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Time isn’t always kind, but I will always be kind to you.


Tugged upward by yellow orbs the shade of dim

lamplight. The

color

flushed from

my cheeks. Voided-out in a clearing,

deep in the woods under a setting sun.


Weird jokes in my head, laughing to myself

on the drive back. Heat lightning flashes across the sky

and this odd feeling drags on.

I feel lonesome and comfortable all at once.


I fell asleep in my coat again

and dreamed of cars inching forward in the pouring rain.

I watched the steam rise up to you

somewhere distant in the night.


Fool moon drool falling on my shirt

under the stars. I dream more and grind my teeth less. I take in the silence of a room and let the minutes float by. I hold my pillow a bit closer as I sleep.


I ate cookies until I fell asleep, trying to forget

you were in his arms tonight.


Alone in a hotel swimming pool, glinding along in silence. I’m thinking about things I want to write, but never do. I’m thinking about writing long poems, like I used to, that resolve better than this one.


Lungs like weights in my chest. A lamp flickers in the other room. My skin is clam-y and cold. I wander off into uneasy dreams.


Pink lipstick lingers on the filter of a light cigarette. Lovingly sunburned, beer floating downstream. There’s a new ache in my legs and my eyelids are heavy.


Bourbon and Alice in Chains grind the week into a fine powder

that’s swept away by morning. We’ll go out next weekend instead.

We’ll go out with new people. Ones who stopped feeling

anything about protest songs way too soon. We’ll wear down a bit

each time. Cheap drinks running down the

corners of our mouths, glinting under the dim lights.


Lights appear over the hill twinkling distant

through the dark forest. It’s quiet, just like it always was.

I’m comfortable being a stranger now, another pair of headlights

rushing by in the night.


Your hand in mine

under crooked rain, down forest roads. All that’s left

are yellow patches of grass where buildings once

stood.


Fog hugs a light that swings over the road, the only one for miles. Gas station pizza grease lingers on my fingers as I try to grip the wheel. Hollow ground long since paved over, whispers longing to find ears again.


I’m too weary to carry this tune, but its too early to call

it a night. The night spins sweetness through

my body, crowding out every sense. A hand lifts

the fog and I’m almost home.


Learn the words

all wrong and drag it all down with you.

Write your own words at the bottom, alive and new,

alone once again.


A love letter

smeared by November rain crumbles to the gutter.

It’s better off that way. Wet shoes by the door, hands around

a warm cup of coffee.


Long fingers

on a suitcase. Veins showing, wrinkles deep.

Fingers on a cheap ticket to somewhere warm

without a plan. Long fingers smoothing over sand

on a beach at night. The ocean moving

restlessly nearby.


Used coffee grounds sit wet above an empty pot.

Steam lingers on the bathroom mirror, yesterday’s clothes

are sprawled across the floor. Food rolls off dishes soaking in the sink as the day slips by under the covers.


Split your sides,

count your goodbyes we’re going dancing tonight.

Longing recedes, every sense freed on and on dreaming

tonight.


My stomach’s tangled up in off-brand Mountain Dew and fast food. My phone is vibrating on a hard surface somewhere. I’m surrounded by boxes and can’t sleep. 1 a.m. feels like a slab of concrete with flowers poking up near an abandoned field.


There’s an ancient machine clanking about, making the floor vibrate. The room comes to life and feels warmer. The ancient machine just keeps it’s head down

and keeps rattling. Just what it does, Isn’t known.

But it makes home feel like home and we keep it around

anyway.


Melted down and smiling a bit too wide I watch

the sun go down over an empty swimming pool.

Snow flakes scatter across the tarp in a light breeze.

I don’t hurry back, I’m OK for now and I’m not sure why.


There’s a sludge truck barreling down a county road. Stars glint above a canopy of trees. There’s a sludge truck, cutting through the night to tall buildings and empty freeways. There’s a sludge truck powered by American engineering and cheap coffee on its way.


Plastic flowers are arranged just so and I wonder where you are.

I wonder what happened. There are no easy answers and I’ll never

know your life. All I can do is tell people about your

quiet brilliance. Brilliance that still radiates

from a box of old photos.


I order a coffee and donut. I put my skateboard by a seat and sit down at the counter. I stare at nothing in particular. Steam from the coffee pot rises past arms reaching for trays. I take my time drinking my coffee and wait for the record store to open.


Daylight rolls in and I’m gathering up my teeth. Credit card bills stack up on a table by the door. And I’m starting to Wander off, starting to repeat myself more and more. Everyone has moved on and started over, time to join them.


About Nicholas Arthur is 27 years old and currently lives in Michigan. He is a Wayne State University graduate. Along with poetry he dabbles in music and art. When he is not writing he can be found looking in the bargain bin at the record store, drinking coffee far too late at night and eating breakfast any time he pleases. He has a cat named Simba.

Time isn't always kind, but I will always be kind to you.  
Time isn't always kind, but I will always be kind to you.  
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