Futility

Gnawing maggots crunch and bite through
sinew and socket; their advance gained by
terminal termites whose mandibles made
short work of a mahogany coffin.
Tearing amid stagnant flesh and rot, their survival is
assured through our consumption;
we die so that they may live.

Is this the sacrifice preached from
countless pulpits? Is it a
maggot messiah who will rise on
the third day?
This is my flesh, my blood;
eat, drink and be filled.

Or are we losing our resolve at the
futility of trying to make sense of it all before
we, too, turn into
fuel for the feeding end?

by Erik Shinker

As If

I dream of sticky lips
in poised and yearning embrace.
Tongues teased to taste
a single drop of splendor.

Palms gliding in soft,
urgent pressure.
Hard and soft, diametrically opposed yet
natural in their coupling.

The words themselves causing excitement
from nipple to navel, through
thigh and ascended, blushing cheeks.

An ideal of intimacy with
partnership past the simplicity of
laying lovers.

As if such things could
be made manifest simply by my
wishing.

by Erik Shinker

Protect(Her)

Charmed by
some smiling swine, his
true intentions hidden behind a
wall of white veneer.

Drawn in by his
attentions, affection, the
simple fact that he
pays attention.

She ignores what they have said
about his past;
a liar,
a glutton,
a man who speaks freely with
the back of his hand.

But things can’t really be
as bad as
they all say.
The dirtiest hands, even when scrubbed,
show evidence of their eccentricities;
his spotless palms must signal the chance
for redemption.

She believes she can fix him,
bring forth the man she knows he can be;
his apologies have to have some truth.
He says some lessons have to be
learned the hard way;
this isn’t one.

Let her know she deserves
so much better.

Speak.

Remind her that
she is not alone, and
we will always care.

by Erik Shinker

 

If you, or someone you love, is a victim of domestic abuse, please reach out.

National Domestic Violence Hotline 

 

Latitudes

I caught myself creeping, again,
and was struck with a painful yearning for
a woman I knew in,
what seemed to be,
simpler times;
someone similar, yet
crafted in all the
ways I wanted to grow.

Some may have chalked it up to my
accumulated isolation, and the
ideals I placed upon her
ruby-ringed crown.
I knew better;
I had to.

And I wanted to rage at the unfairness of
our separation
as if this was the only obstacle to
our coupling.
Warmth poured from my chest at the
thought of holding her and
whispering these words.

But I only had a
cell phone and my
two thumbs;
it would have to do.

by Erik Shinker

Projection

Boast and brag through
false modesty;
post and paste images on your profile
accompanied by hashing tags
in your attempt to influence.

Dragged down by my jealousy,
I am no better.
While I wish your life was as
fulfilling as you’d have us believe, it is
only through spite.

We project ourselves onto others;
the aspects we wish and want,
whether to hide or flaunt.

by Erik Shinker

Heartbeat

I am a cliché,
I have pined after
the loss I have heard
sung as a lover’s lament.

I once felt that pain’s sharpness,
but now it is gone from me;
dulled to a numbing ache, a
vibration through my being
barely registered amid my breathing.

All I can do is tilt my head to
tip out the tears, and
tap my toe to the
heartbeat pulse of another
sad love song.

by Erik Shinker