Dismissal

What’s past has passed, though
the knowing brings no comfort.
An overlapped coupling; heaven forbid
you should be alone.

When was the seed planted that grew this
carnivorous creature? What was the cause
of this candy-coated killing?

Dismissed with explanations told transparent;
“You’re such a great guy, but…”
“I’m just not ready for a relationship…”
“I still need time to figure out…”

I can respect that; however, it becomes
disingenuous after so many repetitions.
The law of averages says
something is wrong
with me despite
their insistence otherwise.

Ginger hair, bearded, and pale;
it seems you have a type.
You weren’t the first;
apparently, so do I.

by Erik Shinker

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Frustration

An unspoken barrier.
A pantomime in possibility
as I mentally rehearse
what it would be like to
take such a small step.

“Hello”
“Is this seat taken?”
“I’m such and such”
“It’s so nice to meet you.”

Introversion isn’t cute
when it becomes debilitating.
Am I afraid she’ll say no? Absolutely.
Am I afraid she’ll say yes? Even more so.

I understand the implication;
the effort and expense.
So, yet again,
apprehension gets the
best of me, and those
soft, quiet smiles are all
I have to look forward to.

by Erik Shinker

Fear Isn’t the Heart of Love

Life moves in cycles, much
like the seasons.
It’s not a new idea, but
that doesn’t make it
any less true.

So many false starts, tripping
before any traction
can be gained. Gripping
to one another against that
freezing abyss of loneliness.

We wrestle with
this imposed ideal, convinced
that since we have not seen the
societal signposts assigned to
each achievement, we are
somehow
doing worse.

Attacking the day,
setting goals,
hitting targets,
living our best lives;
badges pinned to a cloth-coated chest,
festering, decayed flesh falling
apart with the ticking of time.

Focus on the moment, or
fear of missing out will
send shock-waves through synapses
as we struggle to forget our own ends.

Online influencers would have us
preach endless optimism, or
shut our mouths and not ask the
scary questions.
Be affected by me, read
my story, be inspired
or else.

I may just be another
twenty-something trying to
make sense of it all; raging
against those deemed more
successful within the system.

But I’m doing what’s right
for me, which
may not run in line
with you. And,
frankly,
I’m proud of that
because the fear of
not becoming you, is
no fear at all.

by Erik Shinker

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

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