The Elephant in the Room

His eyes were the same shade as the cigarette smoke he expelled with each breath. They wandered the room aimlessly, a cheap imitation of misery danced in their depths.

His youth was glossed with the same cloudy daze found in the gaze of the barkeeper’s best customer. Flavored with melancholy, stained with mumbled goodbyes.

His flesh was painted with bruises and scars as expansive as a darkening horizon. The dog tags that dangled from his neck prompted the question, “Abuse or honor?”

His smile was ethereal, delicate. Almost genuine. A heavenly gift blessed upon a boy who was a little too ruined to be an angel.

His hands held a history of hard labor and hopeless prayer. They popped and cracked in a habit that derived from a nervous tic. A pretend version of breaking bones.

His heart played to the rhythm of a ticking time bomb, one beat after another. A steady rhythm that would one day morph into a crescendo, climaxing in a riotous finale.

His tears were always silent, found in sobs that made his body tremble. They were the lullaby his mother always sang, a song passed down through generations that carried him to sleep.

His soul was haunted, a Halloween attraction that was open year round. A crumbling beauty easy to forget.

Some Angel’s jump from Heaven,

This one tripped.


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