Disclaimer

Don’t respond to me;
I’m just bored and
lonely and
a couple of minutes away from
disappearing.

Come on too strong, afraid that
to do otherwise will make you lose interest.
Waxing poetic, electronic pen pals are
what most become;
asking to meet has never been
my strong suit.

I can be kind, loyal, and thoughtful;
thoughtless, selfish, and bloated by my
self-importance.

Everyone has their own path to walk;
some get partners, others don’t.
Some covet being alone, while
others daydream of someone else.

Come along then,
if you will.
I promise I’ll be the
one who is hurt.

by Erik Shinker

White Lies

“Be honest with me,”
she lies;
her expectations higher than
I could ever reach.

Tact versus truth;
to tell what is, rather
than what she’d prefer, would
be a shovel of my own devising.

Save her feelings and
avoid another fight, or
foster conflict for the sake of
catharsis.

The thing of it is
I can’t even distinguish between
what’s real or fantasy anymore;
truthfully, I stopped trying
a while ago.

by Erik Shinker

The Worst

Cutting people off is
easy, especially when it
becomes a habit.
Having an exit strategy
becomes natural when
you assume.

A ticking clock, counting
down to the day they disappear,
or give you cause to.
A reflex with
not a thought of
any alternative.

Rough breakup?
Snip / Gone.
Missed expectations?
Snip / Gone.
Overpowering paranoia?
Snip / Gone.

How can someone love you
if you have one foot out
the door?
When self preservation has
become the goal,
can you really blame me for
expecting
the worst?

by Erik Shinker

Lifeline

I am throwing out a
lifeline, though
there is no guarantee.

A whisper against the dark, seeking
something more than myself.
This hope, though grave, and
sought in the wrong way, is
all I have left.

A grasping, gasping exhale;
one last shout before I sink beneath.
Unsure of that which I seek,
but certain of what it’s not,
I stumble through life on
severed limbs,
cauterized nubs.

I am maimed, by
my own hand; by
hers.
The deepest of wounds left to
fester and rot beneath
scaled scar tissue.

But in my deformity, I cast
this line once more;
my only faith
in us.

by Erik Shinker

Horror Story

I’ll tell you a story,
about a man and a woman,
whose souls never met despite
their complete surrender to each other.

They spoke every day,
slept entangled in one another;
their bodies pantomiming
what they were told by
their parents,
their culture,
and their society was
the ultimate goal.

Intimacy, forced through expectation.
He bragged to his friends about his
erotic escapades;
she doted over her lover’s ligaments
to lady and lummox alike.

They routinely posted online and
kept to a schedule; spreading their
manicured manure in search
of influence.
Tagging pictures of filtered flirtation,
they checked into hot-spots and date nights;
alert to become
the envy of all their
connections and
followers and
“friends”.

But they knew it was hollow.
They lived in fear of losing the game,
the race to the finish line of perfection.
They continued to feed on the
ugliest of emotions;
vampires leeching from
any unlucky enough to
come into contact.

These magnificent monsters
parade and display their
selfishness in a way  to
justify.
Don’t mislabel something
horrible as love.
Fear these creatures;
there is nothing
human
about them.

by Erik Shinker

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

Dating Apps

The beautiful youth, who cause
lust-infatuation, thoughts of
ravishing disappointment.

The elegant and seasoned, who promise
tender understanding, coupled with
subversive condescension.

They all begin to
runtogether,
molding into an
amalgam of silent responses.

A “conversation” killed makes
ghosts of one of us, and
the transition into this text-afterlife
eases with each disappearance.

Don’t explain yourself to me;
I have gotten along just fine, and
would hate to
have sympathy for you.

by Erik Shinker