Museful River

There is a place where we can’t meet

Where your face remains unknown

It is the time when I’m alone

It is a place where silence stands

Muses holding creative reprimands

It is there where I turn from cheek to cheek

Longing for the words you speak

But in this place, organically grown,

Is a haven for me to be completely alone

It is a place that refuses other’s hands

It holds me darkly to meet its demands

It is there where my rivers peak

Giving me the words that I must speak

 

I can’t deny, I can’t erase

The billowing spirit

from your face

Emanating fiercely

From your own within

Reaching through

waters forbidden

I miss you, my muse

alone

There is a place where we can’t meet

Where your face remains unknown

It is a place where silence stands

It is the time when I’m alone

Muses holding my creative reprimands

It is there where I turn from cheek to cheek

Longing for the words you speak

But in this place, organically grown,

Is a haven for me to be completely alone

It is a place that refuses other’s hands

It holds me warmly to meet its demands

It is there, where my rivers peak

Giving me the words I must speak

 

I can’t deny, I can’t erase

The billowing spirit

from your face

Emanating fiercely

From your own within

Reaching through

my waters

forbidden

 

 

Ronnie Bill

I was told that I’m not allowed to offer family advice.

Twenty years gone but I made it out alive.

Let me tell you why you’re wrong, because you are.

I KNOW

what it’s like to hold bitterness

what it feels like to reject those who love me

what holidays, loneliness, and anger tastes like

what Christmas morning looks like without oranges

what Thanksgiving is like without mincemeat pie

what birthdays feel like without shared history seeping

what anguish unsupported loss endures

I KNOW

what it took to wake me up (although I’m sure you think it was you)

what I had to realize before I could bolster my courage

what it is to ask forgiveness for being a fool

to walk into the unknown with hat in hand

to step cautiously to the edge of the cliff and

JUMP

I KNOW

how much damage I’ve done but not to the extent

what rebuilding a bridge with still smoldering lumber is like

that sometimes bitterness takes the form of pride

that abuses of history, privilege, and birthright exist

that time goes faster than a blink

that it’s far later than you’d think

I KNOW

right now, (not that you’ll read this) you’re lost

you blame me for not having money, not loving him, but

most of all for loving you and not choking on your pride.

You are so far in the darkness that the light feels like an insult

I love you despite yourself.

I’ll still be here when you’re ready.

I made my six year old vow to always be there for you,

I KNOW

you didn’t and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t and didn’t for him

you won’t believe me.

I’m okay with that.

you need to return home before you’re too afraid to come back

you’re a better man than you’ve become

I believe in you even if I don’t understand why you chose this way.

I KNOW. I see. I LOVE you anyway.

To live or not to live…

You confessed that death equals love

pain equals love. You are alone.

Alone.

Suffering solitary confinement for life

with shadows of who you dreamed of being

reflected in the mirrors of their burgeoning souls

warming your icy skin with alien affection

you won’t afford to give yourself.

As you stare at the distortion created by the bottle,

that screams generations of return,

understand that love does not equal pain

or loss or abandonment or unnecessary sacrifice

or lies, deception, theft, loss of integrity

or tears of begged forgiveness forgotten immediately

when the other “Lady” comes knocking

with sharp shaved heads, steaming lips,

and nothing but broken promises.

You select the path. You get to choose now.

It will not be long before it will no longer be your choice.

It will be out of your hands. Choose now.

Choose.