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.

Sworn

bolts2

SWORN

 I thought you would follow, but the willow reed swallowed me whole
At least that’s the excuse you sold…
I’d been too busy tightening bolts
Preparing for traffic that would never come.
On the opposite end of nothing now
I’ve teetered upon this sharp edge far too long
Waiting for that willow reed to part
A path once cut through it; I suppose now it’s gone
Should my bridge someday be crossed
Unlike that lost, forgotten route
I’ll keep to tightening bolts, even if my hands get torn
The willow reed once led the way, at least
So you’d sworn.

(first appeared in Damned Words 2, June 1, 2013 )

One thing that my fellow Pen of the Damned members and myself absolutely love are our flash projects – one picture and a hundred words, no more, no less, in which to tell its story or convey its emotion – Damned style. This particular photograph was taken by our very own Nina D’Arcangela, and it is truly stunning! Join us every Tuesday for a new telling of angst and horror, only at www.PenoftheDamned.com

Refuge

handle

Refuge; before these iron gates I tremble. Words, long forgotten, muttered upon this unforgiving draft. Weary fingers graze lips; memory languishes. A song cries. Lost, what once remained. Balm to my wounds, these iron gates I clutch. To twist this handle, to enter into that which I have denied myself… A thousand angels mock my arrogance; their light I have shunned. Tell me godless thing, who haunts your starless nights? My thousand lies expired at last; hollow, barren, crumbled within. Shadows beckon; so soon shall I dance. Refuge beyond these iron gates; blackened tomb. Condemned both by heaven and hell.

(first appeared in Damned Words, March 26, 2013 http://wp.me/p2iKoL-qy)

One thing that my fellow Pen of the Damned members and myself absolutely love are our flash projects – one picture and a hundred words, no more, no less, in which to tell its story or convey its emotion – Damned style.   This particular photograph was taken by our very own Nina D’Arcangela, and it is truly stunning!  Join us every Tuesday for a new telling of angst and horror, only at www.PenoftheDamned.com

© Copyright 2013 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.