Poem: The Scars on Your Arm

I found you in my peripheral the other day
Thought I had scrubbed you out
               Turns out I was wrong
Oooh, so wrong

And I hear I’m off your radar now
But I can’t believe that
Or I won’t believe that

Cause you were like a drug dealer
Dealing listening ears
            And crying shoulders
Dealing blood and tears and sly winks
But you never shoot your own junk, do you
                  You just made sure we were all buying
                     Buying it up

And now I still can’t drive by 12th and D
Without trying to remember
Who got cuffed to the porch rail
Cause they were getting outta hand
                        Or that night you pointed your claw at me
                 And marked me for your own

You’d always tell me that I knew
          Knew all the machinations, all the schemes, all the secrets, all the reasons
I was too afraid to tell you that I didn’t
I didn’t know
No, man, sorry, but I didn’t know
I still don’t

But I still can’t drive past Java Jazz
Or where it used to be
Without seeing us all there
Crowded around the same wrought iron table
While you blared that song for the thousandth time

It’s funny, because when everybody else got clean of you
I was the one who still had the shakes
              And you didn’t give me a choice
You cut off my supply, cold turkey
               That’s no way to quit the junk, man
You have to be ready for it

And I wasn’t

And now I’m standing by myself, bleeding into this wine glass
       For no real reason
Guess I’ll put on a band aid and start walking
Might as well put down the blades and start walking

That’s all I’ve ever known how to do
Just sew it up and move on

But I think you know why I still can’t walk the railroad tracks without casting glances to my back
To see if you’re still there

You’re not
But you knew that

Maybe we’ll see face to face again someday
But we’ll sure never bleed vein to vein again someday
                  And I think you know why

And maybe someday I’ll walk down 14th without looking up to the balcony reminding myself that
Time-turners aren’t real

I guess I still hold on because I know
That when I finally let it go
It’ll be gone

And all the time I spent working my way to your right hand
Will have been a waste

But even if I can’t abide the vampiric twinkle in your eye
I know that somehow
I’m still under your skin
In your veins

I know that our book is still open like a wound
Like the scars on your arm
And before I slap the band aid on and walk away
I guess I just need to say

That I’ll never walk down the railroad tracks
Without tossing a glance over my shoulder

Wishing you were still there



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