After Life

Lifestream Advent Children

Hello, love: the possessor of my soul.
I collect these tears in Mason jars
In hopes of filling the empty basin that is my life,
So one day I may pour them in and create an ocean vast,
Like the one that swept you away from me.
Score have I pined—or at least that is how long it feels—
While you leave me stranded on this island,
Sailing your seven seas, living the fullest life,
Taking the capricious sea as your only lover;

But I shall tell you the truth of the afterlife,
For it is not as they say—temples of worship and realms of fire.
Our consciousness resides in our brains and our brains in our bodies,
Ephemeral, to return to ash,
So why should our souls take our identities with them?
No. Our souls, in fragments held by those we meet, love, and laugh with,
Become one; when we perish they form a collective.
So when we die, you and I, we will be together again,
And because of that, despite the constant tears, I can rest easy.



Drowning ocean

I wish I could wake up beside you every morning
So that I could look upon your face,
Natural and captivating;
I want to see the real you,
Without artificial machination
Or concealment.
I envy forever the man with such privilege
And scream into pillows because you have sold yourself short,
Sold your love to the first bidder who promised you company,
Sacrificing happiness, security, and trust.
I cannot criticize you, because I possess the same fear:
That no one will come to my rescue,
And my lungs will fill with the waters of hopelessness.
You saved me once, started to pull me ashore,
But as sure as your resolve to commit to self-care
The sands ebbed, eroding from these terrifying currents,
And swept me back into despair.
I can only now gaze at you from beyond the coast,
Unable to reach you because no matter how hard I swim
The currents push me back out to drift again;
And I am convinced this brine that fills my mouth as I sink
Is composed of the tears you cry over the life you settled for,
Oblivious that your sorrow drowns me further
Until the crushing black takes me,
Leaving me helpless,



This is the landscape of my soul,
Reaped of the famine that would set in motion the apocalypse.
The stars have waged war with the sky,
And where you see salvation and safeguard—
Perspective derived from the dilution of your spirituality—
I see the beginning of the end,
Because I am fallen, a demon,
And in this state my soul is trapped in
There is no perception of hope or rescue.
We are all doomed,
Because you and I were the link to life,
And with our chain severed,
This earth is condemned to perish;
And we, its saviors, our responsible for its destruction.
So the world can behold our savagery
As the slaughterers of seven billion,
And our hatred—
Bred from the love we possessed and tarnished—
Has rendered us Thanatos
To exist forever in this penitent Tartarus.

Frankly, My Dear


I’ve tried so hard to hate you,
But every time I muster a mote of loathing
Or contrive the basest slander against your character,
My tongue ties into knots or I stumble;
And I know that for all my wishing,
I could never bring myself to defame you,
Though it would be so much easier if I could.
You would have me fixate on the profane
To prove you’re worthless
(Maybe you think it would be easier that way),
But my eyes have stripped away the horrors
Your acts of depression, revenge, or apathy have wrought.
That’s not who you are—
I refuse to believe that—
No matter what they tell you;
They’re dead wrong, but they wouldn’t know,
Because those who don’t look beyond flesh
Have no compassion for others.
You’re the kind of person I would die for,
But to be honest I’d much rather live for you,
Stand by your side to help you up when you misstep,
And you could do the same for me.
But since I sit here, deprived of your glory,
I wring my heart like a wet cloth
To squeeze a drip of hatred,
And always come up short.
It’s just that your sins are trivial in light of your grace,
And I couldn’t care less how high they stack;
They won’t matter when we’re dead, anyway.


Iridescent black hole

What the hell could I say to you
That would illustrate the basest feeling
I hold in your regard?
I try to map out the perfect explanation,
Fit all the pieces together to make a whole
That is beautiful and moving,
Like a sweeping score that crescendos
Until the emotive climax that sends you to tears;
But every time I dare to utter a word,
The breath escapes my lungs
And I choke,
As though my subconscious recognizes
That to speak of you so inadequately
Is sheer sacrilege,
Because you are beyond labeling or possessing.
The immaculacy of your bravura
Devolves me into a nervous fit—
Worse each time than before—
For you are worthy of nothing less than unadulterated pleasure
And gifts even a monarch wouldn’t inherit;
But for all my posturing,
I am not the embodiment of grace or sanctity you are merited,
And to be anything less is to be undeserving of your majesty.



Aphrodite stares in envy
At the beauty with which you grace Olympus;
Greater even than a goddess,
You enrapture every eye with your presence,
Casting a shadow on the brightest lights in this world
Because your radiance outshines them all.
If Helen’s face launched a thousand ships
Yours would incite global warfare,
For no soul exists that would deny you
Or refuse any amount of sacrifice—
Even the entire world—
To be gifted with your love;
But it was your mind that captivated me,
And while it reflects your splendor tenfold,
Its depths are far beyond my reach,
So no matter how far I explore,
How much I learn of you,
It could never be enough.
In that way you have me rapt for eternity,
And I would have it no other way,
Because to be in the light of your goodness
Has no comparison on this Earth.
Every word uttered, every opinion shared,
May as well be the mandate of God,
Except I know you exist,
And never for a second could I doubt you
Or live a second in the darkness a free spirit
Now that I have touched your light.
Should damnation pursue me
For daring to even graze your brilliance,
Every second of hell would be worth it.
You are greater than happiness,
You are greater than heaven or hell,
You are greater than any god, real or fictional.
You are all and everything that matters.

