Justin Tallman

Rookie (September 4th,1989 / Milwaukee, WI)

A Lullaby For Crickets - Poem by Justin Tallman

If I could show you that face I have been so worried about. You know, that face which
wore eye liner for black magic. Those eyes consuming all of those wandering ones
with courage and curiosity. So brave, that no way those eyes could even be stained
with the sins forgiven by our savior's blood. If I could show you that face which I have
been so worried about, I'd know that some miraculous coincidence had coincidentally
produced a miracle out of a universal glitch. Where you and I had got more acquainted
beyond awkward crickets. Our eyes green like grass, like there was nothing to
expect except for the occasional drought.

There was no way we could have blinked if you and I were happy, owning a deed
to those memories beyond our initial meeting. But we did, and now those happy
and confused children we could have grew from seed are now lost in a lonely drain,
making their way to some part of the great lakes. We did blink, and I most certainly
would say, we did it at the worst moment. When momentarily I had time to chat and
you were interested in a topic outside the tedious descriptions of achievements better
left as a desperate Facebook status posted for approval. Unfortunately, we did blink.
Now you lost interest in me and I've lost sight, blind, of the things which glittered
in the melting spring slush on the sidewalk.

In blindness, there was obviously nothing more I can witness than my own darkness,
sometimes hallucinating some young gun taking the prize which I felt so competitive
about, and there lies the mistake which blinded me and erased your memory. You
are not a championship belt meant to hang around the pelvis of some cocky testosterone
driven prime ape wearing boxing gloves, thrusting your face into the faces of all the other
competitive prime apes saying 'This is mine' like I intended from the start. But until
I can unglue my crusted eyelids, I will never get past my desire for bravado and the
shallow depths of that twinkle in your eye.

Until I can pry open these stubborn eyelids with a crowbar stained with the volunteered
blood of a good Samaritan (whom has the decency to cause true love rather than steal
it for dominance) , I will never gaze deep into your black hole pupils with a curious glass
magnified to some high three digit number (beyond my scientific education) . Observing
your soul at levels more intimate than sweaty bodies under bed sheets. Observing you
as a risk taker, open, sharing your thought process and telling me about those dreams
you had where you were falling from a tall building, confident in the bed of grass as a
landing zone but disappointed when you were cut in half by a single blade of grass.

That face I have been so worried about is the same as your's. I hide mine behind a
veil of jest, and you hide yours with an adorable reserve, pretending to be something
that is just 'cute' when you and I both know you are an infinite being somehow getting
by in a world of plastic dolls. If only we could get beyond this over exaggerated awkward
silence. The crickets can sleep through the winter, comfortably, under a blanket of Wisconsin
snow until it melts into slush on Spring's sidewalk. Ready for the next set of awkward
eyes hiding faces they are so worried about like you and I before the snow had time
to set.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, November 9, 2013

Poem Edited: Saturday, November 9, 2013

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