Rosebud

I doubt
This counts
As a poem,

And I’d hardly
Even call it
A tangent

But an expression
Of fear
Come the holidays
Where apparently
At Christmas
I die –

Each year
Despite these efforts

To the point
Where I’m locked
In my bedroom,

Staring at lights
Amid snow drifts
Telling me
The end is beneath.

Fated white
Like the storm outside,

Down a tunnel
Pure as oblivion,

Coating worlds
With blanketed
Innocence
While the television
Plays for itself.

There’s a child
Holding his sled.

I barely
Notice its symbol.

“Rosebud.”
A line from a picture.
Or message which agrees
I’m right.

Why does it keep
Appearing?

What is it
Trying to tell me?

I can only think
Of their money
And how everything
Here
Has a price,

Yet recount
Our most precious of days

In those sheets
Where time
Doesn’t matter,

As the scent
Of sex and peppermints
Wafts from the pillows
Below –

Our heads
Gazing deep into stars

Letting eyes
Watch souls
Become moments

Catching love
Contained
Between bodies

And forever
That’s fear
Letting go,

Since clocks insist
We are shortened

By the fact
She might pass
Without warning:

My partner
Whose vow
Remains sacred
Despite the unknown
Of her health.

Should I seek
More doctors
Today?

In truth
They’re apparently
Useless,

And concerned
With cash
Under tables

Or names
Which make them
Feel good.

“Rosebud.”

Not sparkling gifts.

But presents
Of wealth growing wasted.

An emotional
Fade from existence
Towards adulthood
Stealing our rings.

Perhaps my tale
Is noir,

And a black and white reel
Of misfortunes,

Chasing freedoms
Suffering silence
Within monochromatic
Scenes.

Now I shut the film
For some rest,

But I live each image
That’s missing,

Learning heroes
Are inevitably
Victims
Unless they are
Saviors first.

Can you help me
Make art once again?

Before stopping
This charade entirely?

Behind walls
Glowing bright during evenings
Deeming sleep
A soft coffin
Of dreams –

A vocation
Shy behind woes

Though appropriately
Named
Our obsessions

Claiming lungs
Speaking out
Against fallacies

Selling titles
As certain success.

Like the kind
I always have envied

Still sitting here
Waiting on
Movies

Explaining
Symbols through subtext

To show me
How heaven
Is real.

I’m sure hands
Sift verse
Through their calm

Dwelling low
Where censors
Are quiet

And the meaning we seek
Gets its image
From the depths
Of experienced code –

Reassembled
While memories breathe

Since my heart
Must skip
Till tomorrow,

Losing air
I’ve learned to abandon

Wishing mom
And Danielle
Were just safe

Beyond my stage
Dimming soon

Or their stories
Lost
Among illness

Now suffering
Without causation

But penance
They’d strangely
Deserve.

How my wife
Will gasp
When she talks,

Or beg for cool
While she showers

And clench her heart
Beating faster

Finding pain
Takes joy
To its grave.

Gaining love
Means choosing disaster

With plans
I’ll never
Acknowledge

By a God whose gifts
Insist balance
Temper miracles
Too good
To be true.

All the writers
Who bleed much better –

I’m happy
You’re always inspired.

But mediocrity
Beckons me daily.

It’s hard to accept
When you suck.

Like Citizen Kane
I’m alone –
Haunting castles,
Uttering nonsense,

Unless
Trying hard
If you listen

Hearing legacies
Misunderstood.

“Rosebud.”

Nobody cares.

Only hindsight offers us solace.

Peace is imagining reasons
we provide by deluding ourselves.

  • J. Pigno

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