5 Poems from Stephen J. Golds

4:27 in a Morning That Won’t Die 

Where does 

the light 

go when 

it leaves 

me here 

fumbling in 

the dark 

waiting for 

the tipping 

of chair 

and 

creaking of 

rope taunt 

against beam? 

In Bed 

Looking at you sleeping there

it makes me think even hell 

is endurable when you’re there 

with someone who whispers 

the words “I love you,” in the night. 

But then later I’m alone 

darkness crawls across naked floors

on deformed belly to remind me 

love always ends and 

hell is always infinite.

Chalk Outline in the Dirt 

Come untied,

pulled apart.

A ghost before birth, 

dead before being fully formed. 

Deformed shapes in dust 

where something used to be.

Two seasons long, 

been and gone.

A self harm still leaks

leaving crimson trails behind 

everywhere I’ve been to,

everywhere I’m yet to go. 

Bleeding out slow 

37 years old, 

full of bullet holes,

duels I drew too slow.  

You were the only song 

I knew the words to,

a pile of empty clothes & 

bones without you.

Out of Sight 

Fingering splinters, 

Picking flint – out of my mind.

Ripping away at myself 

one stitch at a time. 

Getting a grip 

All choked up,

black and blue.

And it’s so fucking vacant.

And it’s too fucking warm.

Shut the door on me.

Slam the door on me.

Pursed against fabric of night. 

Screwed up letters unwritten, unsent.  

Curled burnt in Autumn fires. 

Rosary repeated on scraped knees.

Bounced off Discolored faded walls, 

thrown through doorways, 

86 me.

86 me.

Rehab

Too many relapses, interlude cold turkey. 

Weight lost, stomach cramps, 

the shits and the shakes. Hearing 

voices where there are none. Mental

movies on repeat, the screen 

holding you there, a detox most painful.