I may die
From an airless lung
Because broken hearts
Just aren’t special

Or express this fear
Feeling breathless
After trying so hard
With these words,

To convey such truths
They’ve denied
While yelling out loud
Every symptom
That nightmare shell
Called a body
Throws at its soul
Trapped within –

When the phrase
Means no coming back
After pain agrees verse
Left unspoken
Is my wish deep down
Never witnessed
Or dreams unfulfilled
Causing grief.

Some hurt
Manifests new grace,

Finding solace
Beyond comprehension
Where God awaits
Hiding those answers
Between sentences
Humans can’t bear

If believing
Despite losing faith
Against doubtfulness
Art should inhabit,

Relieving restraints
On emotions,

Using passion
For bolstering odds

Each anxious thought
Should engage
Thinking sickness
Fate lacking poems –

But real beauty
Defies suffocation,

Still screaming them,
Winded and all.

  • J. Pigno

I never really knew
My grandma
In the ways that my cousin
Experienced,

Growing up next door
Where she waited
Each day for him
To come home from school –

Yet perhaps that’s why
There was tension
When she died last year
Without warning,

After living so long
Fighting sickness
And leaving her mark
Through such strength.

Those perceptions changed
Through persistence
Once hidden by lies
Behind reasons
Our elders believed
Hearing legends
Where perspective itself
Became lost –

Agreeing how vibrancy
Echoed
Like colors in time
Drawing pictures
Their existence shaped
Painting memories
Lacking shyness
While confidence shined.

Then a dream was shared
Between children
Who remembered days
Very different,

Being young men now
Trading answers
Over words which spoke
Beyond death.

He asked me
If these stories were true.

I replied, “All fables are fluid,
A relative scene based on wishes
Our love can destroy
Playing feelings
This discussion implies
Mean too much.”

Together,
We laughed despite tears.

Whoever seemed right
Didn’t matter.

Staying close
Is far more important.

Some questions
Still best remain myths.

  • J. Pigno

I watch videos
Of smiling faces
Between bleeding gums
Still forcing
Some inspired speech
Less genuine
Than any more tears
They could shed –

Mere reflections
With flesh on bone

In the mirrors that lie
Behind cameras,

Avoiding each crack
By denial,

Reassured
This life is a dream.

Such happiness breaks
Overnight
As an x-ray glows
Bleeding halos
Through those dark rooms
Highlights tumors,

Finding spots
Where God didn’t miss.

He laughs at hope
While we wish
Tomorrow may hold
Better answers,

Seeking miracles
Stemming from science
Becoming lost faith
Now replaced.

Even doctors
Experience fear,

Discovering truths
Unexpected,

Worried how death
Never chooses
But eliminates all
Nonetheless.

Only patients
Suffer with bliss,
Overjoyed
Upon death’s diagnosis –

Demolished,
Yet oddly delighted

Beyond bodies
Their answer awaits.

  • J. Pigno

Relief 
Is a privileged blossom
Whose petals
Absorb little water 
From the vase which sits
Under windows 
Since assurance
Becomes each sun –

That position 
Avoiding all rain
But a human touch
Spilling drizzles 
Out of earthen pots 
Hailing showers 
For seeds 
Still sprouting their truth,

That sullen spout 
Shedding tears
Upon precious herbs 
Nearly budding
Before those leaves
Dry up slowly
Knowing shelter
Means staying inside 

And absorbing light 
Behind glass 
But observing growth 
From high dormers 
Above raw land 
Never thirsty 
Always wondering
How soil should feel. 

Every flower
Our safety ensures 
Means protecting life
From its freedoms 
When worlds outside 
Keep on changing
Despite what fear 
Cannot cure  – 

This reality 
Handed by God
Just to wither away
Along counters 
While morning sings
Far beyond them
Where nature demands 
Hanging vines.

  • J. Pigno

Have you ever touched glass
Made of ice
Letting windows clear
Show visions
Whose sights outside
Prove special
During Christmas spent all alone –

Frigid words
Raw mornings confess
Beneath blankets silently waiting,

Chilly mountains
Capturing stories,

Though glistening bright
Despite clouds.

These are the living snowdrifts
Housed in my dreams
Drawing angels
Now creating their silhouettes
Patiently
Before winter’s breath
Should warm –

Some fleeting sense of forgiveness,

Another wish entirely,

Where shapes stay formed
From memories
Trailing footsteps
Regretting their path.

I’m aware how
Winds die down
Before any lost soul can remember
Those contours held
Between blizzards

Yet cerrainly blessed
While they last.

This beautiful scene may fade,

But not when hope
So gentle
Still rests upon grass that listens
To its God soon
Uttering grace –

His whisper welcoming cold
For our burning lungs
Left wanting
One more chance at expressing
A poem like flakes
Which fall.

