Tag Archives: darkness

Unhinged

My neck’s grown tired of always
holding up all the darkness in my head
but I am accustomed to backstroking
against this current; the absentminded
muscles I’ve developed tell me so.

Once I was a baby,
once I didn’t know the ache of unhappiness
but only the forgettable way my small mouth
formed words no one understood.

When I turned into a woman
my heart went all soot and damp earth.
People made it so. The ones I chose to love in fact.
Each unhinged my ribcage and stuffed it with warm deceit.

I’m a modern day Medusa
stuck staring at unwell-adjusted me,
busy chiseling the corners of my mouth
into the slightest of smiles.

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I Came Back Broken

weddingmotorcycle

One morning I left, kissed you goodbye

in the sun to the humming of a lawn mower,

your coffee mug carried some motivating script.

 

I returned, same sunset, different Thursday

so often snagged on repeat in our heads

I took my boots off in the foyer,

I left them in the middle of the floor

you tripped dramatically as you

looked at them, looked at me,

I’d came back broken and you knew it.

 

But you didn’t

fold your hands in your lap

didn’t call your mother for advice,

leave the room when I entered,

whispered pleas,

what do I do

will she come back.

 

Instead you lifted me

beneath the arms,

placed my feet on top of yours,

I placed my cheek on your armor-chest

and we marveled and swayed

falling together in and out

of sun and moonlight.

 

I fell asleep, eventually

and you held your breath

you let me rest,

when I opened my eyes again

I tried to stand but

my heart was woven too deeply into yours.

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and very suddenly

on a whim

.            eyes blind

I packed my mind

and s a i l e d

outside   myself

for a day

or two,

a plan

 

only when I

.           came back

very s u d d e n l y

I couldn’t

let

me

in

 

so I

built an army

with my    thoughts

but they

floundered

in the dark

and very s u d d e n l y

I lost my breath

out there

 

for a while

I          screamed at nothingness

then for a while I

swallowed it

 

and after a while

I

got back in

but I

was

out of matches

 

so now I flounder,

.                 only sometimes

until my eyes adjust

until there are

q u i e t

precious  o u t l i n e s

in the dim .

 

 

 

 

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Love, Breath, Red Wine, Skin on Skin.

 

When I was eight years old, my head swarmed with nothing more than bright flashes of television, landmines of toys on my bedroom floor, the sweet scent of my father when he arrived home from work, always a cocktail of cold and sweat and cologne when I buried my face in his neck. Life rolled by with homework and spans of playtime from three until the sun went down, my mother calling me inside from our cracked front step. At night the humming of the fan was a lullaby.

I never thought dressing and parading my Barbie Dolls across the sidewalk was something to hide until he swerved down my street on his bike, all I remember are the tires, the way he stopped and put two feet on the street to balance himself while he called out something in that childish sing-song voice, silly at twenty-five but nothing but daggers then. We all know the voice, we all run from it. I don’t know if this was my first encounter with darkness, but it’s the best I can remember. Things get twisted up, out of order when you’re trying to pinpoint your first moment of confusing unhappiness, the what and why of it all. Second, maybe, was being the new girl in a new state in a new school at ten years old, thicker now, the bulls eye of whispers and crumbled notepaper. You’re not laughing with me when I’m not laughing.

 

At thirteen a teacher told me “they’re just jealous”. His intentions were the best but acceptance was more important to the awkward teenager, it always is, whether they genuinely like you or not. Sulking was my only talent. Twelve had seen a total eclipse, wandering hallways counting linoleum tiles and feeling empty as the air after the bell gave its final warning. Shoving myself inside a locker was never an option, only drifting through the afternoon until I could close my eyes on a turbulent bus ride and bury myself in the couch and count the teardrops.

Fourteen seemed better, more promising, until the growth spurt that left me thin for the first time since that eighth year of life brought on more whispers, the wondering of why I was really in the bathroom. I felt free, strong-shouldered, until the darkness put its hand on my cheek and asked to stay a while. Life was more than television and my favorite smells now, life had become a series of fleeting laughter, textbooks and deadlines, more sadness than I’d expected when all I had was a dream and a ceiling of plastic, glowing starlight.

There was happiness, love even, but something else, too. Since I was very young there has always been something lingering just overhead, pointing its long, ugly finger and telling me to second guess everything, because someone like me doesn’t get to be right. My demon doesn’t maintain permanent residence, but he likes to pop in and check on me quite frequently.

Now I have love, breath, red wine, skin on skin. Sometimes there is darkness, but mostly there is the most beautiful light.

(I hope you enjoyed my response to the WP Weekly Writing Challenge. The above photograph evoked some difficult memories.)

xoxo

 

 

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living is not simultaneous

Prison Ruin In Jeddah (Donovan OMalley)

Prison Ruin In Jeddah (Donovan OMalley)

 

without you i sleep

in patterns of fine lace

in spur of the moment

pearl drops of rain

 

without you i breathe in

the remnants of some life

like shattered glass

like spills of laughter

 

i move in frames now

i thrive in miniature bursts

living is not simultaneous

living is intervals of emotion

 

darkness is a constant

i haven’t yet seen

even behind eyelids

i wait for you to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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exhale and night comes.

(Dreaming Tree by Christian Schloe)

(Dreaming Tree by Christian Schloe)

When I died I twisted and turned deep into the earth where I belonged,

a topsy-turvy dance of the dead among rubble and missing bottle caps.

It was nothing like I’d dreamt, that slide ride into glistening depths,

feet first not face first like I’d seen behind eyelids.

I learned we jump into these things, not belly flop like children in summer.

It’s easy, no matter the circumstances.

Breathe once,

breathe deep,

exhale and night comes.

It’s the most beautiful solar eclipse; it’s numbing, cleansing silence.

It’s the ocean floor, the high-pitched ringing of nothingness,

the deepest sleep, cleansed palate,

only stars.

I writhed when I reached the end,

reached out a hand,

pleaded for a push.

I’d grown tired of watching the world turn

when I was already halfway to the other side.

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