The First Signs of Happiness 

My white shirt is pink 

From the wet sand, there are rivers and streams of blood 

Like a soggy road map, the waves keep rebuilding the highways 

Your arms locked in the crook of mine

You drag me into facing the sun

And you say little to nothing I can hear 

But pay my wounds undue attention 

I have been so tired

And have given up to the ocean

Blood or water, one

Will eventually let me back to where I belonged

Where an angel touched my lips

And I will know nothing again 

I do not remember how I got here with you awake 

But we are speaking of books and psychology 

Over tea and coffee 

And our conversation drifts to past lovers

The man who lives in your island home 

has forced you into the trees

And in your tree house, you look out at the leaves 

When I inquire of him 

Your neck is the wrong color

And your eyes are always numb 

Being wild and young was all you’ve known 

And I appear to be there still

You ask about my wounds 

And I tell you stories of a James Dean character who doesn’t read poetry 

Of the ever clear in my veins 

You watch me tip back the last of your rum from the jar

To prove it

I am always singing pretty things to you, but they sound like songs written about dancing women 

You’re suspicious 

I am saying the nicest things you’ve heard a stranger say to you 

Yet I tell you, my kindness is a crutch and a mechanism 

The truth spills from me, when your silent fingertips reach out and untie my bandages 

I cannot stop speaking when delicately you trace the edges of my scars 

Because for you they come with the first signs of happiness


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