hold court

a harem of sorts.
he sits surrounded, clouded by the detriment of his decisions
doesn’t he realize he’s tethered to the same tendencies that he’s exploiting?

they posture for his attention
masticating on his emotions
but he’s like a child, grasping for straws
a laughing narcissus clawing for the surface
tied down in the tangle of his words as the tide takes him under

“oh darling,” he sings
“the water’s kind. won’t you stay awhile?”
they always surrender.
eloquent validation is his necessity
he justifies.
he over-explains, waxing nostalgic about his former lovers:

“i’ll always keep them with me”

he contrives the scene
creates a role
he plays the thoughtful amalgam
the forlorn yet expectant hero
weathered but never worn
yet he’s side-stepping every streetlight on the way home
lest they see his true face
the caked makeup and the empty briefcase
a cracked actor in tattered attire
he cloaks himself in moonlight, and retires with the dark
because morning always seems to bring a full bed

but an empty heart

(new york, new york)

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About Eric Skelton