Reciprocation

Adrift in the wake of
where we were.
A severing by my own hand, but
the wound continues to
turn toward infection.

I reached out when you were grasping, and
pulled with all my strength
(or so I tell myself)
until I realized your gasping was
simply seeking attention,
awaiting the first to come along.

Sweat from the effort of keeping you aloft
soon ran through my palms,
breaking the bond I thought was blessed.
Again, I was
wrong.

Your rasping entreaty for help,
a well-practiced wheeze,
drew me into those welcoming arms.
If only I had seen your talons,
maybe then we could have
avoided all the
violence.

I poured myself into you,
made you feel whole again.
My warmth pulsed through parched arteries
as your succubus lips
drained and leeched my
Truth.

Were you ever real; or was
this just some imaginary muse
I conjured while
distraught in my delirium?

I only wish I could pay back all that
you stole from me.

by Erik Shinker

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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