lightening bugs

Before hands lit up so brightly in the nighttime
Holding over-sized lightening bugs
Constantly poked and prodded by intensely productive thumbs

Before worth was measured by smiles in pictures and
How many people witnessed your happy

Before unborn children were made famous,
Posted in black, blurry pictures for all to see
Over and over and over until we all cry

Before the beginning and the end of communication

Before all that, people did not walk around
With black bags under sleepy eyes
With half of their senses blocked off, muted
People did not wince at the sound of silence and boredom
Or the idea of connecting with an actual human face to face
Or the release of raw, real human emotion that meant something

But now we hide
In the dark shadows of solitude
In the shade of our perfectly-polished fake lives
In the closet, away from the others, all by ourselves
Stroking over-sized lightening bugs like they are the only things
That can give us light

As if they are the only things that can save us.

They can’t.

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timeless

time stopped; no one aged; we were teenagers without caution.

while millennials looked at their phones, hardly glancing up,                                        we

looked at the stars and twirled about and danced. we laughed at

how easy it was, how found they were, and how beautifully lost we                       were

we figured out the secret; in those moments none of us ripened

we were flower children listening to the Beatles, we were                                           ageless,

we learned how to stop time before time learned how to stop us;

i thought to myself, this is life, I can feel every inch of my body,                                  we

are on fire, and we were. as the blaze engulfed us, we realized

there was no reason to be afraid, we could still breathe; we                                        were

unbeatable and the flames were beautiful anyway; it wasn’t until

later that I thought of people that didn’t know how to be                                             timeless,

people strapped to the idea that their lives are only valid through

the eyes of others; people that don’t dance, aren’t silly; people                                                we

pitied, for their bodies would only rot and become lifeless, too many

years too soon; void completely of creativity and thirst for life, they                        were

raised with the false notion that the only people who can see magic are                                children.

the point.

i’ll never understand
why the loud makes me want to cry
why labels in grocery stores make me nervous
why I feel alone in crowded rooms or
why my bed feels safer even on perfect days

i could tell you theories
simple guesses about predisposition or childhood
hypotheses I’ve come up with entirely on my own
on quiet nights when the stars smother me and
no one is around to reassure me that I can breathe

i could blame my parents for fighting when i was small
my mom’s mom for choosing alcohol over her or
my dad’s parents for arguing in front of him
i could blame my grandmother’s mother for using
violence rather than love or my grandfather’s dad for
deeming him unworthy or his parents for focusing on war

i could blame the boy at the lake house who went too far
the person who taught him it’s okay to go too far
the person who taught the person before that and
whatever son of a bitch set it all in motion

when I exhaust the long list of people, I could blame
the stars in the sky for making me wonder why i exist
blame the universe crafting this raging ball of chaos
blame God for being as forged as Santa on a sled
blame people who believe in miracles when in reality
some people get lucky and some people don’t

but then I’d be missing the point
which is, there is none
no rhyme or reason or person to blame
no clear cut ‘he did that’ and ‘she did this’
there’s only a planet with people doing the best they can
people being shit on by pigeons and stomping on ants
with no motive other than we are small, so very small

maybe I’ll never know about the loud noises and
why I feel so lonely; maybe it doesn’t matter
one day, a girl might blame me for the things
I did to her, or to her mother, or to her grandmother.
I hope if she does, she stops to realize that I love her even if
I hurt her, and I’m thinking about her in these moments
so far before she even exists, which has to mean something

so maybe people, with their flaws, just don’t know
anything other than crazy, fearful love;
having been pushed out into the world,
told to do the best with what they have
without much to go by. we all seek answers
only to come back empty handed, for there are none

but I’ll tell you this:
I’ve never met a human void completely of hope
I’ve never met one that didn’t love someone or
something, even if it is whiskey or cigarettes.
regardless of what makes us tick,
we all work towards better things;
even with restless souls and twisted minds,
we know hope and love and maybe that’s the point