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How to Save a Shell


by Darryl Price


"Love is just a word I've heard when things are being said"...--J.T.

That thing that is empty now is me. 
I never thought I'd disappear, so 
crazily far from being myself. 
The love key has been thrown away, dropped 
without much fanfare. I carried its 
incredible heart for so long for 
only you. You'll never hear me say 
your name again now with so much sand 

pitched into the back of my mouth. The 
sprung mechanism thing that is etched 
and forgotten has set the clock back 
to the stone age. The only sense left
working is one of sarcastic new
morning light, but I am here, undone 
for you in this precious night, for so 
many years to come. This thing that is
 
truly empty of now is one 
of my own half-ass songs, forgetting 
just how to swing. The voice is drowning 
in your killing silent storm. There's a 
fugitive ghost sitting on top of 
your shell, not knowing which way is up. 
Words, they confess everything with a 
bad black dagger. If you're reading this, 

the thing that is empty wants you to 
know how hard I tried, to save it, for 
you. If you're reading this, I'm closing 
my eyes, but my eyes are still open.  
You're reading this, talk to me. I will 
hear you. The thing that is empty has 
no grudge. If you're reading this, I miss 
you. If you're reading this, I never thought 

you'd let go, with misunderstanding,
my love. If you're reading this, we have 
this, even if there's nothing more to
our funny flame. If you're reading this, 
I long to be where you are. The thing
that is empty, a room no longer 
filled with your face, but unhappy tears,
is a blistering mess. And that's all. 



Bonus poems:



You Never Know

by Darryl Price


There are houses filled with the blown apart 
pieces of sadly murdered elephants. 
Talk about a carnivorous mood. We 
only want to reanimate T-Rex 
dinosaurs so we can shoot them. Cut off 
their toothy shark heads. Make things to hold more 
things out of their now unplugged feet. Drawers filled 
with the silence of a loaded gun. The 
nth time--we're living in it. With the way 
things are going some of us might not live
 
to see each other again. But you know 
what, you never know. Right now I see a 
few clouds, here and there, from my chair by the 
cold window. And it gives me a kind of 
momentary peace. But it's people like 
you who make me want to smile again and 
mean it. People like you who remind me 
to slow down and enjoy the walk. Your sweet
face alone would always turn me around,
to face another day, another mob 

of elected monsters who want to take 
security away from those too sick 
to fight them off physically. If only 
we could get all of the mad ghosts of the 
poor murdered elephants to come back and 
haunt them back into their dark holes. Maybe 
in the multiverse. But here on this earth,
it's us. Or it's nobody. It's snowing! 
Life goes on, doesn't it? November. Noon. 
One poet typing. Wind banging the door.



Snow Plow/Captain's Orders

by Darryl Price


They play their war games like good little cheats.
Somebody open a window. This is 
hardly anything new. They are twisted. 
Not bored with hate, like us. We make something 
interesting out of it. We always 
do. They use their time to hurt others. That 
simple enough for you? Somebody roll 
down a window. This is just more of the
 
same. Open your eyes. Open your eyes. It's 
okay. Open your eyes. Look directly 
into the rushing wind of your dreams. You'll 
live. You feel it because you are alive, 
not because you are blown away. This is 
nothing new. You remember them. Always 
sold cars outside the hamburger joints. They 
use innocent balloons to get your rich

attention pulled away from the hat trick. 
They are like cracks in the ground. How else would 
you say it? Somebody put the window 
all the way up. We are bored, not helpless. 
We sang something new to say, everyone 
understood the meaning wasn't hidden 
in the words. It is us. You're trying much 
too hard to hang it up. Open your eyes. 

Whatever it is they want from us, it 
can't be good. They are twisted. They play their 
war games as the criminals. We can be
heroes. Thank you, David Bowie. Open,
sesame. We are bored, not without soul.
You know how to laugh again. Get on that 
bike and pedal like your life depends on 
it, but for God's sake, don't give up the ship. 
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