  • J. Pigno

Some devils
Can appear in shells
Which resemble
Those familiar faces

Whose presence
Deceptively comforts
To engage our sins
Left exposed –

Spiritually weak
As they say,

Believing those hands
We have shuffled,

Spread across minds
Before sleeping
And dreaming of cards
Plotting death.

Yet still,
Fate always proves hard
While praying each day
How things mustn’t,

Only vague enough
For excuses
But denying real faith
All along –

Needing answers
Encouraging fear,

Letting doubtfulness
Dictate tomorrow,

Filling life’s gaps
Through clairvoyance
Or perhaps
Another nightmare instead

Where uncertainty
Becomes begging beasts
Soon smiling back
Sharing knowledge
Demanded by hearts
Gravely wounded
Gaining trust
No religion can earn.

I’m aware
How eagerness fools
These desperate minds
Always cheated,

Being guilty myself
Seeking heaven
Between images
Featured on decks –

Pretty pictures
Offering tales
Despondent souls
Often wonder
If their lies unveiled
Contain solace
Or prove judgement’s
Inaccurate wrath.

As a kid
One priest said it best –

“Testing demons
Will offer us answers
God never wants
Despite wishing
That advice from beyond
Weren’t true.”

  • J. Pigno

I find meaning
In narrow spaces

And the holes
Where darkness settles

Like silhouettes
Blanketing corners
So comfortably drab
And confined,

As shadows parade
During nights
When emptiness shapes
Certain figures
Reflecting our own
Without feelings
Or defining lines
Never drawn –

Lacking plans
But colorless forms,

Stealing proof
From faithless existence,

While these breathless husks
Suffer madness
Attempting this life
Once again.

Being blessed
Is getting too cramped,

Still begging for words
Silence wishes
Was crying those names
Barely uttered –

Becoming what peace
Truth ignores.

Under blankets
Nothing can hurt
Since blindness bears
Sullen graces,

Like death
Before candles extinguish
Behind both eyes
Fearing light.

Things burn
How passions will change,

Hiding further dreams
Gently crawling,

Towards sad relief
Slowly choking
On damaged minds
Hiding wicks –

Such gifted sparks
Unrevealed
Between blankest walls
Growing tighter,

Under dusty shelves
Pain has covered
Holding burning books
Far beneath.

All smothered flames
Fade away,

Though some endure
Dancing wildly –

Leaving ash
Despite suffocation,

Lingering still
Yet enclosed.

  • J. Pigno

No I’m not
Missing a beat –

It’s this bad case
Of cardiophobia
Tugging my breath
Like loose drawstrings
Ready to entangle
These lungs,

While imagining
Daylight deceased
And nighttime
Fate’s only gamble

For another sleep
Choking on demons
Becoming what fear
I’ve abused

While pursuing hope
In some dream
Or discovering books
Between pauses
My heartbeat throws
Skipping moments
When science prevails
Over God.

Before faith
There was merely disease,

Once binding up nerves
Feeling worried

That soon each line
Will expire
Like formless shapes
Left behind –

Those chances
Appearing too vague
Where rhythms
Disrupt every silence,

Still caught
While knots well-established

See me running away
Breaking ties.

By pulling both ends
I’m undone,
Obeying the threads
Now unraveled-

Being ill
Means pulses write poems
Knowing art
Could claim any gasp.

  • J. Pigno

I only
Ever wanted attention
Because all that exists
Is indifference,

Or the hate
Of becoming familiar
With a person
Whose love feels unfair.

That’s how our hope
Slowly fades,

Through days spent
Gazing at ceilings,

Swearing something
Beyond this fixation
Could alter man’s fate
Being fixed.

God lies
If death doesn’t hurt,

As suffering
Reigns one advantage
Over loneliness
Supposedly worth it,

Facing lifetimes
Crying in vain –

Transient bliss
Holding hands,

Marriages torn
Getting restless,

Souls growing apart
Sensing purpose
Means leaving behind
Every dream.

Above us
Still sits empty space,

Just staring back down
While we suffer.

Pity how loss
Remains frightening –

For me
Such fear seems absurd.

  • J. Pigno

I enjoy nights
Drowning in heartbeats
Letting sweaty sheets
Cradle illness
From a race I’d run
Feeling breathless
While chasing fears
All alone

On an empty bed
Where I linger,

And wither away
Chewing nightmares,

Growing stiff
Like some lifeless body
We become
When our meaning subsides –

An expensive dream
Never nourished
During daylight hopes
Seeming meager,

Missing meals
But savoring punishments
Lacking words
This soul always needs.

Every morning
I’m hungry again –

Not enthused,
Yet entirely famished

For something real
Most poetic

Or at least
An expression with taste.

  • J. Pigno