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Jimmy’s Lips (Poetry)

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

This was written in November 2008 (slightly edited December 2022). It's based on a real person but I change people's names and other information when I post publicly. I’m not sharing it because the feelings linger or anything, I just have a lifetime of poetry and writings which sometimes include the people who have impacted it.

Jimmy’s Lips

Bloodshot eyes graze my lids

as my finger touches my lips,

then reaches up to touch his.

“Notes went out of fashion,” I say,

as the phone softly vibrates.

“Texts are too expensive,”

lies blatant on the screen.

One, two, three, four,

my home made fortune teller

shuffles back and forth.

My paper balloon

lies crumpled on the floor.

He rests on the bed and eyes me

with a beer stained gaze.

“No,” I whisper across the room.

“Choose her, not me.”

In the background I hear

the Nintendo’s beat.

My heart drops as the phone stays silent.

I pace back and forth between thoughts.

I pluck at my mind like a pimple that needs to pop,

somehow hoping that it will make things better.

I use TV to replace my thinking.

I focus on the cheque that I’ll find deposited

in my bank account in the morning.

I pine for the wine that sits in the fridge upstairs.

I wish there was some way to take it unnoticed,

but there’s not.

I question karma and try to re-track my entire life

to see all that I’ve done wrong.

Pre-menstrual I think.

Inside I shake,

looking at the cigarette before me.

It offers no aid.

Hospitals and self harm,

Living cheque to cheque.

High school dropout, dreadlocks,

and stubbly legs.

The pills form mountains,

wet and stuck together

from the saliva in my mouth.

Dark poetry and the bittersweet happiness

that at least if the phone stays silent

then he’ll never have to see,

the Star of David on my wrist,

or my overpowering uncertainty.

Clenching my teeth as I sleep.

Living in nightmares and dreams.

Upstairs my baby girl singing

and I know I should go play.

Consumerism having a shoot-off

with hope and faith.

His smile, one would kill for —

Kill just to taste.

At the door he towers over me,

His puppy eyes lock into mine.

A sea of ale lies in between,

the veil of our gaze.

Rough notes stored within my bag.

Conversation for when words

could not be spoken.

My back turned to him,

hand upon the doorknob.

Turning back to see his glossy eyes,

reddened from fatigue

and too much drinking.

The knob turns with a jolt of my wrist.

I pause to touch my finger to my lips

then I reach my finger up

to touch his.

Photo: Amy Frank (2008)

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