Everyone I Ever Knew: Part 1

I stared blankly as everyone I ever knew

Destroyed their safety nets and climbed bloody up the cliffsides

Needed not a reason more than the prospect of experience

Desired nothing more than new eyes and skipping hearts

Thought of everything and nothing at the same time

Dreamed of stars so low they could be found in the ocean

Burned up with passion and desire and questioning and restlessness

Dangled by wires that were nothing more than willpower

Those who slept in the backs of cars and in the middle of Hawaiian fields

Dreamed of dark caves and other worlds with different light

Those who fell out of windows instead of using their front doors

Said adventure and a little novelty were always called for

Those who laughed and cried and fucked and sang

Flew from here to there and made 14 stops in the middle to see if home was a person or a place or a fantasy

Those who wrote love letters to themselves in dark and smoky backrooms

But when read by others could be confused as suicide notes

Those who jumped and cut through the air and never got bored enough to ask why

Planted flowers in window sills and never thought about who would take care of them

Those who drank equal amounts coffee and tequila to start the day because how else were they supposed to get through the trivialities

Then guzzled booch when that turned sour in their stomachs

Those who rambled while passing fruit stands on winding roads

Strung hammocks and considered oreos, Jameson, and beer a balanced dinner

Those who lit fireworks and ran screaming down the streets naked

An act of freedom and power masked as drunken games

Those who refused to wear sunscreen because the world is on fire and we’re all burning anyway

Same ones who are still trying to change the world

Those who chanted mantras of Bukowski like prayers

Sipped water out of a whiskey bottle so that they seemed unapproachable

Those who were high and dreamed of new highs

Smoked weed and ate mushrooms and didn’t know what was in the pill bottle but took that too

Those who drove across America singing Bob Marley and pretending they were in a spaceship

Stopped at the Grand Canyon and thought about never leaving

Those who wrote on the walls and the windows and the ceilings and each other

Cited Ginsberg and Angelou and Poe and Baraka and anyone else that made them feel something

Those who fought and won and fought and lost and fought again

Beat on drums as if it were as vital as a heart and strummed guitars like marionettes

Those who rolled down the hill in trash cans and tires

Broken bones and mended friendships were just another day’s work

Those who stood strong in who they were without regard to where they were

Laid themselves bare on altars of judgement knowing what torture was in store

Those who cut themselves and mixed the blood with dirt so that they could stay there forever

Forgot what the purpose of the trip was that night

Those who floated under waterfalls and in clouds of hallucination

Throats thick and tongues swelling and eyes spilling and hearts full and heads empty

Those who sat on front lawns discussing the universe and each other

Jaws and necks broken from looking up and smiling

Those who dropped out of institutes and got locked up in padded rooms

Typing away at invisible desks and throwing invisible chairs

Those who knew their bodies and let others know too

From Illinois to Alaska to Florida to Thailand to Texas to Germany

Those who forced their feet through valleys and up mountains

Panted and ached but never lost sight of the idea of some attainable heaven

Those who were weighed down by heavy hearts and heaving lungs

Always plenty of burden and suffering to go around

Those who dragged themselves to the edge and sprinted over it like a finish line

Because that is exactly what it was

Those who moved time and space

Flowing blood was a mix of Adderall and strong will

Those who played cards while sipping beer at a too small table

The odds were stacked against them but they smiled knowingly

Those who searched for God under every rock

Studied at the universities and every temple and every continent

Those who were forgotten and unwanted by everyone who didn’t matter

Searched all day for the end of the rainbow to figure out what its purpose was

Those who laid in beds with hands and minds exploring other kinds of maps

Went to museums and wondered why certain things deserved to be preserved

Those who swam in oceans and books and ecstasy

Convinced that it’s all the same thing in the end and dammit if they couldn’t know the secrets

Those who tried to die multiple times and didn’t know why

Ended up on a cocktail that is suppose to make them feel real

Those who began to feel a little real and were terrified

Crouched behind lamp posts crying for their priests and therapists and mothers

Those who found out that they were all too real

And that conclusion was the problem that the cocktail overlooked

Those who waited for the pouring rain to wash them clean

Rain water, holy water they end up in the same tainted river eventually and the rain comes without guilt

Those who danced with the devil in a field of daisies

Ate fruit and suddenly knew everything there was to know

Those who ran barefoot through rainbow trees and leaped over the air

Sad because nothing would ever be as beautiful or perfect

Those who hung upside-down to find new perspective

Trees as perches and rocks as thrones

Those who tumbled through waves and off of sidewalks

Eaten alive by the need to feel anything but numb

Those who fed the horses in Waipio lunch out of open palms

Realized that life is circular but can feel like a jagged edge

Those who set themselves up for failure so that no one else could take the credit for their downfall

Starved their ambition to death in a room of dirty dishes and stale cigarettes

Those who bathed in the mud

Pressed hands into the dirt so maybe it won’t be so unfamiliar when they end up buried

Those who wailed when they thought they were getting old

Perhaps they deserved to be preserved in the museums

I stared blankly as everyone I ever knew

Knew something that I wasn’t alive enough to know

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