Caresses

We met with an earnest urgency
and each time our lips touched, a
little more of our time
slipped away.

It wasn’t
Lust, but
it was carnal.

It wasn’t
Love, but
it was splendor.

It was
fleeting, but
it was worth it.

by Erik Shinker

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Selfishness

I am fixated by
the way your laughter
explodes despite your
half-hearted attempts to stifle;
I would like to be the cause.

I think of how your smile reaches
your eyes; creasing in such a way
that only increases your beauty, your
honesty, your
splendor.

I want to sit and share
myself; to learn
about you.
Where you come from,
how we are similar, how
we are different.

I daydream of us speaking,
but each time we draw near I
am flummoxed, confounded,
and all the other synonyms listed
in the thesaurus.

There is a flurry in my chest at
even the thought of your proximity.
I want to impress you, to find out if
these feelings are just flattering fancy or
if the connection I feel truly exists.

I have been fooled before; attraction
can be such a burden to bear,
especially when it is carried alone.

But I am selfish; or
have you not
been paying attention?

I haven’t thought about
what you want;
not even once.

by Erik Shinker

Age

Comfort in an engulfing valley.
Closeness, with the option of escape.
Warmth, with the choice of
chilliness to cool down.

Laughter, from
the belly of an aging man is
no less joyous a sound than
a baby’s cooing giggle.

Curled into a
fetal ball of safety; the
protective separation of
isolated existence.

Nothing can be
taken away when it
has already been
sacrificed for another.

by Erik Shinker

Infatuation

Cerulean eyes glare with
passion. Bleached threads
dangle from a
sun-kissed scalp.

Intensity holds a
stare atop a soft smile
which hides a full, toothy
laugh inside
for fear of
becoming vulnerable.

Could I ever
satisfy? Could I conjure
that smile?
Have I merely formed
my own idea of
who and what
she is?
I make assumptions of what
she wants, how
she sees the world, what
makes her truly
special.

by Erik Shinker

Scapegoat

I look at beauty and
can think only of
what I lack.

How selfish I am to
believe that I could give
nothing, and simply
take advantage.

She could never love me?
No, that’s not
the truth.

It isn’t fair, to put
so much of
the blame on
her
when my own belief that
I am unlovable
is closer to clarity.

So I take a step back,
vanishing into electronic ether;
never to be heard from again for fear
that I may hurt her feelings, or
she shatter mine.
Rejection is easy; building
something successful
is not.

by Erik Shinker