Sunday, July 5, 2009

empty eyes - original poem

("2 a.m. and i'm still awake writing this song. if i get it all down on paper it's no longer inside of me threatening the life it belongs to. and i feel like i'm naked in front of a crowd 'cause these words are my diary screaming out loud and i know that you'll use them however you want to..." - anna nalick)

he had empty eyes - hollow, naked -
and a forlorn type of smile.
he filled his cracks with anything pretty or hypnotizing:
words, work, intoxicants.
he wanted to love, but it's hard to show your feelings when you're leaking.
it's hard to give when all you've got is holes, empty spaces where your soul should be.

he married her because she was everything he wanted to be:
calm, stable, and solid.
solid of mind, heart, and body.
nothing seeped out of her unless she released it.
he thought she would save him,
instead he drained her.
she poured her blood into a skeleton
she poured until her supply started to run thin.
her pouring was futile because he had no skin to hold it in,
no veins to make the blood give life.

he left her when he saw that she could do nothing for his dry bones.
but he left her with a baby daughter who was just like him.
and when he left, he took the light in his daughter's eyes with him.

he left a wife who has always been mesmerized by the depth of her daughter's eyes:
always open, always watching, always looking for something,
for anything.
as the little girl grew, her mother learned to fear those large empty eyes,
portals to a soul she would never understand.
sometimes she felt as if she were drowning in them,
being thrown into a black hole, or sinking in a mire.
at those times she felt what her daughter felt,
she knew why her husband left.
at those times she was scared
because she knew she wouldn't be able to save her any better than she could have saved him.
so she learned to stop looking into those eyes.

my eyes.
i look at the world like a man just come from the desert drinks water.
what i see keeps me alive for brief moments at a time.
but as the body continues to need water to survive, my soul runs dry if there's nothing pouring into the black holes of my eyes.
i see everything.
“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!"*

he shared his darkness with me when he gave me his eyes.
or perhaps the darkness was in his seed.
either way, i've known since i was young that i needed to hide the darkness in me.
so i avert my eyes, let my soul run dry,
because i don't want you to see
that just like him, i'm empty.
i've tried everything.
the world pours itself into my hollow eyes and my heart remains empty.
the floodgates of heaven are open, and i'm ready to receive,
but, like him,
the blessing pours in like water and comes out like tears,
never staying in me long enough to make my dry bones live.

my eyes are tired of seeing everything.
now i pray to be blind like a skeleton should be.
if i forget what life looks like maybe i won't feel the void so intensely.
or at least i won't be able to see the sadness in my mother's eyes when she looks askance at me,
or the pity in his eyes when he doesn't look at all.

i wonder if my father ever felt that the more life a room contained
the less life was available to him.
i wonder if he ever felt other people's eyes picking at his bones to make sure they were clean.
he was lucky.
i pray to be beautiful; he just wanted to be seen.
i pray for abundant life; he just wanted to be free.
i have seen the fatted calf; he didn't know what he was missing.
i've stood at the threshold of the veil; he has never seen the anointing.

i have my father's eyes
and the only other thing he left with me is the emptiness behind them.

*the gospel according to matthew chapter 6 verses 22 aand 23. the words of Christ in red.

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