In the stillness of the night
where whispers become promises
and the shades of you
burn like evening primrose and paper cranes
breathing in silvery moonlight
and exhaling shadows
we paint the world in tired blues
and shatter it like glass
mirrors and walls and blank canvases
empty pages and stolen heartbeats
all melting into the book
We sleep in the sea
and drown in the sky
drink from the sun
and live off the stars
Will apollo cry for us
as he did for Icarus
or will the sea claim us in silence?
And in the light
of the early morning
a thousand tiny paper boats
fall from the edge of the earth
The Real Treasure That I Found
My umber shoes clicked against the pavement,
As I stepped out from the darkened alley,
And turned onto the undeviating, cement pathway.
I could hear my golden watch playing its rhythmic song.
Tick Tick Tick Tick
Tick Tick Tick Tick
The dull, gray fog slithered into the town,
And made it hard to see,
But somehow my eyes spotted something small and delicate
Lined against the moldered sidewalk.
Suddenly, I stopped,
And glanced down at the emerald colored piece of paper.
It was resting on the ground: quivering in the wind.
My heart skipped a beat.
I could hear it playing that rhythmic song
A smile stretched across my face.
What luck have I found on this lonely walk!
Where fortune seems to have fallen on me from heaven.
I bent down carefully, and picked the bank note from the ground.
Gently, I cradled it in my hand, like a precious stone.
A twinkle lit my eye, as I saw the number
Resting on the soft, wrinkled corners of the paper.
Five dollars isn’t bad at all!
I clutched it tightly to myself,
But then, slowly, I softened my grip.
My greedy mind wandered slowly to a different story than my own.
I could see men and women sitting there,
Packed together in swarms, covering the sidewalk.
Each one with his head tilted back,
Resting on the cold, wet wall behind him.
They had nothing—nothing but each other.
The haunting specter branded itself inside my mind.
It was the epiphany of destitution,
And there was nothing I could do—
Or was there?
Is there something I can do?
Slowly, I bent down,
And set the paper back onto the sidewalk
For someone who needed it more than me.
Burning in my soul
Was the hope that someone who needed it,
Would find the gift I had given them,
That was never even mine.
That day I found out
That generosity is one of the greatest treasures!
And so I walked away, more lively than before.
My strides were quicker, which reflected my joy.
I felt my deeds were even riper than those juicy bundles of grapes.
The ones I used to buy, five dollars for a bag.
praises linger on the tip of my tongue,
cut short by the blood-curdling scream.
shivers race over my skin,
spidery legs digging into my flesh,
stabbing into the bones.
the hands of the clock remain still,
frozen in that hell-sent second.
prayers roll off my tongue,
dropping to the ground as stones,
ricocheting off the cold floor.
rain falls from the heavens
as if the angels are crying with me
but only i know that they’re crying out of pity,
not grief of what has happened.
gold coins sound as they fall into people’s purses
like rotten apples tumbling to the ground.
the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
it rings in my ears, deafening as i struggle to stand.
the heart quakes beneath me,
shaking with its own rage.
the sky shudders as it unleashes its anger,
raining down fire upon the heathen.
screams, like ice, stab through to my core
as i waver, my hands numb to the frozen reality around me.
i will make the world burn
and watch as it slowly melts,
lava dripping through my fingertips.
just to get to you
We’ll Meet Again
It’s been almost a year since I last saw her. We couldn’t even end on a good note. But now, now I’m finally back. I couldn’t talk to her either, so we have so much to catch up on. I hope she forgives me.
“Her house was, uh, to the right? No, left? I’ll go right,” I said to myself. It was hard to contain my excitement. The place looked a lot more different this time. All the lights were off, and the sidewalk had a lot of trash on it. Nevertheless, I know for sure she won’t leave this place.
I hurried to where I heard she was. The place looked well kept, but something about it gave off a creepy vibe. It took me a while to find her, but when I did, my happiness shot through the roof.
“Hah, I found you. Certainly took me a while. Been a while, huh? I hope you’ll forgive me for last time. Anyway, I know you won’t talk to me, so I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing: My job kept me pretty busy, that’s why I couldn’t visit you. I got a new apartment. And that’s about my entire year. I’ll come back soon,” I said, this time with tears. “When I do, I promise we’ll able to talk. I promise.” I walked out of the cemetery with one goal in mind. Seeing her again.
Another day in hell
There ringing the bells
Calling out for blood
Now we’re on the run
The demons are chasing
Chasing us down
There’s no way out
That silver blade
The crimson blood
It leaves their mark
The light pink scars
You lost the battle, your losing the war
But you pick up your gun, and you head out that door
And the war is raging on
With the battle in your head
The world is closing in
The blood is flowing fast now
Drowning all your sins
Suffocating in the lies
You're going to give in
Pills are on your nightstand
Letters in your hand
You said your goodbyes
The demons will win
Cause the scars never fade
They will always stay
And everyone can see
The freak inside of me....
The Warm Feeling We’ve Been Dreaming Of
My confusion rises red hot. I have nightmares of being shot; I'm not in pain and instead feel a slow warmth spreading through my brain. This is similar to the feeling I get after yoga and after I've run five miles. I think of the man who yelled after me in jest, what are you running from? Perhaps recent events. I'm a slow burn yet I feel my emotions all at once, like gunpowder meeting flames.
I had a dream my mother and grandmother arranged my wedding cake, cutting the slices into thin portions. I wake up aching for love and appreciation from them or any man. There is a desire to close the distance between me and the man sleeping next to me. He said to me once: if you don't have children, you'll be the first woman in your direct line of ancestry who has not had a child. My HappyLight for depression burns bright but doesn't give the answers I'm looking for. Perhaps I'll return it.
