glass windows.
the light reflected, refracted in black lenses and you cry out at night, in your sleep, and wake up not knowing what day it is, what month, year, but it’s too late you know, you know—
blue lips and cold white hands.
the answer is in clocks.
harsh beats against airy breezes from a half-open window, shit, you’ve forgotten again, and you swear one day you’ll accidentally lean out too far, catch just the right breeze and—
and your hands shake as you pull on the shade, tug the splintered wood down without fear of actual splinters, hands already slick with imaginary blood that isn’t your own.
the harsh tick of a stopwatch without hands and you scream sometimes, but you never remember why when you wake up.
you wish your window didn’t have a safety latch, wish there wasn’t a fire escape to break your fall, wish there was an actual fire to escape from because there are and have always been invisible flames licking up your sides, untouchable and burning, burning, burning—
the answer is in—
you watch birds fly and fall, watch an empty nest turn back into twigs, watch life begin and decompose behind tinted eyes and you wish you could kill them all just to watch them die.
fingers twisted in dirty sheets, you’ve forgotten the laundry again.
the answer is.
you cry at night and your sister puts soothing hands over yours, fingernails painted a dainty pink but you can still see the old skin torn beneath them
you watch dead lights over a dirty old city turn from white to yellow to gold and wish they would burn out already, wish their light was dead to you too because
you don’t want this darkness illuminated, this nightmare in cold starlight, moonlit histories and his hands were cold against yours but.
too many pills and cigarette smoke stains against your pillows, blankets that used to smell like him and you laugh at the stars because they are here even when they are already gone, and you think maybe you two have something in common.
your sister comes more often, with her chipped pink nails and she pleads, begs you through reinforced steel walls but you know her better than she thinks and you ignore her frantic messages, codes in black text.
she was always weaker anyway
you run from dead crows and feel imaginary wounds in your chest, a blade pierced through with bright bright blood that never quite reaches the right hue.
five years too late and you watched his casket descend the way you feel yourself descend into m a d n - -
you hear things that aren’t there, hands taut in unclean fabric and you think he used to smile more before he went,
left you alone with blank walls and dead stars and the smell of blood filling your lungs.
you laugh at empty rooms because your soul was light and now it is not, hands over your mouth as you cough up cherry red saliva, grey tabacco ash over your heart, spilled onto his grave.
his was always brighter anyway.
five years too -