running low


We have nothing left for each other. This
comes to us cold and hard on a Thursday morning,
our empty rumbling hearts waking us 
before the sound of the alarm we had carefully 
set the night before. I am lying in bed with
eyes wide open, and so are you, and in better days
one of us might have gotten up to forage for
sustenance, selfless and noble so that the other
would be fed, and nourished, and full
of the warmth that can only come from living
a life that goes above and beyond enough. But today 
is not one of the better days; it is not even
a good day, and so we press our backs
against a mattress as unyielding as the brick wall
we once spray-painted with grafitti promises:
you and me together, you and me forever.

We tried to beg
for a brand-new shot at happiness,
but the man at the store only had secondhand
joy to spare, diluted by great expectations
and half-hearted forgiveness, and even as beggars 
we didn't want to be unable to choose.

We tried to borrow
time, and bargain with the world to wait
until our ducks were lined up
in a neat little row, ready and willing and able. 
But we missed deadlines and chances, gave up
eventually on trying to keep up.

We tried to steal
kisses on street corners,
light from passing vehicles,
heat from fires we had not built ourselves. 
Neither of us believed we would ever get caught
in the milky tangled threads of our own untruth.

We have nothing left for each other, and it is 
so easy to leave, when this is all 
we are leaving behind. Our hunger
roars like thunder now, eager
for an easy free taste of 
something other than empty.