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.
if i were to lose you
it would be in
handfuls of plums
from the fruit basket,
the last piece bruised,
but worth the keep.
i’d hold it in my hands
the tiny tender heart
i’d take a bite
and after i’d made it
to the pit
i would crack every tooth
because you told me
that every thing
is buried in the
It’s funny, this thing called life; hilarious actually, the way we rush in, sometimes unexpectedly, flesh and blood hitting the air in a sterile room or some cracked leather backseat. We live, we grow like weeds, we take breaths and comb our hair. We work and play and we listen to the tales of our elders, we learn of the darkness, we learn to fear it while we dig our claws deep into the light. We fear what we can’t see, that open-ended intersection between now and then. Now is all warmth and baked bread and laughter in the hallway; then is quiet and eternal reflection. Is it a better place, this then? Is there soft Jazz and the sounds of a summer’s night? When I go will my family find me? “Rage,” he said. And so we rage.
It can’t be so bad, this aftermath. When your insides grow dark and your spirit is tripping on the sidewalk cracks you welcome a vacation from the sirens and the reruns. No crackling television, no crowded subway, no hunger. Just comfort, just music, just love. We hope.
When death comes to visit it lays a hand on the shoulders of those closest to the lost one, sometimes with a message attached; “You too,” it whispers, and “soon”. It smells human surrender from the moment the heart breaks.
Just last year my Uncle Steve lost his daughter. Rachel. This past Saturday my Uncle/Godfather lost his battle with cancer. I remember a man full of life, brimming with heart and soul. My Uncle, my Godfather, our love; he is in a place away from the chaos.