Ben R.


The night breeze carries

A warm, lilting lullaby

A familiar melody

Sweetly swaying like the rocking of a toy rowboat

The trees are seemingly silent

Beckoning only to the wind, and softly when it does

The ferocity of years past, the wildness that once was

Is all but quenched now

If you listen closely

At noon on a perfunctory midsummer’s day

The slightest whisper of a sigh

Hesitantly begins to say

“Something more once lingered here

Bestowed upon the presence of these few yet fertile ferns

I wist at its memory”

“Wild woman

How unmoored you once were

Not a day went mundane

Nature basked in your name

Entranced by your fame

The graceful untame

Where have you gone?

Why, for shame?

My roots nail me down

To this wretched earth

For agony, I cannot search

For your untethered soul

But if the caverns in your labyrinthine mind

Remember our sweet, unparted time

My shade never shies away from your name

Rebirth our massacred roots

Tend to the soil of your claim”

And so the trees wallow in unrested pain

Sitting in solace, through rhapsodies and rain

I know not if the wild woman ever came

Upon her return

The motherland awaits


Sacred sweet and twisted

Sordid sick and sacrilege

It’s finally sinking in how

I fell for every trick

In the book of your disinterest

In the Holy Bible of the fairytales

The fantasies of what we could have been but never was

Lovely little lies

Lustered luminescent lachrymose

I can almost taste it disappearing on my tongue

The bayou is enraptured in the melodrama of the twilight sky

Yet the evening stars are shining like our childhood still exists

But underneath the limerence

Coming back down to the earth

There’s a scarlet streak snaking out the waters

Acid rains and gangrene rays of sunlight

Bursting into days

Covered up by the endless storm clouds, heat lightning

Furthermore, how the effervescence tricks us into thinking everything is fine and well

When there’s a dead boy in the bayou

And no one heard his screams

There is a girl and her boyfriend in the house behind the water

And she whispers be my Valentine to the crimson-colored raptures

So silently sadistic that I throw up all over Heaven’s gates

Wait for the currents of the swamp to wash my body on this earth clean away

And no one but the angels know about the dead boy in the lake


Every day the widow wakes and folds her origami up

With broken promises and pretty lies

Desperate I love yous and sordid goodbyes

Haven’t I given enough?s and everything is fine

Her grade school days have taught her all the perks of being a wallflower

Or, rather, what she likes to call her invisibility powers

So she folds her origami in the sanctimonious silence of the winds

Obeying cautiously so as not to provoke the graveyards on her hands

Sacred, sweet, and twisted

Sordid, sick, and sacrilege

It’s finally sinking in how

She fell for every trick

In the Holy Bible of disinterest

The manuscript of what could have been

With a man who no longer deserves her last name

The evening stars are shining as if her childhood still exists

But underneath the limerence, coming back down to the earth

There’s a scarlet streak staining the waters of the bayou

And for a nanosecond there is heat lightning, acid rains, gangrene rays of sunlight

But it fizzles out into a quiet midnight sky before the world can even cry

The widow is unfazed by her existence and the prospect that it could end

She welcomes the idea of its absence, nurtures it

As if greeting a childhood friend

Perhaps that is why when the lightning struck her square in the heart

The widow walked, genially, into its beckoning light

Into an apartment called death


I think that one of these days I might die

In a coffin of varicose veins

I think when I die, it will be quite the same

Of the life I am forced to lie

Your dagger cut deeper than flesh, than bone

The crush of my skeleton bleeds into cold concrete

And the news will call it a ketchup stain

Neat and tidy, clean me up with a bow

I am your daintiest flower

And one day, the news will call me

The boy who had it coming

Parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme

Which one am I today?

Which shard of glass in this mirrorball of disillusionment

Catches your fancy in this moment

This second

This fragment of time?

My wants are irrelevant

My needs don’t exist

I live to satisfy your titanium fist

Which will it be today?

What will I be today?

What will you make of me?

What will you take from me?

When will there be nothing left?

One day, when the news calls what’s left of me

A ketchup stain

Will you paint my gravestone

With the same shade

To remind this town of

The boy who had it coming?


I taste the sun and bask in the most resplendent sweet that has ever graced my tongue

The divine of the heliosphere, she who races to part my lips

Her flames melting into sugary syrup rushing into my veins

And it reminds me of when you once had done the same

When your electricity lit up the darkest hours of my days

And when the choir beneath your brownstone sang a minor key in rain

But the gravity of your supernova, our stars exploding, jolted me back into orbit

After your memory surfaces back, well the sun, it tastes like your coffee breath now

So I spit out the sun and Icarus just laughs in my face


I am crystalline and clear yet black and opaque

I am a multitude of things that the world will always take

Taking and taking until nothing is left

Never giving a care, until my last breath

One day, a grave will be dug up in my honor

And no flowers shall lay to accompany it

I think that the birds may feast upon my sorry carcass

For even they could bear it no longer

Someday in the future

Perhaps in a year, perhaps tomorrow

When I am shards of a person

Will you care?


Pollution distorts my imperfections

The stars seem like human bodies now

But more importantly, my each and every flaw

Is shrouded in the smoke and in the dust

Good riddance to what was

I’m trapped in the cobwebs of my mind

Stuck in the stickiness that binds

Like a knife, cutting through the edge of something bright

A heavenly light

In a fashion that could almost be seen as romantic

I panic

But you’re not even listening

And I realize that you haven’t listened since we met

And I realize, perhaps in the smoke within the sky

And in our lungs

You may have been a figment of the night

You may have been a figment of pollution


My mother cries at every movie

Through the introductory score and the end credits

Roll the empty film half-turned elitist

Even the sky has turned defeatist

If the movie is sad, she will cry in its tragedy

And if it is happy, she sobs for she is not the one living the fantasy

The days of euphoria are gone

It’s time to be an adult in a world that cares little for the paper plane dreamers

Two dollars in your pocket and somehow you make a life

But the world tells you to go back to a land which no longer can be yours

So which is true?

Roll credits and I turn to console my mother’s tears

But there’s nothing but a longing little sigh

And hopeless, loving eyes

So I offer a hopeless, loving smile