Hope is the strings that keep me holding on like a mere puppet.
The hands are yours, shaking as they do, too afraid to cut me loose.
I spin in circles in front of the crowd, dancing on stage,
while the strings intertwine between love and hate,
and behind closed curtains I break from being tossed around for so many years.
And every time I am near to the end, with unraveled ropes and shattered pieces,
you pick me back up, carefully analyzing every way you handle me.
You begin to paint my smile back on,
and attempt to glue back all the broken fragments,
and just as I start to come back to life,
you feel relieved,
then, once again, you fucking drop me.
I don’t need to hear how I was the last one
who was worth it;
the love, the heartache, the pain.
We both always wanted to own the world one day,
but it was always against us.
We had no chance in hell of defeating it together.
So we let it put an ocean between us.
We allowed it to destroy us,
to push us on opposite sides of the earth.
Our paths led us away from each other,
separated before we were even birthed.
And now we’ve learned to co-exist
instead of compete with each other,
like Cattails and Sunflowers growing beautifully in the same field.
We talk, instead of mumble,
after years of silence fully opened our ears.
And the distance between us has become miles apart from fixation,
balanced to a time to time ringing that I will always answer,
like my favorite song played over and over again;
the one I will always know all the words to;
the one I will always sing to.
And signs will always point us both in different directions,
like hurricanes that blow over,
because the world knows now, that together, we would burn it down.
He told me I could cry when he left,
that it was okay.
He didn’t know who taught me that I couldn’t
because it was never him,
the man who taught me everything I knew.
The man who taught me my backspin
on vintage slate at age ten,
allowing me to hustle chauvinistic boys for trophies
both him and I own now,
He always said I could be the black widow,
the best shark in the world,
if I continued.
At 19 I qued him with an engraved tiger
to remind him of our first time at the zoo.
“Tiger gare Jami,”
our little inside joke.
It was a player,
By 23 I taught him how to bank in my off time,
when I wasn’t keeping his, and all his competitors, Bud Lights full,
and in the process he was schooling my small town on the felt.
Pennies on the diamonds,
his moved around the table before anyone else ever had a shot.
By 33 I was barred from the rack for the shit he taught me to talk,
no longer accepted by the other sticks glued to the table,
but I didn’t care because I grew bored with the skittle obsession,
the rules, the commitment, the game,
until he left with my rainbow.
And now all I want to do is play.