Scars Remain

Bruised. Beat up.
Each day we hurt; each day we heal some way:
physically, spiritually, superficially
in most cases.
We exist with pain
we cannot forget, nor will we get past.

It moves with us
through phantom limbs. What is, what it was,
or what will never be. No matter how
we squirm, meditate, medicate
or mask our wounds
we bleed.

You cannot wipe
the taste of an old lover from your lips,
a parent’s words echo, mistakes sustained.
Thoughts better left for dead,
and very much alive.
Terminal disappointment.

Remove the dressing,
scars remain: reminders; where we have been,
what we have done or
what has been done
to us. Excuses solemnly validate
our existence.

This art of living
involves exquisite deception. Calloused knees bent,
we pick at scabs from prayer
or surrender. Impressions remain
pressed into the skin.
Of course we hurt.

Who better would know
the fundamental truth of the human experience?
Tear off the bandage,
the wounds will breathe. Proof
we have done something that can and will
make us stronger.

© 2019 j.g. lewis


a fundamental truth

How It Felt

Enchanting distractions
conjured up in adolescent fantasy
or tremendously tedious math classes,
albeit fascination.
Initial attraction. Opposite sex.
      You begin to notice.
      Long ago.       Remember?
We run through images at night,
even a month ago. recalling wet dreams,
Ninth Grade goddess, slight overbite,
and a couch in the basement, after
a junior-high school dance.
Waltzing then,
      holding another body
      as close as you could.
Nights In White Satin
Stairway To Heaven
The longer the better. Fumbling
with opportunity, taking liberties
as much as chances.
After the dance. Each of us.
      Feeling. Like it mattered.
Permission denied, then granted.
Breath of consent with closed eyes,
nervous smile.
      Teenagers. Enthusiasm greater
than experience.
We didn’t know what romance was, or
the meaning of sensuality, or ecstasy.
Or lust.
      But we knew how it felt.
As we grew older, did we forgot?
      Except in our dreams.

© 2019 j.g. lewis


let the soul wander

As It Is Written

Eye-catching immediacy,
pamphlet affixed to a bus shelter wall;
below twilight drunks piss on the sidewalk
with all the other animals in the cold dust
and recycled sentiment of this city.
     Where Are You
     Going To Spend
Weekly sermon tacked up
by an anonymous preacher. Or disciple.
Reality, rhetoric, cut-and-paste spirituality
sprinkled amongst Biblical evidence.
      ‘As it is written.’
Cowardice under nightfall. Honesty by dawn.
A believer more than I.
      ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith;
      and that not of yourselves.’
How long have I been sleeping,
dreaming I could
make it on my own?
      ‘It’s only by faith in the only savior.’
Have I have lost my place?
God: a reason or an excuse. I have fallen short
of his glory. We all have, apparently; morally,
truthfully, decently, cruelly.
      ‘Look at the world today! Crumbling!’
Headlines scream even louder each day.
I know. I know
I do not meet God’s requirements; owning
my sins as much as I care to.
      ‘To be saved, you must admit
      that you are a sinner.’
My pride prevents me from opening up,
from believing in eternity, my trajectory,
or most efficient route there.
      ‘Dear Soul, if you were to die right now,
      do you know whether you would go
      to heaven or to hell.’

© 2019 j.g. lewis

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