Fill us not
With anger
But the courage
To die in vain
And believe
Our efforts wasted
Were sins
Of a living proof

That lies
Begin each dream
Chasing prospects
Deemed unholy
Through their worship
Once entitled
Among gods
Whose throne is cash

Now uncertain
As they seem
Losing heavens
Between heartbeats
Fallen victim
Facing choices
Buying breaths
At highest price

Despite answers
Called unfair
Finding illness
Drives obsession
By persuading
Human armies
Whose own swords
Are fear made flesh

Pointing weapons
Towards themselves
Only brandished
For destruction
Against bodies
Still divided
Always whole
Though being split

Down the middle
So it goes
Every moment
Faith should vanish
Giving evil
Ample reason
Eating minds
Without much hope

Missing health
From fame excess
False success
Where sudden danger
Rears distraction
Revealed deadly
Masking substance
Beneath wealth

While misfortune
Becomes strength
Building nerve
Beyond good measure
Knowing age
Prefers indifference
Never taking sides
But time.

– J. Pigno

The rain fell
In my sleep
Where I’ve dreamed
So long
Of living

Despite
What nightmare
Waited
Outside these eyes
Held shut

Where each daylight
Showered dust
Bearing heat
Which felt
Like scratches

Amid sunshine
Raining ashes
Down from clouds
Whose sky
Was scorched

Touting flames
With sharpest tongues
Claiming God
Preferred we
Suffer

Under brightness
Speaking judgments
Proving demons
Won
His war

While no angel
Worth her weight
Ever saw
Those lies
Defeated

When our hopes
Remained in ruins
Straying far
Away
Through fear

Watching flares
Spill burning tears
With their sparks
That dropped
Derision

Upon faces
Still too arid
For redemption
Moist
And just

By assuming
Darkest storms
Fared much better
Than
Old worries

Against cinders
Smoking gently
Between evenings
Lost
On grief

Learning water
Almost gone
Won’t replenish
Come
New morning

Facing choices
Hardly wagered
Despite answers
Dry
But real

Left deciding
Fates unknown
Every night
Since we
Surrendered

To existence
Now forgotten
After waking
Death
So warm.

– J. Pigno

She said
I was now
Her enemy

And perhaps
That hurt me
Most –

Knowing
This heart
Couldn’t handle

Anymore beats
That should
Skip

Out of learning
The worst
Isn’t death

But assuming
Fear
All around it

Preserves
What life
Can betray us

Faster
Than breath
Should escape,

From lungs
Whose air
Is belief

Each symptom
Felt
May distinguish

Between
These senses
Deluded

By panic
Or dread
Without cause.

Since friends
Are forever
Some curse

Holding times
Too dear
For forgetting

Within
Both hands
Put together

Aiming blame
Like guns
At our heads,

Confirming
Love doesn’t
Last

When parents
Raise
Little children

As thorns
Not blossoms
Excited

To share
Such flowers
They bloom.

– J. Pigno

I’m even
Running from dreams
On the days
Which follow
Phantoms

Into heartbreak
Self-inflicted
By what fear
My symptoms
Show

When remembering
Life went wrong
Each time
These thoughts
Should wander

Since my body
Tells of torment
Bravely speaking
If it
Shakes

With wildly
Flailing limbs
Sharing stories
Few
Would mention

Or believe
Their rightful duty
To express
For those
Who break

Like chest pains
Without cause
As my pulse
Spikes
Every morning

Rising quickly
Out of wailing
During showers
I once
Loved

Seeing mom there
At her edge
Sitting quietly
Near my
Bedside

While that constant
Blank expression
Suggests blame
More sad
Than death

Where forever
Grows so black
And my wedding
Just doesn’t
Happen

Resting empty
Outside being
In a place
No warmth
Exists

Or these words
Affirming love
Saying sorry
For such
Anguish

Still believing
God is waiting
Despite nights
My sleep
Says no.

– J. Pigno

If I have to
Do it for her
Then perhaps
That’s reason
Enough

Since running
Just isn’t working
And stalling
Prolongs
This wait

For what moment
Seems absurd
In ways
My mind
Can’t fathom

Motivated
Not by pressure
But fear
Such love
May kill,

Like lives
All men must suffer
When time
Demands
They mellow

Aging
With hands
Left tethered
Around our backs
Which ache

Noticing
Each new pain
While wrinkles
Claim
Long faces

Happy
Someone besides us
Should share
What end
Will come –

Inevitable
Though we proceed
Holding
Those hands
Still reaching

Begging
Tomorrow together
Knowing
Forever won’t
Last.