Me, Vulnerable

Hand light particles

Here am I,
Vulnerable and exposed,
Because unlike the craven and weak,
I will not succumb to puerility—
Deluded by ego
Into believing there is strength
In shutting the world off,
Denying it my love and truth.
Revealing myself to her fully,
Whether in acceptance or rejection,
There is value in this soul’s existence,
And to repudiate that would be to blaspheme
Not only myself, but the spirits of those
Who would dare keep me in good company.
Even in the face of tragedy
The road to progress is singular,
And whether it cut me,
Bruise me,
Or hang me from the noose,
I will not lose sight.
Palm ever outward,
I will show them my own weakness,
My insecurities and fears,
And in the embrace of the few
Who would cherish me for all aspects,
I know there is a love that cannot be broken,
And when my moment is at hand,
I will die well because of it.

Pledge to the Orphan

World hands

Hello, world.
That’s what you are to me:
The axis upon which my psyche tilts,
The only sustenance for my soul.
There is no other light on this dismal earth,
Where monsters roam
And the living have lost their minds
To infections untreatable
Or stringency remorseless;
But you, my world—
You are that something special,
That substance to fill the hole
Torn so long ago in my heart.
Make no mistake:
Everyone sees you for greatness,
For their own ends,
Their greed and self-centeredness,
To provide themselves purpose
And take credit for your gifts.
I just want to see you smile,
To live, even in a land so bleak,
So debauched,
Because you are the sun,
The hope of the world,
And every day I wonder
How, after my vitriol and spite,
My gelid words to push you away
And turn your heart bitter,
That you still give me the time of day;
But more than that,
I fight to keep you near,
No matter the blood that will be shed,
No matter what lives are lost
Or if this world should descend into despair,
Because you, my world,
Are worth so much more.

Love and Tragedy Among the Stars

Love stars

Here I am, a helpless creature;
One-of-a-kind, wandering this planet alone.
This is how it’s always been:
Spending nights looking to the sky,
Wondering what may lay in the cosmos,
And traversing the lands—
My lands—
By day, tending to the gardens
In a solitude tranquil but colorless.
I could nary believe it
When, like a sword splitting the sky,
Your vessel bounded into my atmosphere;
I sprinted through forest
And waded through river,
Terrified and excited to discover
What had landed on my surface.
Perhaps it was because I had seen no life,
No other species breathing, walking, thinking,
But I was blinded by your beauty,
Rapt with the way you joined me,
Walking the gardens, nourishing the land;
Two creatures so different,
Aliens in one another’s eyes,
And yet at once hearing of the hostility
Of your volcanic home,
Full of ash and melted rock,
I could do nothing but offer you solace.
A lifetime spent roaming lands alone,
And come to find out, this was my purpose;
That moment I knew the years had been worth it,
And no longer did I look up to the sky
Or wander my lands in search and yearning,
For you were all I was looking for.
Dismayed I was, when you refused to walk any longer;
The serenity of this planet was not to your taste,
And despite my pleas, you would not listen,
But because I could not let you go,
Having broken into my world with such verve,
I left this land I had so loved
To venture to yours.
It was horrifying, and the moment our feet touched earth
Our skin was scalded and our lungs filled with smoke.
There is no life in your world,
No growth or peace or prosperity,
But perennial suffering and strife;
You were more alien to me then
Than you had been when I first saw you,
Absent of concept of extraterrestrial life.
But I knew I could never be happy,
Never be sane among the molten rock,
And so I fled back to my home,
Never again to know if you were safe,
If you had left your home again
In search of some place better,
Where you might thrive and heal.
All I know is I walk my lands every day
And search the stars every night,
Hoping to find your vessel
And the untouchable soul that sleeps within.

Not All Love Stories End Well

Butterfly suicide

I am the luckiest human alive
To have found my savior,
My redeemer,
The one who keeps me alive
And shows me this world
Is not always ugly,
That there is something to live for
Amidst the horror reels
And insipid greys.

Yet, as the years have ticked by,
I have felt your scorn,
I have seen your lows,
And I have realized
That in all your greatness,
You cannot satisfy my self-deprecation,
Cannot fill my voids
Or consecrate my insecurities;
And every effort I make
To use you as my medium
To transubstantiate my sorrow to joy
Has failed miserably.

What I could never admit—
Because it would invalidate me
And prove me the fool I know I am—
Is that I placed you on a pedestal,
Expected you to pull me from the maws of hell
Without ever raising a hand to grab yours,
And in fact, I jumped right back in,
So that no matter how you chased me,
You would never catch me;
I would run your feet bloody
And your lungs depleted of oxygen,
And still convince you
That you should have done more to rescue me.

I was the luckiest human alive,
But now I exist in your colossal shadow,
Shuddering, teeming with anxiety and despair,
Always dreaming of you,
Reaching for you,
And killing myself over and over,
For I know I had one chance,
And for however blessed I was,
I am damned sevenfold now.