Crush(ed)

Each day I sit and
beg with silent plea as
she passes by my desk.

Speak to me, or
let me speak to her.
But I lack the
courage, the
will, the
want.
More afraid that
she’ll say yes
than no.

Each morning I look
forward to those stolen glances, the
shy smiles that could be chalked
up to simple manners.

I would like something,
more, but this is all
I deserve.

She deserves better than
to be hit on at work.
Besides, she would
rather speak to
another.

By Erik Shinker

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Downpour

Do not turn to me for
I can give no healing balm;
no soothing salve to your heartache.
Nor would I ask the same of you.

My words,
turned to gibberish by swollen tongue.
My ears,
stoppered by piercing plugs.
My eyes,
blinded by an unattainable visage.
My feelings,
filtered through apathy.

Skin thickened, though
not tough enough to keep
from fraying.

And yet here we lie; with
one another, to
one another, about
one another.

by Erik Shinker

Sainthood

Dealing in absolutes with
no thought of
humanity’s hypocrisy.

The daydreams of our
heroic yesterday have become
corrupted memories of
what was
never true.

Whose hand holds the
elevating pen while
simultaneously swiping through the
ugliness of ourselves
with the other?

Create an idol and
deny, deny, deny
when the reality would
contradict what our hearts
most want to be true.

Deify those we would see succeed, and
demonize those who oppose.
Lay the mantle of sainthood
upon the undeserving.

by Erik Shinker

Scars

Branching like tributaries of the
living river; they show signs of a
life lived,
though, perhaps not in the
healthiest of ways.

Some through accident,
others by intent,
tissue sewn together concerns itself
only with the healing process; not
the harm.

Markers of a moment;
skin tearing,
bloodletting,
release and loss.

We have a choice:
wear our scars like
the reminders they truly are,
or
deny ourselves in the lament for
a cleaner canvas.

by Erik Shinker

Pathways

Ours may not converge, but
we are each given one to walk;
patchwork wanderers lost in
their own way.

Some go hand-in-hand, while
others pad along

alone.

It comes easily for some,
something more like labor for most,
and even still there are those oblivious to
the universe’s guiding hand.

Buffeted between invisible walls;
yet,
how could I complain?
There is no other path to tread.

Even if an alternative existed,
would I truly trust to
something so significant?

by Erik Shinker

Power

With words unspoken,
we communicate through text.
Writing, typing, messaging.

A notification could lift the spirit,
a digital chime causes a
quickening heart and
releases adrenaline in a rush.

The hope of a
connection, a
companion, a
match.

Idle
with attention always
slightly
diverted;
waiting for
another chance at
love, or
lust, or
just something
to pass the time.

Relishing the possibility with
no thought
of reality.
Wishing away boredom with
daylight hallucinations
we would incorrectly call
fantasy.

We allow the
other
end of a chat to
determine our worth, while
the imagination runs
rampant
with the worst scenarios.

She holds the power,
and I both
hate and love
every second of waiting,
as I both
hate and love
myself.

And I check
and there is nothing
and I hate myself a
little more
and I love myself a
little less.

by Erik Shinker

Cumulonimbus Draconis

As a child I looked skyward
and saw the
dragons dancing in their
frightful fury.
Majestic, marble monstrosities
among the inverted sea
flashing in opalescent splendor

Such visions revealed the
magic in the world;
the Shape, and the
possibility.

The dragons are still there and
I see their silhouettes
(for a few seconds)
aged, emaciated mists
fading into a forgotten fog.

The memories mislaid remain,
familiar paths laid and trodden
But the visions belong to
the new generation;
the wyrms are theirs to tame.

by Erik Shinker