Dysphoria

by Michael Fink

Holding on to the weak smile
Of the streetlight, she stutters
And fades, I wonder what fate
Might befall me
These dark days
Call to me, what malady has
Swallowed me
How swiftly does a star turn
To hungry shadow, and
How long must I fight
To find my way home
I don’t even know
Where that is anymore
Where I’ve been since the door
Closed, and the coals expired
To a thin spire of smoke
I’m holding on because
Fighting’s all I know
Because I was given a lover’s heart
Trapped in a warrior’s bones
Wrapped in leather and scars
And left to wander this place alone
And each sultry smile
Each passing light
Is a ticking time bomb
Before they’re gone for the night
I’ve never felt so alone
I’ve never felt so woefully alive
As I am here
Reading the years from gravestones
In silence, made heavy
By the weight of all
I hold back
I scream to the black
Dream of the day
Cry at the back
Of my own grave
I just want to find my way
Away
I just want all that I’ve given
To find its place
The price I’ve paid
For having the strength
To stand through the pain
To free a smile
From my own face
The toxins in my blood
Once trickled, now flood
The senses, I want to see
The light again, to feel I’ve done
What’s right in this
When the blood-soaked sun
Hangs accusing
And the clouds no longer offer
Protection
From this predilection for
Isolation, some subconscious endeavor
To keep my arms readied, emptied
For all that I might carry
For all that I might bury
Deep, what wears my fingers
To the bone
Is knowing I’ll never be whole
That this void rests in my soul
An eternity
It seems, or maybe it’s
Just me
And they’re right
I’ll be fine
Someday
But tonight, I bear the full weight
Of the spaces this world has carved
In me
Holding on to the weak smile
Of the streetlight
I wonder what these skies
Have cost me
I ponder where life
Might have crossed me
And will I ever feel
At peace
Along these empty city streets
Where so many have called my name
And yet
I cast my voice into these hollows and know
No one else can hear me
I am the lonely one who spares the dream
For you, that in turn
Such nightmares haunt me
That these streetlights dare
To taunt me
That I suffer
So you might
Sleep
And I’m left wondering if
My soul will ever know
That the muse dies alone
Known only in fragments and paintings
In poems and arrangements
Left upon the grave
Where I and my love sit
So enraptured by the fires we set
That we never slowed
Til all that was left of our hope
Was ashes.

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