I’m a sick man now
Gaining weight,

Laughing at dreams
Long forgotten –

Making peace with God,
Getting ready,
While my heart keeps
Skipping each beat.

There are things I’ll miss
When it comes –

Like dances
Without any music,

Swaying in place
Near our kitchen
As my wife’s bright eyes
Stare me back.

This distance between
Life and death
Feels far too short
For forgetting.

She holds my hand
Every morning
Asking if sleep
Offers rest.

I tell her that
Waking up close
Besides her warmth
Where she nestles
Remains what proof
There is meaning
Beyond lost years
Soon to pass.

Hope yields
Needing some cure.

It’s believing how pain
Provides chances
At enjoying short days
Though despondent
Such time will elapse
Without proof –

Only those hearts
Left behind,

Purposefully
Carrying these memories
Around like chains
We had given
On holidays spent
Staying home.

Perhaps love’s trade
Was implied.

Many wait years
Never seeking
Heaven’s good grace
Through redemption
Achieved by another
Who searched.

Miracles
Can eternally scar.

Happiness
Hurts after knowing
Soulmates find
Oddest moments
Always entering tales
As they end.

  • J. Pigno

What kind of life
Means silence
Out of worrying
How pain will follow –

The voice which fails
Despite pushing
Empty air
From heavy lungs?

I can’t confide
In my friends,

Or tell Danielle
How this feeling
Persists despite
Begging these doctors
For an answer that
Just never comes.

Andrew says
Hope is a scam.

Perhaps he’s right
Being angry,

At every god
Worshipped with money
Promising help
Soon to fail.

Things fell apart
So damn quick
As growing up
Piled on ignorance.

We watched our childhoods
Wither
Over families
Disputing their share –

Left behind
Sorting those lies
Around storefronts
And hospitals crowded
While viruses cursed
Generations
Long before masks
Were still used.

Home betrayed us all
Pushing work,

Believing such greed
Offered safeties
While allowing plagues
Full dominion
Like bigoted fools
They elect.

Happiness
Was freedom’s ruse.

Love rests
Alongside memories
Buried deep down
Below symptoms
Killing each joy
Fear has lost.

Getting better
Never will happen.

Hurt finds doubt
More appealing.

Faith sleeps
Since agony wakes me.

Accepting death
Matters more.

  • J. Pigno

Might I not
Ever wake up
And see you for
One last second –

Getting ready
For permanent slumber,

Or this darkness
Oddly content?

Will we still meet
After these dreams
Between what emptiness
Lingers –

Knowing pain
As our moment expires,
But oblivious
When it takes hold?

Such blackness
Comforts me since
That reminder proves
Life always passes
Into certain bliss
So elusive
Despite consciousness
Teasing with light.

She’s my reason
The soul stays behind,

Forgetting how pain
Often follows
Blank heavens
Behind both eyelids,

Returning from God
They induce.

“Better off gone”
Makes more sense
Since existing means
Facing their judgment –

Hearing sighs
Instead of assurance
By loved ones
Who misunderstood.

Sickness
Does crazier things.

Imagining death
Feels too natural.

Those voices
Are now fading quickly.

Remember me
While nothing exists.

  • J. Pigno

Outside
I saw an injured bird
To remind me
How life doesn’t value
What innocence thrives
Within nature
Knowing creatures
Will always get hurt –

Too often like kids
All alone,

Forced to survive
Despite begging
Each passerby
For acceptance
Or maybe just scraps
Left behind.

He didn’t want food
Or his nest,

Closing his eyes
Getting weaker,

Chirping in fear
After falling
And flapping those wings
Which can’t fly.

God wasn’t there
While we tried
Between painful breaths
Growing labored
To secure some help
From mere humans
Whose own rules
Were savage enough –

A mirror held up
By that chick

Now prey
Accidentally missing

Its parents
Still blindly accepting
Instinct more cruel
Than deserved.

Fellow beasts
Prove hopeful thoughts
Are illusions
Poetry dictates
When suffering souls
Create meaning
Where none exists
Before death –

Only agony
Coming up next,

Every sickness
Following pleasure,

Destructive needs
Earning nothing
But suffering
Being employs.

Faith endures
Despite sights
Burning these eyes
Gaining reason.

Believing my prayers
Might matter
Have kept this lie
Going strong.

  • J. Pigno

Why must I keep
Looking good
As if corpses
Could ever be pretty

And walking in shoes
Getting dirtied
Despite desperately
Scrubbing them clean?

These empty shells
Are mere clothes
Not meant for wear
Beyond living,

Expressing one’s soul
Through such fashion
While flesh underneath
Still corrodes –

That dirtiest trick
Heaven plays
Allowing us hope
We can style,

To steal charm away
After aging,

Feigning confidence
Covering more.

No purchase
Will eternally last.

Even houses break
Over decades.

All beauty remains
Sorely fleeting
Between moments
Spent chasing it down.

A gorgeous face
Surely sags,

But smiles endure
Seeking solace,

Enduring those years
Always trying –

Fallen ill
Yet sharing what’s theirs.

