poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “relationships”


believe me when I tell you I am free
unburied and unchained and finally me
burdens that once had me grounded
lifted by an unknown sleight of hand
no longer a piece of property

you may or may not ever see me again
now that I’m free to rediscover myself
experimenting with consciousness
and subconsciously exploring
past and present and future places

whether or not I return here is unknown
but today I make a promise to you
whatever happens from this point
until the proverbial end of time
we will remain strangely inseparable

may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

before you do

won’t you please
make another pot of tea
and stay with me awhile

we can try on
those thinking caps
the ones I told you about
last time you were here
the ones I bought at the
flea market back when
you were just a child

or we can dial up
another sci-fi movie and
marvel at the special effects
like we used to do
all the while sharing
some buttered popcorn
never saying a single word

but if you must move on
that much I understand
but won’t you please please please
start another pot for me
before you do

march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rhetorical questions

I’ve been thriving on strawberry
and lemon water
eating almonds and cashews
every other day
all the while considering how
seriously I’m in need of some sun

she awoke before me
her shower a part of my dreams
later leaning over to kiss me
rainfall hitting the pitch of the roof
just perfectly

you’re dressed for success
I murmured
squinting and gathering pillows

I hope you’re not going to lie there
all day long she says

before I could answer she was gone

april fools day two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

slender is the moon

sometimes she rises unexpectedly
somewhat slight
and somehow bright
like a slice of lemon or orange
painted in the sky

far out west ideas stretch
and sink
fading like an autumn leaf

face to face juxtapositions often
lead to uncertainty
casting doubt
by way of a thousand lies

there are certainly higher standards
worth obtaining
but not at the cost
of having to show no mercy

december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

he embarrasses me

he asked me why I was always near
shouting as if he was deaf
pointing fingers about which way
the wind blows
as if I always knew
when to grab a jacket
or carry an umbrella

he stopping drinking gin
and switched to vodka
because that was my mother’s favorite

in the candlelit parlor
he would silently toast her beauty
until he could no longer see

when midnight arrived I would take off
his shoes and put up his feet
lay a blanket over his fragility
his hand grasping the cane

he never wanted me
to take him out to dinner
because as he put it
I know everything about nothing
and talk way too loud

october two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

settling the score

out of nowhere billy lost everything
waking up to a note
segued by a pink slip at work
months later evicted from his
place in philadelphia

sally took it all to minnesota
life and child crammed inside
u-haul speeding north on 35
not a tear in her eye
nor ounce of shame left behind

unable to cut it on the streets
billy hit the road south to miami
playing drums and keeping warm
lip syncing in the shower
and banging his head on blue tile

back in arizona sally arrives on time
stepping off the plane
taken in by a friend of an online friend
homeschooling by day
and singing late into cool nights

on his fortieth billy falls back in time
with a young sally on coney island
arranged by a matchmaker
from oklahoma city
wishing to remain anonymous

april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

good riddance to october rain

I don’t remember autumn being this wet
she said

I blinked my eyes and looked outside
thinking to myself what an
absurd thing to say

it’s not that wet I said it’s just an illusion

it’s wet enough they canceled tonight’s
baseball game she said

real men play in the rain I said

you’re an idiot she said and walked away

I raised my glass and made a silent toast
to rid the world of absurdity
and rainy october nights

october two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved


He started telling me things
little things
I had no business knowing

After a while the little things
mixed with the big things
and soon the important things
seemed to not matter so much

Every day for over two thousand
I did nothing but live alone with
my own thoughts

Of course I continued to enjoy
chocolate kisses and
group therapy and
kite flying

When he rescued me from
voluntary confinement
I screamed incoherently while
riding on the back of his fifty horses
hair blowing back horizontally
arms raised and flailing

Now after so many years since
time has turned around
and I find myself
drifting and regressing
but succeeding at exorcising
my very own demons

september two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

january rain

she told me she liked a good cliché
liked how it felt against the
tip of her tongue

she was the kind of gal
who loved to french kiss for hours
or so she told no one

I remember her telling me on
new year’s eve
to be at the bus stop at noon
where she’d pick me up and
we’d go picnicking in the park

it rained throughout the night
and well into the morning
and though the buses don’t
run on sundays
there I sat in the dark
wondering where she was

june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

lost in space

you make me feel this big she said
eyes squinting
thumb and forefinger
an inch away from her nose

walking taller than usual
she exited the stage like someone
who knew exactly
where she was heading

as open minds followed
her every footstep
my mind traveled far inside
that imaginary space
she had just recited

march two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

that gun in your hand

click click bang
reload your clip and
take aim of my heart

I don’t give a damn and
I don’t want to know
how you found the courage
to become someone you’re not

click click bang
bring me to my knees
and make me close my eyes
but just promise me one thing
promise me the world
won’t end tonight

february two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

keeping it copacetic

you just don’t get it
do you
she says
unwrapping a stick of
frozen butter on the counter

no I don’t
I think to myself
but all I can say out loud is

and don’t give me that
what the fuck are you talking about
I don’t wanna see that

I don’t wanna see that either I say

see what she says

what the fuck are you talking about

very funny
she says
sterling silver knife in hand

november two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: