D. B. DEVILLIERS

Poetry

Category: Emotion

I Do Wish

I wish I had held myself together.
I wish I’d done better,
done more, been better.
Wished I could try,
now wishing I had.
Sure wish I’d spent less time
trying to wish away the bad.
I might’ve been something
had I been anything
to begin with,
but if there’s a God
his concerns are more
important
than I am.
He didn’t stack chips
upon any
of my plans
and I don’t blame him—
he’d have lost them.
I wouldn’t have placed
that bet
either.
God doesn’t, can’t help those
who help themselves
to repeated glasses of
bourbon and gin
and out from open windows, shout
slurred shouts, swearing skyward, said

“Well, goddamn! I never once wished for this!”

Kingdom of Ruin

I was a city surrounded
by colossal walls of
stone and masonry,
impervious to attack,
built when battles past
left me crumbling
but then,
you appeared on the horizon
and approached my gates
and I couldn’t turn you away.

I didn’t understand
the mistake I’d made
until I was burnt down,
when my city had already been
razed to the ground,
and you passed by the gates
never to return
again.

What remains of me
wanders these ashes,
the flames long faded,
the ruin gone cold
and I long for you.
The walls still stand
blackened but intact
defending my domain
from an enemy who’ll never again
attack.

As days become years,
I’ve come to realize
a hard, bitter truth
that I hide with false pride:
if you appeared at my gates
ever again
I’d raise them for you
and welcome you inside
to my kingdom of ruin
my dominion of dust.

I wrote this one maybe a year ago about a particularly nasty breakup. Those emotions have by now mostly faded into oblivion, of course, but I still enjoy the poem quite a lot.

Despair

I don’t think time can kill it off completely, that emotion, I mean, but the years do dull it. Maybe it’s like a blade: you can grind that edge down flat in time, but the steel—the thing itself, however impotent—still exists, and a lifetime of effort couldn’t send it into oblivion.

In Spite of Prudent Advice

If you insist upon loving me
against good advice and
for reasons I won’t pretend to understand
then, before you invest yourself in me,
I feel compelled to elucidate the reasons
for which I gave that advice—
you see, I’m quite crazy
and not in the way that most people call themselves crazy.
No, I’m really nuts,
and because of that, I’ve been known
to routinely make irrational decisions
with flagrant disregard
for whatever consequences might follow.
I’m cripplingly inconsistent
which, I am told
makes for a poor financial investment
and an even poorer emotional one.

Simply put, given past behavior,
I’ll likely continue to make
frequent and terrible mistakes
so understand that, if you choose to love me
I very well might
spurn reason and objective thought
and make some short-sighted, careless decision;
I might well eventually do
something rash and awful,
something that would doubtless leave
an irreparable crack in that mechanism by which
you and I both connect with others
and derive happiness from those connections.

To speak plainly—
if you end up loving me
odds are I’ll do something reckless and damaging
something that cannot be undone
something we’ll both regret
for a long, long time:

I might love you back.