Waiting

As I lie and listen to
a song that once had
such specific meaning,
I regress.

The decisions I have made,
and those made for me.
The twisting, churning waves of
my life.

The roll of the die, clichés
coming to mind, and
possibilities pushed away by
inaction as much as
any action taken.

Infatuations that
fell short of
love.
Relationships crushed,
rationalized away.
So I continue waiting for
my “perfect partner”
to come along.
But is someone waiting
for me?

by Erik Shinker

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

Blame

Where does the fault lie?

When all our fault lines crash and
burrow against one another;
who is the victim and
the culprit?

Was it the money, spent
so freely on
topical trifles
intended to increase
self-worth?

Was it the intimacy; a
physical necessity forced
upon the other through a
yielded yearning misled?

Was it the fear that
brought them together? Fear of
loss, loneliness, and
the promised price
all
must pay?

Piecemeal crust cracks and reshapes,
creating as it destroys; but
when the upset dust and detritus
finally find fractured
settlement in sediment, was
something built
or simply
broken?

by Erik Shinker

Not to Dwell

It is best not to dwell on what
could have been.
Focusing on potential
passed on
does no good.

Look around; the world is still
beautiful in spite of
your pain. The sun
still shines, people go about
their days and though it may seem
callous at first, take comfort.

You are not alone
in this and all things.
The ones you love, who
love you, who
cherish you, are
here.

You have lost,
(perhaps more than the rest)
but
you have also
gained.

Feel the sun’s kind caress as it
kisses your shoulders; smell the
soft scent of
budding flowers; hear the
busy buzzing of bumble bees in their
never-ending need for nourishment.

Life goes on, and though pain is near
someday it will be far again. So
be weak if you must, lament the plans
we made, and cry in anguish against a universe
so unfair as this. It is earned; it is
yours by right.

But, remember that
Life goes on;
and it is best
not to dwell.

by Erik Shinker

Broken Promises

What is a promise? Is it
simply a wish one believes
will come true? Is there
any certainty?

What is it to be certain? Is it
to convince ourselves that we have
some knowledge of truth? Is there
any such thing?

What is faith? Is it
the whispered resistance of
a childless voice in the face of
all-consuming circumstance
despite the apparent knowledge that
providence
only foresees
misery?

What is the point when
well-wishes and
prayers for protection
f
a
l
l
short of
any reassurance?

What is a promise but
a lie laughed in the
face of
the deserving?

It was never a
promise; only ever
a fool’s hope.

by Erik Shinker

Color Me Calloused

This was all misconceived.
Your misspelling a disguise of mated
souls in possibility.

If you need space,
I’ll leave.
If you need
time, I’ll stop taking yours.
But

don’t expect me to wait.

Maybe I’m not meant to be partnered.
Not everyone is.
Perhaps it is better to
seek the solace of staying single;
forever in the perpetual quest.

I was looking for
an excuse, and
you gave me one.

I had turned toward the door, but
you beat me through it.

Let’s not pretend this wasn’t
foreshadowed;

you were
never
my Destiny.

by Erik Shinker

A Song for Marilyn and George

It has been ten years since my grandfather passed, and I cannot help but wonder at what he would think about how far I have come. So much has changed since I last saw him, and I can only hope I have walked a path similar to that which he wanted for me.

Perpetually Past Due

Grandparents seem to fall into one of two distinct groups: they can be unknowable entities that we are forced to visit through obligation; shriveled creatures who seemingly live on another plane of existence as relics of times gone by. Or, they can be loving mentors that support us and willingly give sage advice; human teddy bears who want to see us succeed in life and look forward to our accomplishments. I have been lucky enough to have the second type on both sides of my family. My maternal grandparents are still living to this day; this is my remembrance and tribute to the two no longer with us.

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