Poetry from Alden Joe

You told me that I cannot love.

You told me that I was a bird without wings, 

That love was an illusion to dash me to the ground. 

You tell me that there is only pain, and that

Pain is a tiger, pulling my wings out of my back

While I writhe in agony.

You tell me that love is false, and I believed you.

I stood so close – so close to a black abyss 

That would take the agony away. 

And I felt like a bird without wings –

A bird that would never fly.

It was easy for a wingless dove to never feel the tiger’s claws.

But if love is fake, then what is it I feel?

What is it I feel when 

I watch the waves crash over red rocks,

For every grain of sand I can run through my fingers.

I will never get that sand back.

What is it I feel for a girl who I will never see, 

But holds my hand while I stare out over the abyss, 

Beckoning me home.

Love is an illusion, you say.

It will bind me for the tiger to catch, you say.

I can see that the tiger has caught you already.

Mauled you with its teeth and claws

But then what is it I still see in your eyes?

Eyes that are as cold as blood leaking from open wounds,

Scars that will never fade, from the tiger’s claws.

Did you save me from her, or are you her?

If love is fake, why do you tell me not to love?

Why do you scream for me to grow wings I can never grow,

White wings, not brown wings, not yellow wings. 

I can never grow white wings, and never can you.

If love is fake, why do I weep at night when her words

Bring me further away from the edge. 

If love is fake, why didn’t you leap into the abyss?

No, I think it is real.

Hit me if you want, you lied.

Love is why I did not step into that abyss.

I will never step into it willingly.

I will not let my eyes grow cold like yours.

Why did I want to stay, if pain will catch me?

Why did you stay?

I will not let the tiger tear my wings out so that they are the color it wants,

I grow my own wings. 

I will not let you tell me I cannot love.

I will let love wash over me in the form of her presence. 

I will see the love in your cold eyes.

Look, I can fly.