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Oct 2020 · 26
Fake It 'Til You Make it
Poison?
Yes, I poison myself.
Drink like a fish
who flops in the drought.
Draught?
Aren't I clever.
Clever as I am I can
not tell running
from fighting.
There's lightning
where I come from.
And thunder that
ripples the water
makes you say
"just a little bit longer!"
To your mother
waiting worried
on the shore.
I. Want. More.
I want to be
invaluable.
I want the wind
to wish I was the sail.
I want the ice
AND the hail.
And I want the force of it
to cower at my stoicism.
Hood up, muck boots on
Carhartt weary as it's ever been.
It all fits like the finest glove.
Let's get to work.
Come morning
I am already awake.
Already ate my bacon and eggs.
Say to the mirror
as if it has ears
and knows my mother is dead:
"I do not yield."
I am already the shield
that spares life's victims.
Look at my face.
Don't shed your tears for me.
I have work to do.
#grief #strength #loss #mother #work #life
Aug 2020 · 149
Christening
To begin again-
like returning to
the scene of the crime.
2,142 miles took my toes
straight back to the edge
of The Pit.

A gaping black maw
of being left or leaving.
I see the eyes
shining at the bottom
when I teeter forward
to look at Love's victims.

I almost topple in,
but then see ghost's hands
have been working on my bridge
all this time.
So I cross it into
the land of the lonely.

I work on a garish grin
to keep the men at bay.
I wave to my mother
back on dry land,
"thank you for squaring
my shoulders again."

She salutes me with
her hammer and nails,
summons the wind
that fills up my sails,
and christens me for
my next voyage.
Aug 2020 · 228
Washburn
In a glass room
at the top of a mountain
I learned how to speak.
At 10,000 feet
I learned the shape of words
and how they can sound
so much like wind
persisting, wailing against
the impossible odds
of sturdy, dismissive construction.
If this is not a home,
then what is it?
A shrine atop this mountain?
An offering to the gods of
sunrise, sunset, thunderstorm,
and man-made radio equipment?
Man-made fire?
There are certainly plenty
who climb to worship at its feet.
Surely nothing, save from
the mountain itself,
could send this glass room
tumbling down the path
I just walked to reach it.
Aug 2020 · 120
The Lake
A silver lake.
Slake and slough and
you think
that this will surely
make you clean.
But you thought the same thing
about the tall fields of grass
that sliced your skin
in microscopic ribbons,
and made your shins itch.
What now?
Now that you have frost
coating every hair
of every crevice?
Is this purity?
Is this what you’re craving
endlessly?
Aug 2020 · 246
Sacrifice
Her ******* were taken
from her legs and back.
Formed from her own body
by a stranger’s hands.
A brutal procedure, reconstruction.
Adding four more scars to
her body which has already carried
three lives besides her own
fading one.
I catch her reflection
in the bathroom mirror
fresh out of the shower.
Door left open
because her legs wobble
like a newborn foal’s.
A giraffe.
A gazelle.
A calf.
She looks like a sacrifice,
my mother.
Allowed to live a short while longer
in the face of the new death
sprouting in her brain.
Or perhaps
it has been festering there
a while.
She is sick of pink.
She still smooths lotion
over her hands and face.
Feels her prickly, bald scalp
with her soft palms.
She is soft all over now
where there used to be muscle.
Brown, toned arms,
shapely legs.
It stole from her
again
and again.
Inside that soft, tired body
a warrior spirit raged on,
but knew defeat
when she saw it
on the pink horizon.

— The End —