I read poetry books in bed. The poet says, I've gotten a million "likes", but love is what matters.* Something about gratitude. I am obsessed with the wisdom that comes from exploring the wasteland of my brain chemistry.
Appreciation is what hits the pavement when I walk the icy streets I call home. I devour the feeling of belonging somewhere physical. There is no solace, for me, in ruminating about what could be, no matter how tempting and automatic it is. I want to be home and devoured by a nostalgia I can cure.
When I was shot in the head in my dream, I was in a car. It was like an accident but with someone pointing a gun. I looked up and into the gunman's face and eased my way into what would be my destiny. The warmth in my brain was both mental, physical, and spiritual.
Perhaps we need to find our way home in a mental space devoid of pain. Or, perhaps that pain makes 'home' all the more poignant. I need to find my way back. There are maps to do this and my airplane seat is always a window so I can see the sky.
So I can see what I've been dreaming of.
*Paraphrasing the poet Atticus, in his book, "The Truth About Magic."
Love is all that matters
Erica climbed into bed beside her husband and threaded her hands into his soft hair: "hey". She greeted with a smile. "You're back late". He replied without turning to face her. She sighed, looking down guiltily: "Yeah, i know, I'm sorry, Steph kept me back longer than expected, she wanted to chat".Steve finally turned to her, a look of concern on his face: "You didn't tell her about me did you"? "No course not, I know you're not ready". Erica reasured: "Although, we have been married a week, don't you think it'd be nice to tell people"? "Show off my beautiful ring"? She smiles, looking down fondly at her gold plated wedding ring. Steve sighed, pulling her closer: "I know, I want that too, I just- my dad he"- "I know, I know". She interrupted before placing a gentle kiss to his lips: "I'm not trying to rush you, I just hate that he's still controlling you after all these years, what you do, how you think". She sighed: "It isn't right, I hate that he's making you hide something so important". Steve took Erica's hand, kissing the back of it: "I'm sure it'll pass, just give me a bit more time and then".... he breaks off, taking a steadying breath: "then we'll shout it from the rooftops ok"? Erica shook her head: "No, no I don't wanna push you, if you're not ready now you probably never will be". "No but you're right". Steve realised: "Why should my dad always get to dictate how I live my life"? "Maybe, maybe I could go back to therop, or maybe we could just tell your family, just to start off with, maybe we can work our way up to mine". Erica smiled: "You'd really put yourself out there like that for me wouldn't you"? "Of course I would Eri". He replied "I love you". Erica gave Steve another soft smile: "I love you too". She whispered, her eyes welling up a little, he smiled back at her before pulling her in for a long, tender kiss.
To that dirtied child, who was born into misfortune,
You said that they were “pretty”
In my eyes, watching from nearby,
they looked very unsightly, filled with pity
Taking innocent recreation in the suffocating greenhouse,
The one being taken advantage of is a frail child
With too much happiness to handle, my morals can be selective;
I quietly concealed my pity, and smiled
Stroking their head, and just telling them they’re a “good kid”
Like how you’d towards that child with that gaze
To be like you, so kind and compassionate
How nice it’d be if I’d lived that way and receive praise
The sight of others being unloved, at laughed at,
I felt relief on the other side of the window, staring
The one getting singled out, and left behind;
I’m glad that it wasn’t me; I’m not caring
Beating them strongly, and scolding them that they’re a “bad kid”
I’m different from that child so heal me
To be like you, so kind, how nice it’d be if I lived that way
How nice that must be, acting so free
I want to be kind, I just want to be pretty, like you
Just like you, I want to be kind
To be glorious, just like you
Not the one that is left behind
Keith pushed through the doors of the confessional, sitting down at the booth.
"F-f-forgive me, Father," he says, stuttering through his tears. "F-for... I-I-I... I have sinned."
"Now, what does a young man like yourself have to repent?" says a calm voice from the other side of the curtain.
"I-I've been having these... unnatural urges. Evil urges."
"Son, it's normal to feel these things at your age. One day, you'll find a nice girl, and—"
"I.... I don't want a girl, Father. I want a boy."
"That's not you talking, son. That's the devil. You must push him out of you."
"I... I don't know how, Father. I don't know how. I've tried everything. I've tried taking pills. I've tried praying. I've tried all kinds of crazy shit. Look, look."
Keith shoves his scarred arms through the curtain.
"See? I don't know how to get the devil out of me! Please, you have to help me! You're the only one who can help me. Father, please."
"Don't. Don't. Please. Don't. Just help me. Get it out of me!"
Keith had no way of knowing that, on the other side of the curtain, Father Reynolds was calling the police. He just kept begging, sobbing, asking, pleading, for help. He needed help. He needed to get the devil out of him.
The father bit back tears as the men came and took Keith away.
He watched as the flashing lights faded into the distance, but he felt no remorse. Keith would be better after a while. He'd be cured. Saved. Father Reynolds couldn't do that. Only therapy could do that.
Eventually, Keith would forgive him.
Father Reynolds grinned, showing sharp teeth.
Or maybe he wouldn't. It didn't matter. He had him in his grip.
It wasn't his urges that were the problem, not at all. These humans had no idea about how the Devil worked.
It was the reaction to the urges. The pain. The emotional torment. The bullying.
One "troubled" little boy could create a whole farm of souls for the devil to reap.
All that hate... all that anger... all that pain.
The devil named Father Reynolds smiled as he left the church for the night. He would go home to an unsuspecting wife and two kids. He would tell them of his meeting with Keith. And he knew exactly how she'd react to it. With fear. And fear breeds hate. Hate breeds violence.
There would be good eating tonight.