Growing Older

These lips once shed words carelessly, like leaves spilling from autumn trees,
Shaken with nerves or swollen with pride,
Soaking in pain or writhing in ecstasy—
Always enveloped in raw emotion.

These thoughts once roamed the world unreined,
Birthed insecurities to duel age-old confidence,
Drove the spirit and mind utterly weary.

This skin once ran smooth with the innocence,
Time and error not yet baked down to its flesh,
Bright, shiny, land unexplored, unscathed by scars.

And yet, there’s no need to lament,
For this heart can now balance caution and bravery,
Survive movement and stillness, bear failure and glory.


My insides are empty,
Feeling through the darkness like a drunkard,
Struggling to sew the void closed desperately.

My insides are empty,
Tried to wring poetic words out of my bone and sinew,
But tap has run dry, weeds have grown-up thick and clogged the well.

My insides are empty,
Empty the way hospital waiting rooms feel, even when they’re full,
The way everywhere feels when you’re “different.”

Creativity has left me,
Bed still warm from where it slept beside me every night,
Arms still stinging from where it once held me close.

My insides are empty,
Life is traffic, sometimes moving, sometimes stuck,
The hum of the city beneath my bedroom window still loud enough to silence nagging thoughts.

My insides are empty,
But it’s only temporary,
Light will chase the dark away come morning.