The Marks We Left

What’s become of all the marks we left?

The summer leaves its grit with me,

and skeletons litter all the window sills.

The rain arrives in unforgiving sheets,

as we wait together in silent spaces.

There are screams in my pockets

and stones in both my hands.

A grey haze shields the sun’s rays,

setting fire to out fragile straw throats.

Chase me up and down the city blocks.

Run your fingers through my greasy hair.

The fall will bring me all the peace I need.

What’s become of all the singing birds?

Or have my ears only become deaf?

I’m still holding all the summer’s grit.

But what’s become of all the marks we left?

– JS


Four Walls

Runaway for knowledge.

Stick around for some sympathy.

With our hair grown long

and our bellies aching,

a couple words can bring you home.

While the houseless man sits

on his old dusty rug.

And the passers smoke cigarettes,

talking of the weather and their families.

You daydream of sleep.

Singing those old songs.

Returning on home,

a room with four walls,

a bed with a cage.

You’re never alone,

as the days always fade away.

But still you walk to the corner store

with dreams of a rest.

They tell me home’s what you make it.

I guess I haven’t made mine yet.

– JS


Diner Girl

He smokes his last cigarette

while a diner girl calls his name.

A flash.

A dream.

An old Toyota and a broken back seat.

He remembers all the sounds.

She reminds him of the song.

While a diner girl calls his name,

he always thinks of that fall.

An old man now,

newspaper in tow.

The diner girl brings his check

as he watches out the window.

Outside on the grass,

two teens and a radio.

A song from the past

and a cigarette for the road.

– JS


Burnside Bridge

I saw myself last night.

Not in a mirror,

or a puddle,

or a window.

Running down the Burnside Bridge

with my heart in my hands.

Down to a river,

the name unknown to me.

With blood in my eyes

and rocks in my gut,

I saw myself last night.

What I saw wasn’t me,

or a ghost,

or a dream.

What I saw was a broken watch

on a bony wrist,

on a shaky hand,

reaching for an apple tree.

Who’s calling the shots?

Who’s running the show?

When the stage is in flames

and there aren’t any curtains to close.

I saw myself last night

for the last time, I’m sure.

I left that nervous boy by the river under Burnside Bridge

on a stage bound to burn.

– JS