CINDER AND ASH

CINDER AND ASH

I fucked it all up, didn’t I?
and what I did can’t be undone,
can it?
I thought I held us firm
but
wound up squeezing too hard
now I’m left staring at the dust
and
it’s much more painful than looking at your face
(which remains angelic, by the way).
I’m a prisoner to my own Hades
and
the fires that burn, well,
they’ve burnt cinder back to cinder
and
ash back down to ash
in a recycled mad chaos of sorts.
I wish I could tell you how much
I ache for you
but
doing so would only cause me to
splinter further.
Doing so would cause you to
suffer further.

~ Joseph A. Pinto

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

Wolf_rule_pinto_bg

WHAT I SHOULD NOT KNOW

WHAT I SHOULD NOT KNOW

first date
don’t be so coy
you know you’ve been blowing him out in the parking lot
leaving your half eaten panini beside me
leaving me sick in the mouth
remembering
how he stroked that fleshy thigh of yours
it’s none of my business, of course
but you’ve intruded all the same
with that yuppie glass of Pinot Grigio of yours
beside my sterile snifter of Scotch
tell me
don’t be so shy
did you let him cum in your mouth the first time out?
the residue of days old coleslaw beside me
leaving me sick on the tongue
stupid girl
he’ll only admire another next week
much like the half eaten panini beside me
you’ll grow cold and forgotten.

~ Joseph A. Pinto

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

Wolf_rule_pinto_bg

REPRIEVE

REPRIEVE

is it okay if I lay beside you?
because I can’t keep my eyes open much longer
i’ve been pretty tired as of late
and things have seemed
to slow down around me.

is it okay if I cry on your pillowcase?
i’d wash it but it’ll dry soon enough
that’s the way an old ache goes
flowing with the deep thaw
soon parched from summer’s haze.

is it okay if I call out old names in the dark?
the more I speak them the more I’ll remember
not to forget
i’d like to write them in a jazz song someday
sing a melody whether the band’s ready or not.

is it okay if I lay beside you?
won’t be much longer till I see the light
and that old ache flows on
whisper to me while my breaths grow shallow
whisper to me goodnight.

~ Joseph A. Pinto

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

PALACE

monument

PALACE

In this darkness I have longed, yet only now do you approach beneath my canopy of sentinels. Wordless, though I have screamed centuries for you. Guileless, though now indeed you have been warned.

I shall devour your pretenses; leave shorn your bravado. I am your beast, and under granite columns shall you be reborn. You cannot flee, because I have been yours all along. Your heart pumping with my blood.

Embrace me, then. Succumb to my wild. From this moment on know that I shall be your shadow in the woods. This timbered palace holds a refuge, yours and mine.

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

(first appeared in Damned Words 3, July 30, 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

BOWED STILL I STRIDE

BOWED STILL I STRIDE

Your purpose seems hell-bent on serving to demassify me –
when will you learn that unlike the storms that have reshaped your landscape,
I will never seek higher ground.
I will not compartmentalize to fit any ideal but my own;
bowed still I stride,
and when your voice hits hurricane pitch in protest, I will know I lived free of compromise
after all.

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

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.