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Day 15 - SiltThere is a downward pull that begins slowly –
Forty years of fine red silt cease flowing through your veins
And settle like sedimentary rock.
Things, and you, begin to taste of copper.
Lavender mists condense as you walk out to fetch the paper
The kettle is whistling or the coffee roiling when you return to the kitchen.
Your lover is waiting, his beard and hair greying slightly:
Sometimes he still kisses you like he did when you were twenty three.
You start to spend your evenings in the ochre light
Of sloppily-painted sunsets which begin around the time the theme for Final Jeopardy fades out.
Coffee cups are washed, sinks drained.
Everything smells of earth and book pages with a hint of Pine-Sol.
The window is filled with the amber radiance of marigolds –he likes to garden,
While you are more careless, killing houseplants by neglect.
You promise to stop disassociating yourself, and to write less in the second person.
You get drunk less often and even jog once in a while.
Day 4 - QuietAutumn began and ended quickly
So now the sun sets early and I spend my evenings in the dark.
Today’s thoughts are quiet ones -
Where we love is where we live and die.
Day 3- North StarIt was dark when I left work today,
And I shivered as the wind slid around my bare legs.
(shouldn’t have worn a dress today, says the voice in my head.)
I try my best to ignore it. I always do.
I swear familiarly, angrily, when traffic is backed up at the bridge again –
This traffic congested tangled metal thing spanning the river
Like some kind of urban jungle gym.
But still it is the northern star of my commute and points the long way home.
I’m perched on a stool in his mother’s kitchen
With a mug of orange tea in my hands and a bowl of chicken soup with dumplings in front of me.
On the way home, my debit card is declined.
I try not to panic.
Day 2 - DetritusI squint my eyes as you kiss my freckled face
my sunstreaked hair out behind me like a banner
As I emerge from the lake with foam and seaweed clinging to my calves.
I make a face. You laugh.
Longing is a savory dish we must sit down to dine,
even as we cling together
in a tired knot with mouths that taste of lemonade and alcohol.
I whisper in your ear “I don’t want you to go.”
The night before we left a storm broke
with rain and thunder, and lightning webbed across the sky like lace.
I came to where you slept,
weaving myself into your arms.
This is the detritus of summer:
pearlescent driftwood grasped in hands worn down by sand.
Filling up our pockets with stones, memories.
A wall of tiny meaningful things we build to keep out the coming of the night.
There are no secrets here but many mysteries
And subtle, half-veiled truths waiting to be made known
Day 1- Cold HandsEveryone said a storm was coming but I did not prepare.
Perhaps I was too flippant or afraid to acknowledge?
Probably the latter –
Avoidance is my middle name.
The storm’s precursor:
Grey skies, and rain hissing its way up my windshield as the wipers, groaning,
Flung it away.
A low front settled into my chest midafternoon at the thought of leaving.
Now, I sit on the couch by the window, watching the rain fall
As the cold gradually seeps from my limbs and my fingers thaw slowly.
But isn’t a blanket a small comfort compared to you,
Immediate and present, mouth tasting of
Sour apple and blood?
Cemetery LaneDriving down Cemetery Lane
Steering wheel gripped tightly, top and bottom, taking sharp
As the radio host mourns the fate of Montana's coal industry.
We'd go behind the school with the Grecian columns
In a parking lot pooled with yellow streetlights, exploring
The darkness my mouth left on your neck.
Driving and breaking too fast
With the memory of the way each bend winds around itself
Like solemn ribbons around the tombstones.
Lying on a bed far from home
Pizza box kicked on the floor and the television flickering with the sound off.
I cannot forget the way your skin brushed mine.
MineThe past four years, I have been a nomad,
A snail, whose house is wherever her back is.
An hourglass constantly turned over and over, measuring
Time until I leave, time until I return.
I'm packing a bag with my toothbrush, my phone, and my fiancé's shirt to keep me warm
i won't be gone long, i only need a few days' worth of clothing.
Life doled out in miniscule increments like the vitamins I portion into plastic baggies
And forget to take when I am gone.
I've tired of living out of packed suitcases and half empty closets,
With a roof provided, but my heart somewhere else.
Filling out paperwork, what is my address?
When is the night where I can go to sleep and feel your arms around me,
Waking up to tangled limbs, tousled hair and no bed else to sleep in?
Tell me when I can put my bags away, throw out my arms and say
This is mine.
