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No Oasis For Old Orchids

Our relationship was like the orchids I forgot to water for months.

So beautiful and full of color and life and potential for growth in the beginning; but I forgot to water you.

And like my orchids the sun took you away.

Burnt up and burnt out.

I stayed inside for weeks at a time after that.

Watering my liver down with an endless stream of alcohol, while I talked with my shadow about how badly it wished to be cast at my feet in the sun once more.

To run through the sprinklers and shower storms.

I finally made it outside again, but I sit in the shade.

I sit and smoke

and tremble.

I am not a religious man but for some reason I found myself in a prayer position.

My hands pressed flatly together against my lips, pointed towards the sky, dissecting my face in a vertical fashion.

My thumbs pushing into my lymph nodes.

Staring at the garden as I ponder if this was a taught position or instinct.

Somehow it felt right.

Like biting your nails before a job interview, or pacing in the waiting room of a hospital.

I play in the dirt in hopes to dig up some pieces of me that got burnt up in our drought.

I shook.

My DTs were acting up again.

Better get something to water them down.

I pushed my lips to the soft tops of my knuckles on my now balled fists.

Like at least I won’t let go of me. But I would.

I then pulled my head back and separated my fused fingers.

Even I let go of me.

 

We grew & loved within a carnal connection;

until the weather changed for the worse and withered.

My heart. My art. My blind and trusting romanticism.

Everything I worked for

 

I was doing alright before I met you,

and now even I let go of me.

“Brackish;”

To be clear and unclear at the same time 

I created you in my basement. 
I made your hair out of recycled violin strings. 
I made you breathe with what is left of my screams. 
I made your hands out of old wooden things… 
I found them on the street.
I made your face. Your identity; with broken shards of glass from a mirror I broke when I was 17. 
I made your eyes out of marbles that looked like the oceans southern beach in a hurricane. 
I made your tongue out of the words that I drooled on my pillow whilst sleeping in a dream. 
I made out with you. 
I made you.
I made you up. 
-Joshua Tool 07/07/17

“Bloodline”

The click of the burner raised my ears.

Smelling the sizzle of browning butter.
Coloring each slender bead of rice with a spice that only the South knows as home.
More splash and turning with a wooden spoon.
How can I remember things that I haven’t experienced with this array of sensations?
Nothing like a home cooked meal.
Our memories retract as our stomachs fill.
You taught me soul:
Love.
Warmth.
That a family meal wasn’t just something to pass the time.
That it is re-energizing.
Cathartic.
A social phenomenon.
As we taste together.
As we share our days.
We are one.
We are love.
I sparked the second burner.
And asked you for the salt.
This is everything.
I love you.
-Joshua Tool 06/27/17

“It’s Kind Of Like Drowning, Only To Know You Will Be Resuscitated” 

Do you remember the first time we saw each other outside of work? 

I brought you to the everlasting DIY venue, The Flux Capacitor.

You wore a green belly shirt and black puffy oversized parka.

I was so scared to touch your hand but I wanted make sure you were safe next to the pit. 

I failed. 

The tide pushed the bodies and you were slammed into the wall. 

I felt so bad.

But you took it like a champ.

That’s the first time I knew I loved you, yet was still scared to touch your hand.

This was the purest form of how we were or knew each other. 

Now we hate each other.

Well, I assume you hate me.

It’s hard to find hate in my memories. 

Yet I try to wash your name out of my mouth.

I will probably be losing moments of my life very soon. 

Like trying to write on a blackboard with a pen. 

Soon I will find myself doing push-ups as I think about this moment. 

Where have we come.

I am still a creator.

I am still to overcome a task of the relentless daytime tv of prison. 

And I will.

And I don’t care where you wind up, as long as you are happy and the kids are safe. 

I will keep this with me as something to pass the time and smile.

And cry.

If only words were made of clay, I would smash the mold and reform where we have come.

Mabye they’ll have clay in jail. 