Let me just do
Something nice
Before dying so soon
As expected,

Like charity
Without intention

Other than love
Being rare.

  • J. Pigno

I’m the poet
Whose running from words
Because meaning
Can never be written,

Now sought
In an empty stanza
Just wishing
Each phrase were true –

That sentence
Only life makes
As intangibly pure
When experienced,

Soon finding these lines
Still escaping,

Barely seized
But sorely expressed.

Such inadequate terms
Are mere guesses,

Weak attempts
Speaking pretty defiance

Against God’s hand
Always pushing
Away from bliss
While it lasts

Since time will shove
Without proof
For belief
Through accurate language

Conveying one’s faith
Chasing moments
Upon this page
Ink relates.

We wait too long
Making gestures,

Rather than feel
Daily losses,

Like matters of joy
Passing quickly
Knowing sacrifice
Inches us close

Near purposeful dreams
Heaven holds,

Beyond simple verse
Failing swiftly,

Seeing art show fear
Behind beauty
By ignoring true death
At its core.

  • J. Pigno

I’m happy
With what I have,

Because even pain
Can be precious

And life itself
A hard lesson

About easy truths
We can miss.

It’s a journey
Across those lines
Made long
Between short distance
Our eyes will judge
Upon meeting
And bridging gaps
Feeling fear.

It’s facing lies
Without doubts
So faith endures
Despite limits
Only damaged minds
Swear are infinite
Yet knowing
Humanity fades.

It’s disaster
Followed by rain
While God pours hope
Shaping puddles
Meant for feet
Always splashing
Rather than sinking
Far down.

It’s poetry
Sparing each word
Among new friends
Speaking freely
Bounded by fate
Sharing eras
No soul will recall
Given time.

It’s my mom
Making favorite foods
Standing at sinks
In her kitchen
With kids old enough
To not be there
But choosing to stay
Cause they must

Out of love
Revered to a fault,
Like sacrifice
Savored from sickness –

Such ways real work
Had provided
At the cost
Of needing help quick.

It’s marriages
Held within halls
One house enjoyed
Over decades,

Echoing vows
Now eternal
As we realize
Home is right here.

I won’t go
Where you’re not.

I refuse to leave
What is written
Along these walls
Growing yellow
When portraits
Cover empty holes –

Needing paint
Not memories patched,

Learning greed
Is vacancy waiting
Beyond those gates
Seeming better

Abandoning days
We adored.

  • J. Pigno

I’ll die alone
Back here,

And to think
That’s so damn peaceful-

Beautiful
As some might call it,

Knowing silence
Will always agree.

This spot feels
Suitably cold,

Quite dim
Even with windows,

Yet noticeably large
From perspectives
Sprawled on the couch
Where I sit.

My hope’s too small
For this space.

My faith’s too weak
To remember

Why anyone
Suffering with boredom
Would expect their life
To just change.

I’m a jerk,
Rebellious but numb –

Idle as sin
Without meaning,

A failure whose poems
Count letters
Between periods
Stealing each breath.

I’m a weakling,
Deservedly caged
Inside these walls
Fear has chosen

Long before days
Became senseless
Carrying guns
To shoot germs.

What a joke
Expecting relief
Since verse
Abandons its meter
When talent has failed
Expectation
Forcibly pushed
Towards success.

Now let me choke
Upon dust

Floating through air
Getting stiffer,

Telling you all
There is freedom
Locked behind doors
Waiting long.

I’m writing down things
I want mocked,

Seen by those
Giving fingers,

Hurting sick men
Sharing nothing
But miseries
Fitting their guilt.

I’m not dumb,
Only nuts –

Purposefully
Seeming that stupid

Believing my heart
Will stop beating

Before authority
Kills me first.

Maybe my words
Deserve hate,

Lost like prayers
Never answered.

Penance in rooms
Become coffins.

I’m another fool
Clutching his chest.

  • J. Pigno

Maybe one day
I’ll go back
To the place that Mia
Would take me,

A home
Beyond fear or reason
Where expression
Was my only God,

And faith grew
From those words
Which she whispered
While heaven waited

On poetry
Telling her gospel
When reality
Censored it all –

For our muses
Never back down
As powerful tools
Of resistance,

Like angels
Personally witnessed
Now goddesses
Brandishing swords,

Stabbing at men
Always wrong
Who lose their voice
Over money

And abandon hope
Purely feminine
In creation
Nurturing souls

Since bloody hands
Merely tempt
But never secure
Better answers

Through work
With much competition
Thinking charity
Weakens each fist.

True strength
Means laying down arms
Until peace
Surrenders successes,

Returning hearts
Knowing better
Than doubting
Divinity’s touch.

So quit your jobs
Cause we must,

Pursue what’s good
Seeking freedom,

Begin again
Sharing these stories
Seeing artistry
Naturally comes

To lives whose lines
Matter most
Writing hymns
Alongside us sinners

Swearing honesty
Offers redemption
Found together
If spilling this verse.

  • J. Pigno