and twist around me
dancing a tarantella in the corner of the room
that frantic dance
distracting from the truth
you and your doll house ways
controlling the letters
the things that you hear
the looks on your face
i am done
i am fallen
a celebrity in my school
but no less
than a figurehead
Pick me up and twist
my arms until the
positioning pushes past
the point of agony.
Twirl my legs so they
dance just for you
and put me back
when you are done.
I can feel grooves
wearing into my back
from where your furious
fingers have gripped
me in trembling moments.
The color in my eyes
is draining from years
of salty water running from them.
I'm tired of this constant game.
My strings are worn and fraying.
But it always ends the same.
You toss me to the corner
until you want to start again.
Not watching how far
I fall when you let me loose
to shatter among your feet.
Because to you I am just
a little doll with nothing better to do
than keep you entertained.
Enter the dream.
Almost like real, now,
the retro cross-section of a house,
Complete With Dishes
thrown away furbishments-
relics of frat houses past
a lonesome piano
a most questionable oven
and dirty carpets.
And a little porcelain doll
glued together many times over
arms outstretched, a perpetual please
and the head askew, cocked for
the sound of the front door
under her mothy crown
as the dust settles
as the sun goes down.
Almost like real.
But not quite.
My grandfather would listen to the Hornsea evening tides
he would compare them to incantations where ecstasy resides
grandmother complained that her husband was never really home
he compared wood to the soul in death searching for a form
a carpenter-he built my sister a dollhouse and me a horse
grandfather heard the grass growing he understood it's force
he would stare into the dolls house and share his visions
that night winds would blow the cottage free of it's fictions
On her last night grandmother opened the window and heard the sea
that night her husband finally arrived home and she for eternity
he would make wings for the horse and build a boat-his last creation
sailing at night he muttered his wife's name like an incantation
sleeping till morning the wind would carry his dreams in its suitcase
staring into the dolls house he watched grandmothers sleeping face
Once, i thought i couldn’t have
the things i saw other girls have
My body, rail-thin and flinching
conditioned to the self-spoken rule:
that i was not allowed the things they wore,
the things they said,
the space they occupied;
unworthy, small and forever changing, like roaring water,
i was thrown up against a landscape of women who were static,
ceramic and admirable,
tenants of confident peace with themselves
The change came the day i learned to see them as beacons,
not as reminders of that which i hadn’t achieved;
a similarly oscillating body and mind to bounce ideas off of,
not examples of things i would never deserve.
And lying on the worn wooden floor of my own dolls’ trunk one night
i considered, in retrospect of my transformation,
what a nasty trick it all is:
making us believe we’re competing for some grand and royal crown
when in the end, there are no titles to be won;
only endless civil war to be endured
The silver fog slithers around
my ankles, slowly winding up
my legs with a serpent's silk move.
Squeezing her fingers, my mother
and I approach the barn-red house.
It breathes heavily and its exhale
reveals a backyard cemetery.
As the mist settles, a limestone
hand reaches out to snatch her away.
Down the street the dollhouse neighbor
cannot see me screaming, weeping,
I call for help.
Brown-green water drips from
the bathroom ceiling--
the plumber continues plumbing.
Sweat beads form on the tip of
the fat priest's nose, as he climbs
the broken stairs, he continues preaching.
The porcelain girl wears her mother's
brown-stained ivory prom dress.
Chanting, Sonofabitch. Sonofabitch.
They cannot see me--
I flail my limbs.
They cannot hear me--
Their own cursing drown out my voice.
My father made me a makeshift dollhouse
one year for Christmas.
It sits in my room now, having been untouched for years.
It's cheaply made from a recycled dresser's wood
The insides are bare, lacking furniture.
When it's obvious flaws are ignored
it's sort of perfect.
Like it's patheticness has some charm.
I can't help but think that it is the perfect metaphor
for my family.
The Lego castles I built when I was little
Aren't strong enough to keep you safe
But they are the best I can do.
And I promise
The collapsed dollhouse in the garage
Is not a fair representation of me.
Though it might be a bit too close to the truth.
And I've never been good at Jacks
But I promise to pick up all your pieces
Every time you get thrown around.
And I got good practice
Taking care of people
Through all the stories I made up when I was five
And the rubber heads of my Barbies
We're always still connected to the plastic bodies
At the end.
So I think I have good experience
On how to stay alive in the real world
So maybe we could live in Lego houses forever
there's a life and repetition and husbands and daughters
and sadness or feelings playing in tune with a
different record and it mirrors us like a dollhouse
except we aren't held in hands as assumed,
just ignorant to the sea and it doesn't move
for nothing as superstitious we believe -
gravity pulled from colloquial 'moon' so
as drawn to reflection in the seams, look up
and once to notice that we're creatures
all living by the same means.