I witness the sun rise

by Ralkkai

I see them on the streets
and in the coffee shops,
the hallways and corners and stages,
with their blood-red painted-on smiles,
and generous displays of lustful depravity.
I watch them wriggle their way past crowds
and through life
in fur-lined boots, sequin-corroded jeans
and low-cut styles
and I sometimes see their painted-on smiles
scorched by mascara-blackened tears
as they struggle through one more
world-ending breakup
as if destruction has never born beauty
and the abrasiveness of their last six months
of bickering, cheating, and self-loathing
was meant for a lifetime,
and I’m glad she’s not them.

I watch as the carpenter of marriage
bangs away at bent nails
and warped boards, trying to fit the pieces of wood
for the foundation of a union
made of corruption and greed,
financial despair and warring.
A foundation unsuitable for the unity of any created thing.
I watch as they walk through grocery stores,
children pulling them to their graves,
America fattening them up all the way to their middle years.
Never a smile or a grin,
never a slap on the ass or a cuddling in the bread isle.
Dead stares for dead stars, they struggle though the
ashes of where they were and let the nothingness
left inside them guide them to where they are going,
I watch as blackened souls taint
their memories of what is was to hope
and I’m glad we aren’t them.

I witness the sun rise,
over the cold, Texas morning
with all the little things needed
to paint a canvas of my future.
I take a new breath
as I ready my soul for another year
away from the demons,
away from the tears
and away from the catalysts
that kept me from knowing what
happiness truly was meant to be like.
I walk out to my tomorrow, full of promises,
with coffee staining my voice
and the dawn staining my eyes
and for the first time in years,
I can honestly say,
I’m glad I am me.