The Hurting

I was searching for someone to
trace my history through
fingerprint and dermal imperfection.

We would read the scars on one another’s
bodies like Braille; telling
the stories of our hurts and
those who cut and carved into our memories.
Seldom forgiven;
never forgotten.

A blind hope we wouldn’t be doing the
same damn thing in a couple of
years with other lovers;
telling them about the
last time we allowed ourselves to
be vulnerable, and the
hurting that followed.

by Erik Shinker

The Cusp of Something Better

Constantly
we look for a way out,
a reason to leave,
the possibility of something,
we perceive to be,
better.

Overlooking our own
eccentricities, wishing for a
perfect match, we are
taken in by stories of romance;
trying to fill our
God-shaped hole with
books, and
stories, and
money, and
sex, and
any other possible vice.

Souls mated, through
providence or effort alone;
Until along comes someone,
we perceive to be,
better.

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 

 

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

Data, Mine

A built-in search bar for manipulated memories;
interconnected social media
producing profiles easily uncovered
(with the right information).

Digging through the past, with
digital shovel at hand, seeking to
uncover through the upset pixels:
are the pictures current?
Do we have mutual “connections”?
What do they choose to show the world?

But that isn’t the whole truth.

Hoping to find
something
that reveals whether
this is worth going through with;
if this is time well spent.

But that isn’t the whole truth.

Looking for some reason to drop the conversation;
I cowardly cup the possibility of off-putting
or contradictory information to my chest.

Hoping to find
something
to make it easier when
I lose interest and
decide to disappear.

by Erik Shinker

Spiraling

Is it really companionship I want?
When I start to sit and
contemplate what a relationship
entails, I feel myself lilt.

Being responsible for my own
emotional well-being can be overbearing at times;
watching over another’s could be too much.

Is this the male cowardice we hear so much about?
Unable to commit, worrying
too much
about things that
haven’t even happened?

Why do I continue this fruitless
endeavor? If I really met my
“dream woman”, would I have to courage?

Or would I simply sit and sulk,
masochistic in my love of loneliness;
forever trapped in this cycle of spiraling.
Yet I ask for a chance
as if I would even take it.

by Erik Shinker

With Me?

Impatience drives my mind through
paranoid possibilities; burdened by
radio silence.
Reaching out, only to
recoil at the thought of
your touch.

What I think of myself
doesn’t matter;
positive and negative are negated.
Stuck in my self-prescribed safe zone,
restrained by my own misgivings and
lack of experience.

What
does she think of me?
If she thinks of me at all.
And, if she did, how would she feel
about spending her time…

by Erik Shinker