-Joshua Tool 06/16/17

Snake Oil Salesmen

And then finally we became…

You read the walls with the polished tips of your fingers as you floated down my stairway in an ankle length cotton skirt that poured and flowed over my bedroom stairs like a black and gray striped waterfall

Meeting your lips and shoulder blades at the base of the room in an embrace that we pulled in and held tight like it would be the last

Quickly after making only moments of small talk we jumped each other like animals that could waltz

Connected at the lips and waists we danced. Pacing back and forth on my cold linoleum floor, trying to pull each other as close together as our muscles would allow

I then palmed your chin and fell with you into my bed, gravity now allowing us to fall even closer together

Frantically breathing and smashing my nose into yours with the pivots of our kisses

My nose began to bleed

I pulled back to see that I had smeared blood on your cheeks

I embarrassingly apologized and you told me that it was okay

You’ve always had a way to make me feel okay and comfortable

Then in our slight awkwardness; I licked my thumb and proceeded to wipe the blood from your face, eventually just kissing and licking it off in the heat of our continued passion

You took me under and pinned me to the mattress as you playfully scratched my chest above my shirt

I kept pecking at the distance of your face

I flipped you back over and clenched your shirt into fist shaped balls at your shoulders, moving back and forth, over and under your shirt until I flipped your t-shirt up to your ribs and kissed ever inch of your stomach

Breathing heavy and pulling your shirt up the further my lips made way

Running my hands under the smooth small of your back as I cupped your ribs

I took my shirt off to make you feel more comfortable

And soon after more playful clutching and passionate scratching you were down to your bra and skirt

I kissed your shoulders up to your neck, behind your ears and back to your unimaginably soft lips

I pulled your bra straps over your shoulders and down to your waist

Pressing our naked skin together I slid my hand up your arm and spread your fingers to fit mine

We had never taken our eyes from one another’s

We had created an axis through our pupils without ever losing balance

As we continued the push and pull of our lips, I became lost in the most brilliant and truthful blue of your eyes

I smiled while still mid kiss and you curled your red polished toes and curved the bottoms of your feet as you wrapped your legs behind the back of my knees

Your legs gripping at the back of my thighs as your skirt fell higher

I grabbed your knees and ran my hands up and down your exposed legs

Working circles with your warm tongue and pushing our pelvises into the memory of the mattress

We’d never lost focus of our eye contact axis

Then organically, we traded “I Love You”, griping each other’s hands and legs to the point of later bruising

I took your hair behind your ears, continuously combing it as we had fallen onto our sides

You laid your head on my chest and I bridged my legs over yours as I put your cold bare feet between mine

I closed my eyes and pictured every moment

Remembering December; when we would sneak off into the back office of the break room to stare at one another for 15-minute intervals while we gripped and massaged each other’s hands

Then later after months of our forced silence we found each other in the parking lot of your favorite coffee house

This became the place of our first kiss

It wasn’t long after that I began to visit you every day for lunch at your new job

It was across town and I was without a car so it made it challenging, but I always found a way to get to you

I’d either borrow a car or took a cab

We’d walk up and down the neighborhoods and converse of our mornings

You worked at a school at this point so you always had interesting stories about the silly things the kids did that day

I remembered everything like a flash

Like what you’d see right before you die

I think my favorite moment is when we were both leaving your work and you made a long pause at the stop sign of the local neighborhood

You opened your door and ran back to my car. As I rolled down the window you moved your head inside and kissed me three times before returning to your SUV

I called it the “Chinese Fire Drill Kiss”

You told me you loved the way my smoky breath tasted

Which was wonderful because I was quite self-conscious about that since you were not a smoker

Moving forward into my memories I saw you dance for me, reckless and uncompromised

It was beautiful

We chose songs as you sat on my lap in my swivel chair

I picked you up an spun you around

You wrapped your arms around my neck as your hair splashed around and tickled my face

And…

…And back to where we lie

Cradling you, I opened my eyes to see you had closed your eyes as well

We had both been running off merely hours of sleep for days, or even weeks from our inability to ever truly end our conversations

I continued to brush your dark burgundy hair with my fingers and tilted your head to kiss you

I looked into your eyes again to see that you had begun to cry

Soft tears fell as I kissed your eyelids and told you I love you and that everything would be okay

But it wasn’t

The doorbell rang late that night and this would indeed be the last time we’d see each other

I still close my eyes hoping to open them and see you with your head on my chest

I remember everything like a flash…

The kind of flash you’d see right before you die

Joshua Tool – 03/20/13