BrillianceI wasn't sure if I was falling asleep or drowning. Pastor Abilay had just reached the third point of this three-point outline and I was fading quickly. "The devil's 15 minutes," my father often called it. He would sit rigidly at the head of the dining room table after every Saturday dinner and warn us that just as the pastor reaches the place where Scripture is applied to our lives, we start to drift off due to the devil's influence. I always did, and it terrified me.
Pastor Abilay's sermons were an odd blend of clinical Calvinistic theology combined with the self-assured charisma of a leader whose word was law. His sermons always made me feel as if I were boxed in by walls of water and left me with a dead weight in my stomach. Just as I thought I couldn't take any more, he concluded the sermon and we moved on to the final singing. The presenter came to the front of the stage, hummed a few bars of the next Psalm, and we all began to sing. The song rolled in a rich four-part harmony tha
Come HomeCome Home
The leaves were just starting to fall as Alexander Bartel wheeled his bike out of the garage and left for work. They had been yellow and orange for a few weeks, but red veins had gradually taken over until today, when, at the hands of an incoming cold front, they began to fall like rain. The wind had awoken him early and when he woke up, so did his wife, who glared at him in the dim morning light and rolled back over. Breakfast had been instant oatmeal and instant coffee and half a glass of pulp-free orange juice. Grace liked pulp and he didn't, so they bought two separate half gallons every week. She was just waking up when he left for work but he made it out the door without her noticing.
On the whole, Grace was not very supportive. She acted as if she didn't believe him when he said he was going to work and had taken another job on the side for extra money. He always said he would help her achieve success as a writer but now she had taken the new job and rarely went to her
ViolinI remember the day
you told me violins
were strung with cat gut
and that is why
you hated music
(who says that to a child?)
I followed you
all that summer.
I watched you
grow away from mother -
your whiskey held better conversations
and all she did was cry.
We'd sit cross-legged on the porch
and count the horseflies
settling on our lunch.
You would drown tadpoles
in a bucket
surprised they could not swim
and I would dream
of cherry popsicles.
And when night would gather
on the sidewalk
I'd hold my breath
until a star appeared.
Don't bother making wishes
you'd tell me -
stars are dead weight in heaven
and God has cloth ears.
My School Says I'm Worthless (sort of a rant)I'm a criminal because my values aren't their values
And I'm scum to say the least
Because I'm not on their list
Ones who have their lives set out
And drink from molten glory raining down from
School top balconies...
And I have myself left to blame for all the non-attempts
And truancies; the bleak distractions
That help me escape the inviolable test-score stares
Of disapproval that I attract from their
And they're forced to ask me 'Why?
Why are you still here?'
And I can barely say
That I'm afraid to leave.
That I know that no-one knows
Or what they want to be
But unlike those
I gave up
A while ago
And they can't tell me to my face that I'm a failure so they heavily imply
That my lacking presence
And even less impressive
Tendency for slacking off is evidence
That I am stupid and a fool and nothing more than such a waste of resources
And it's a disappointment
That I don't hold their ideals
VesselYour heart is a compass.
Broken, perhaps, but I know
It’s always searching for the North Star.
Which way will your beard point tonight?
DanielYou are vertebrae
reinforced with titanium
that does not make you the lesser -
You’ve got the weight of the world
on one shoulder
sometimes you trip because of it -
you’re still walking
and if things fused wrong
post or anterior
and if things fused out in the interior
your circuits live on
and if your thoughts get circular
or so do your moods
and your mind blanks and you forget -
you’re nervous but strong -
then I’ll remind you.
Because you give me
the backbone required
you’re my Atlas, so I lift my head,
you’re my axis, so I can face the future
because you are vertebrae
reinforced with titanium.
You’re my inner strength.
FallingFailure after failure
A life not worth living
Lost in my misery
Long gone are the good moments
I keep falling
Nothing can save me now
Gone my hopes are
Darkest MoonI celebrate my right to live;
To the dismay of some, perhaps
It should be noted
These words I write, however true
Are only portions of the moon
I’ve decide to shine light upon.
But who am I to preach respect?
Who Am I to preach equality?
An advocate for re-personification
Of the female gender
But exhibits cannibalistic characteristics
Within dark spaces.
I am a shadow
Hidden within an Eggshell, painted pink,
Waiting to hatch.
Is the darkness
The night brought upon us.
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