Day 15 - SiltThere is a downward pull that begins slowly –Forty years of fine red silt cease flowing through your veinsAnd settle like sedimentary rock.Things, and you, begin to taste of copper.Lavender mists condense as you walk out to fetch the paperThe 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 lightOf 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.Yo
Day 4 - QuietAutumn began and ended quicklySo 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 riverLike 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 kitchenWith 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 facemy sunstreaked hair out behind me like a bannerAs 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 togetherin 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 mysteriesAnd 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 fallAs 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 ofSour apple and blood?
Cemetery LaneDriving down Cemetery Lane Steering wheel gripped tightly, top and bottom, taking sharpCurves,As the radio host mourns the fate of Montana's coal industry.We'd go behind the school with the Grecian columnsIn a parking lot pooled with yellow streetlights, exploringThe darkness my mouth left on your neck.Driving and breaking too fastWith the memory of the way each bend winds around itselfLike 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, measuringTime 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 baggiesAnd 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 sayThis 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 HomeThe 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
-lonelinessis trulysuffocating,isn't it?but evenwhen you find yourselfin a crowd of familiar faces,the struggle for breathremains.
You Will PayI can taste the fear upon you:The cold sweat in your palms,The eyes that dart at shadows,And the lips that are forced into a tightened smile.You wait beneath the blankets,Shivering each night as the anxiety rises.You gasp at the slightest sounds and quiver...For you are afraid of the curse that comes.In your mind you see what you have done to me.You watched as you ripped my tongueAnd stole the very voice from my soul!But even if I am without a body,Even if I can no longer hold a knife to your throat.Fear alone is enough for me to silence you,And I will NEVER allow you to be heard!
MazeLost within myselfLooking for a way outThis cannot end like thisTrapped in my own mindA maze with no exitI keep running and runningBut I always end upIn the same place where I began
Inner DemonI harbour a monster,It lingers deep within.It wants to escape me,To tear free from my skin.It gnaws at my insides,And hopes that I'll give in.It works hard to tempt me,To lead me into sin.It wants me to sufferTo feel its wretched sting.But I stand true and strong,I will not let it win.The nights are the hardest,In bed I pray and singTo the Lord God aboveTo rid me of this thing.But instead it remains,My monster still within.
RustThe dwelling rustof Wednesdayswells this hollow gardenand somewhere in the yarda tire swing goes flatagainst the skyline.It chokes the autumn lightleft hidingin the silo,drowning outthe crush ofmums and ragged berriesIt bubbles in the percolatorsteeping still lifein the caulof early morning -the red-brown crumbsof breakfast toast and jamgrowing ghosts uponthe silverwareAnd deep insideI still hear you waking upthe soft saluteof morning voicesstirring the windoutside my window.
Slaves of the deadSlaves of the deadwalked out,to find another land,but they couldn't stand the desert and the frost.Some died, some returned.For those who returnedthe masters had prepared a special punishment.Their memory was wiped off.They became thieves,without ever understanding why.They just felt it was the right thing to do.
No ShipI stand on the edge of the ocean.A cliff-bench seats me,Silence greets me.Bleak and sullen skyForebodes a storm, but no winds blowGull-cries mock me I see no ship on the horizon;Breakers crash. The echoesOf my cry.