some people fall apart alone in their rooms
with a bottle of rum and a photograph
while others looking for coins in their pockets
as people begin to pile up behind them
and the bus driver’s face
twists slowly into a smeared painting
of boredom and rage.
some people fall apart looking out the window
and scraping the bottom of a can of tuna.
sorrow isn’t blue.
sorrow is the orange late afternoon sun
and the warm breeze of dusk
in 1978, in 1982, in 1999, in 2008,
in a yesterday that left us all behind
a long time ago.
in the hotel of my mind,
every hallway is covered in missed-opportunity doors,
and in every turn there’s a shadow of unsolicited pain
creeping from its splintered walls.
I am a vagabond in my own home
unsuccessfully trying to smash open doors to the past,
running up and down broken stairs
while some cosmic creature watches from the outside,
and places a new shadow in the next hall.
for my drought-stricken heart,
40 days away from
I think I smelled my childhood
for a second there,
but it went away with Lima’s
lung-breaking twilight smog.
I need to go out for cigarettes,
I need to go out for wine.
I need to go out for the sake of going out.
something is telling me
tonight I might need to reach
inside the back of my head,
to the angels from the past,
if we can finally
come to an agreement.
sooner or later,
one of us will have to be
ripped apart by silence
these quiet nights are nails
being pushed down through my temple
by the hands of loneliness:
friday is again just friday,
tuesday is again just tuesday,
christmas is coming soon,
new year is coming soon,
she is not.
in these quiet nights:
I need the factories to roar, every dog to bark,
every cat to hiss.
I need window-breaking winds,
every human to scream, plates & glasses
smashing against the floor.
I need an epicenter in my bedroom.
in these quiet nights:
I need to silence the sound of trickling water—
the sound of the shower being shut off
as she steps out of it
in someone else’s bathroom.
the first sting would set the whole room on fire
and make everything come alive at once;
had a mouth,
they would all have screamed at once
as I tore myself to pieces, dead-eyed and silent,
searching under my skin for the sleeping newborn
in his mother’s arms, sometime in 1996.
Giovanni Mangiante is a poet from Lima, Peru. He has work published in Newington Blue Press, Rusty Truck, The Daily Drunk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Heroin Love Songs, Rat’s Ass Review, Three Rooms Press, and more. He has upcoming poems in The Piker Press. In writing, he found a way to cope with BPD.