A trellis of verdant roses
up the knobby ridges of my spine
Clinging fast to empty spaces
where the heart’s grandeur, like brilliant stars, would shine
Every night I traverse this Rorschach devastation
To die of grief in the light of day
Leaving fodder for the wild roses
plucked at will by all who pass this way
*One of my favorite poets is Robert Frost, and to this day I still love to recite his Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening poem every time we get the first snow of the winter. I was reading his Desert Places poem and was inspired to write something similar to his style of poetry (even though I actually dislike rhyming poems if they’re written by anyone other than Robert Frost.) I drew on my own experiences for this poem, as I’m sure Robert drew on his for his poems.
Is this who we are, then,
choreographed echoes of moments
long since faded,
like the photographs in the stack of
albums hidden in the bottom drawer
of the china cupboard,
where we still remembered how to smile
in the way only a child can.
Before disappointment came and
leached the glittering hues of innocence
from the years wrought with failing
and flying, and the terrible sepia
that stole in with the loss of childhood.
A chorus of repetition greets the day,
where mimicry is mistaken for flattery
and empty words fall like spent
bullet casings. I string them together
and loop them around my neck,
try to remember how it felt to embrace
a kaleidoscope of living color.
It was black and endless and lined with teeth all over.
Descending like a wet blanket,
every breath you drew was a shudder.
*On a separate note, I’d like to reiterate just how much I dislike textual misunderstandings. Yesterday was the first time I got true hate comments on my blog. What I thought was carefree banter somehow caused the other person to devolve into calling me something vulgar and tell me to burn in hell. The fact that I don’t entertain phone calls from married men may have factored into this whole debacle. Why are we always so apt to screw things up so royally? It’s one thing we can always depend on to do spectacularly.
I sharpen my teeth on all the words I keep from you,
rolling them to and fro in my mouth,
tasting every nuance,
so that even if they do escape
they are smooth as glossy pearls.
I cut my tongue when they gallop up my throat
demanding to be released
and I’ve no choice but to choke them back,
slicing my throat to ribbons on their descent, on every jagged crest and
But even in their wake,
I still bleed silver.
You weave around me with the grace of a swordsman,
only your weapon of choice is your words.
What a lethal dance we engage in,
striking with focused precision,
sliding that unbearable hurt between my ribs with a lovers skill.
How beautifully I fall apart before you,
as you watch in silence with glittering,
The dancers take the floor,
only, I am unprepared for this.
The opening strains of the orchestra
They are playing the sound my heart
made when it shattered,
The crashing cymbals, a long low note descending into darkness.
Why am I here? I don’t want to go through this anymore.
It happened late that Thursday night after all the guests had gone home. Technically, it was already Friday because it was sometime after midnight when the visitor came. That year, I had volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house and I had gone to great lengths to ensure that the evening would go off flawlessly—arranging the table centerpiece with care, decorating the house with Fall and Winter hues to inspire coziness and conversation, and putting just the right amount of red paprika on the deviled eggs. The guests had started arriving, filling the house with laughter and conversation and a steady stream of food being brought in to the kitchen. There was a sense of contented relaxation in the air, with soft music playing in the background and twinkling lights hung up in preparation for Christmas to further add to the ambience. Even I was able to sense the joy in the evening through my haze of hopelessness. The evening progressed and we said our prayers, thanking God for everything He had given us that year, and then we proceeded to have a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. After the tea and dessert were consumed and the guests were warm and sleepy, the families started packing up and heading home. It was approximately after 10:00pm when the last guest had left and I didn’t want to go to sleep without first bringing the house to order and cleaning up after the entire affair. By the time I had washed the last dish and was ready to retire to my room, it was well after midnight. My parents had long since gone to bed so I quietly let myself out of their house and stepped out into the pitch-black and deathly silent night of the countryside. Situated on 5 acres in a farming town, they lived well out on the outskirts of the town amidst their neighbors who also owned large swaths of land. I picked my way through the yard to where a small guest dwelling sat on the very edge of their property, bypassing dark shapes in the form of bushes and skeletal trees that I kept reminding myself were not reaching for me in the dark. Making it safely to the small dwelling place, I quickly stepped inside and locked the door. Turning on the electric fireplace mounted on the wall in the room, I started preparing for bed. Feeling chilled and somewhat jittery, I sensed that something about the night felt off, but I couldn’t quite put a finger on it. My skin felt too tight on my frame, like it was trying to shrink itself to become less visible. Chafing my arms with my hands, I forced myself to start thinking about how positive the night had gone and thanking God for helping to pull it off. Not feeling comforted, I started thinking about all the things I was grateful for while still resuming to put away the dress clothes I had been wearing that evening. Then, an ominous cold descended on the room. I felt myself starting to hyperventilate and cast about frantically in my mind about what to do. I knew that running outside into the freezing, deserted night was not an option, and yet I was alone in the room and possibly the only one awake at that hour. The ominous feeling turned malicious, and I started fearing that I was going to be hurt in some way. I darted to my phone and with shaking hands turned on some music. Rising up and spinning around to the closet, I was standing there attempting to calm myself when I heard something angrily hit the heavy drapes hanging on the window. Jumping clear out of my skin, I turned with eyes wide as saucers to see the drapes go flying from the force. Time froze. I was a solid block of ice for what seemed an eternity and yet only lasted for about 3 seconds. In my frozen and shocked state, I also happened to register that after that angry outburst from the invisible presence, the ominous feeling of danger had lifted and was no longer present. Still shocked and not quite believing what I had just seen and heard, I tiptoed to the drapes and forced myself to peer behind them to see if there was anyone there. There was no one.
It’s superb. Go and get it.
Forgive me for worshipping
at the altar of your
Forgive me, for I have
against my very self
in carving myself
like a sacrifice, willing
my spilled blood to speak
the words that were
for a mere human
But your lofty ideals were
Uncaring if the tears
that were spilled
led to redemption
And so, I plead with you
to forgive me
for taking too long to
The abyss calls forth her song
of seduction—luring the wary and unsuspecting
as they fall headlong into her depths. Sweeter
than a siren’s song, the edge beckons softly
with the crook of a finger and a come-hither
smile. Unable to resist, they succumb
one by one. Toy soldiers heading into battle
armed with plastic for bullets. The rare one
makes his way out of the darkness—broken,
bleeding, but with light like fire in his eyes.
Talking about cracks that let the light in and
pain that is healing.