STRAIN

STRAIN

The E.R. seemed quiet
a ruined man coughing up ghosts
sneezing lies of what home should be
an overweight woman bleeding from her soul,
condescending son lamenting his late night
and they avoid my gaze (well they should)
for my pain would serve only to break them.
Pretty nurse takes pulse, pressure
eyes sparkling as they meet my own
“Sir, this may hurt a bit” (needle penetrates my joint).
I laugh, make one thing clear:
“Never me.”
The E.R. seemed quiet
now the pretty nurse choked on ghosts
wheezing breaths where life should be
if only she had looked away.

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Your Answer

YOUR ANSWER

And for every answer you want
from me, I ask
how could I be without you?
And for every reason you demand
of me, I ask
how could I flow if my river
runs dry?
I know you tire of the constant game of tag we seem
to play
but without your laughs echoing
my playground
this seesaw falls short of
the sky.
So for every explanation you seek
of me, I ask
how could you ever be far from
my eye?

© Copyright 2015 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

MOLD

MOLD

I saw you there;
in the half-light of candle
you seemed a flickering wraith
but the pruned expression with which
you regarded me only served to extinguish
me further. I wished to reach out,
to reshape the face I once recognized
but clay only hardens if left to serve testament
to air.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

HEARD

HEARD

Silence;
a river running through my head; train
cries in the distance
its solace muffled
much the way I am
unable to find my tongue.
Fog clouding
the window—it’s unbearable
but the droplets streaking the glass
expose
highways, crossroads the likes of which
I’ll never have the nerve to explore.
Still in
my head I trace
a route so blissfully appealing
compared to the
silence
flooding my ears;
the last thing I ever heard.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

FUZZY

I‘m fuzzy at the edges while you scrape
sharp lines at each of my corners. I try to
protect myself but still you find a way
around my childproof barriers. A chord is
struck each time your mouth twists and
I feel toddler small—
spanked in self-serving lessons of
obedience, cheeks reddened;
chest heaving with perpetual adolescent sobs.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

ROOT

Ye who plant the seed shall burden the responsibilities
of the fruit; yet I suffer the toil of a heart long laden of dirt.
Grown useless, gnarled, I twist now under the rising gale of wind;
you are a storm that shall never crest.
How I crave for my roots to be severed,
transplanted
to a garden of lush greens
yet I wither,
longing for vine ripened spices – a spot of sunshine
I could never quite feel.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Yours to Keep

YOURS TO KEEP

Little girl
you grow before my eyes and
the feel of your hand in mine as I walk you to school
stills my restless demons;
I am far from a perfect man but
I live to be flawless in your eyes.
Every kiss you bless upon my cheek
reminds me that while I am responsible
for protecting your life,
you have saved mine.
Sometimes I see glimpses
of the woman you will grow to be and
your subtle grace melts me.
Please know that being your father
is my greatest achievement and honor;
with the very first flutter of your eyes
I became yours to keep

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.