– J. Pigno

Despite
How clouds
Surround me
This sun inside
Burns bright
And relieves
What darkness
Lingers
Before my eyes
Obscured

Like such plumes
Of desperate smoke
Whose example
Proves
Our blindness
To these symptoms
Keeping silent
Till that pulse
Provides us
Warmth

Shining beams
Upon those woes
While resistance
Builds
Some courage
Through its brilliance
Everlasting
During times
God offers
Light

When believing
Day may come
Even if
Bad feelings
Idle
Within distance
Growing closer
As we face
Life’s somber
Sky

Gray enough
But not quite
Dim
Looking blue
Beyond discretion
Twisted sadly
By experience
Watching weather
Change
So much.

– J. Pigno

Why do I
Wear this cross
Knowing full well
There is
Nothing,

Lying
Each time
That necklace
Dangles freely
Off my throat?

Faking
Faith with chains
Which yield
No proof
Or meaning

While believing
God goes missing
Just before
Our time
Should come

Watching jewelry
Sparkle bright
Around necks
Whose collars
Suffer

Flashing myths
To those who witness
Such adornment
Held
Like hope –

Praying fables
Weighted down
Upon shoulders
Weak
From pendants

May excuse
Apparent errors
And relieve
Their certain
Doom

Before sinning
Once again
Thinking heaven
Must be
Waiting

For regalia
Ever doubtful
Through expressing
Fear
In gold,

When old trinkets
Seem absurd
Learning truth
Might warrant
Tarnish

Feeling symbols
Brand impressions
Into flesh
Where silver
Sits.

– J. Pigno

Relieve me
If you will
By assuming death
Convenient
In attempts
To make things better
By agreeing
What comes next

Is the fate
No man avoids
Through each turn
Of final chances
And believing
Sudden pauses
Imply sadness
Life expects

When existing
Just for laughs
Crying loudly
Without reason
Hoping heartbeats
Slowly steady
As disaster
Hits too soon

Where this youth
Has some excuse
If such dreams
Were never healthy
Putting off
Another chapter
Drifting wildly
Towards my goal

Finding feeling
Proves that cure
Testing play
I take for granted
Since all breath
Becomes one moment
Held within me
While it lasts –

Pure emotion
Drawn from grace
While my pulse
Climbs ever quickly
Chasing freedoms
Between illness
God insists
Art cannot fix

Still remembering
Time builds walls
Through expressing
Chains not present
Hidden deeply
Among poisons
After taking pills
With words

Losing semblance
Though I speak
Along paper trails
Mismanaged
During crises
Often easy
Unexplained
Until they pass.

– J. Pigno

God waits
Beyond me now
In a place
I fear
Is imagined

From the minds
Of men more fortunate
To believe
That heaven
Exists

As faith
Doesn’t always stick
When pain
Insists
We are ready

For truths
Which assume
Our courage
Endures what death
May entail

Since feeling
Proves it all
Wrong
While revealing
Logic tattles

On fables passed
Like assurance
Such gospels
Preach
Without sense

Though reason
Often fails
Among numbers
Lacking
Their patterns

Varying
Ever so quickly
If examined
Now
Under prayer –

Despite how sin
Can claim
This uncertainty
Killing me
Daily

I suspect
Some sane
Realizations
Are divinity
Shrouded by hurt.

– J. Pigno

What will I do
With my time
Now that
There isn’t
Any?

Perhaps
Just sit complacent
Jotting poems
If they
Come

While believing
Life may end
Dreaming words
Whose lines
Are comfort

Still surprised
How hours linger
On behalf
Of meaning
Lost

To this hurt
Which mustn’t wait
For some cure
No man
Can fathom

Calling strength
True twisted healing
Without prayer
Some think
As weak,

Though its not
The drug they seek
Or that pill
Such doctors
Promise

Missing faith
In long equations
Balanced only
By our
Fears

Wishing death
Undue delays
Judging God
Like ancient
Magic

Despite answers
Often summoned
From intent
Once chasing
Proof –

Yet instead
Remains unseen
Gifting grace
Beyond
Old shadows

Casting doubt
Upon dark faces
Choosing daylight
Be their
Veils

So each moment
Seems sincere
Growing brighter
Since
Those questions

Might persist
Outside existence
Known by artists
As new
Birth

Feeling blessed
This morning bleeds
Thudding heartbeats
And brief
Pauses

Between headaches
Hope has murdered
Knowing heaven
Can be
Said

Where defeat
Is not unique
Like each symptom
Fate may
Worship

Turning phrases
Into conquest
Via stories
We leave
Here.

– J. Pigno