And after

Vibrations in measuring cups

form salty sips that fall

on lips full of thoughts

now stifled upon the clock

and its heavier arms

that move, move harder

than smiles, the raising glass, and song –

better at marking time.

And where am I, in this

stripped within myself

for little more

than a hit

felt briefly on the knoll

before we tumbled like children

down the meadow hill

that was, could have been

but for the neuron fed

punches at the maw

opening upon ourselves.


Jarrod Bates


The Leprosy of Loss

“It fell from my lips like a broken arm,
Words like leprosy like drift wood
Piece by piece they float
A car crash in my mind and I can’t remember what it was..

I feel like an amputee, every time I look to see,
There’s nothing left, it’s gone
But I still mourn the leaving, still embrace the grieving…

Like winter it comes back to remind me of the cold
I breath a sigh of relief when I think it’s there
I breath a sigh of relief, but I know I’m wrong

The sun circles in the sky, like a lazy hawk,
Preying on the weak,
I pray for a week in the dark in my underpants
Mourning the parting,
I can’t digest it, it gets stuck like a coin in my large intestine,
Wiggling it’s way through the maze of my innards…

And every time I see lips smiling, my eyes spill over with tears,
Sometimes I gain control like a weir,
And the river is under my domain once again,

Sorrow is all of me, like my skin, it glistens all around,
threaten to drown me, smother me,
It clings to my bones,

But I am crippled by the loss, wheelchair bound where once I ran like a deer,
Tentative toes tap the hard ground, to see if maybe I can even walk again,
And when I collapse, I want arms to hold me….”


A Drink…

every night I go to sleep
to the sound of her prayers
whispered so sweet
wiping the tears off her cheeks
as they fall like rain in a thunderstorm
release the years of pain
with a drink to stay warm
and a drink to hide
a drink to pass out easily
and alone at night
trying to find
a same old familiar feeling
but it’ll never come
it’ll never come
its gone

Nick Grammaticos