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A broken leg, open fracture -
All the pain like a price for rapture.
The sweetness festered, feverish, ill,
After the feast, came the bill.
Just like that, heartbreak followed,
Once giddy love left black and hollowed.
But that was months ago, or years,
No fresh cut in my flesh sears.
Time moved in to mend the break,
Agony now dulled to ache.
A bone healed the wrong way, free,
Crooked branch of a poison tree.
And so it hurts, albeit less,
My sin that I cannot confess.
Like an old wound numbly stings,
When weather changes, and rain brings.
It's a limping leg, it is.
But free of teeth, of a bite that's his.
It's functional, it does it's job,
Despite the faint random throb.
Will it ever heal? Be right?
I don't know. I hope. It might.
But I never had such a sore -
I'd never been in love before.
07.04.2021. (for S.)
Haley Protega Jan 18
You are my anchor in the roaring storm,
A comforting presence, like a candle warm.
The winds still howl, waves cruel in their force,
But you help me not to stray too far off course.
And sometimes I fear I'll be ripped apart,
Between you, my dear, and the storm in my heart.
When the whirlwind's embrace, like a siren call
Lures me overboard, to the weightless fall.
But other times it screams, the Scylla rears its head,
And I cling to my anchor, the safety of lead.
What insane captain is tempted by the waves?
Sees beauty in chaos, and a shipwreck craves?
You keep me grounded, and centred, and sane,
Lying on the deck, despite the chill of rain.
Breathing through the night, not to wake my crew,
I think I might, might even love you.

But what of the journey the charts laid ahead?
No continents discovered by staying in bed.
"A ship is safest in its port, but it wasn't made for that",
Am I a captain, or a cowardly rat?
And when the big blue calms at last,
Will I leave this port in memory and past?

The sapphire depths beckon, now mild and tame,
Quiet for a time, they whisper my name.
Oh I am rotten, to prefer the fickle sea
To the static safety that does love me;
But staying put was never my path,
Even if it leads to another storm's rath.
I dream of isles, new and uncharted,
Onwards again, it's time we parted.
Oh but it stings to leave your embrace;
How gently it sings, a lullaby of grace.
I don't deserve it in part, let alone the whole,
With my treacherous heart, my ever marred soul.
Stay safe, stay well, spare me a thought,
But don't dwell on this wretch that's worth naught;
Ours paths diverge, but you must know,
Without you I wouldn't have come up from below.
Thank you, my solace, for being there,
And as much as I can, I swear, I care.
But some flags are too damaged to let go of the past,
Ever condemned to fly at half-mast.
And you, you're of more value than a whole fleet,
Stay safe, my darling, my comfort so sweet.
(for P.)
I'm drowning.
The waves crash around me
And the storm rages,
The rabid sea pulls me under,
Foaming in its fury.
And in the darkness, I cling to a lone rock,
A coral reef? A whisper of an island?
I'm deaf to whispers of comfort -
The wind and waves howl and crash,
Outside of me, and in.
Diamonds are also rocks.
This could be one, but I'm blind to see.
The night is black and the current strong,
I gasp for breath and clench my fingers,
Cutting myself, but I can't let go.
It's all that keeps me afloat,
This bit of stone, a lone companion.
I'm still drowning.
The feel of a small salvation,
The solice of solidity
Under my fingers,
Isn't actually a rescue.
The waves are merciless;
I breath in salt,
Gasp, and cough and heave,
And my rock can't stop that.
There's no defeating the storm.
It crumbles under my fingers,
Weathered by the ocean,
As am I.
The deep dark blue
Whips against us both,
But is it not my hands that break it faster?
I'm beyond saving,
Yet I cling, selfishly, taking it with me as I sink.
For the small comfort,
The solice of solidity under my fingers.
As I cough, and heave, and gasp,
Losing sensation in my limbs.
It's too much effort, holding on,
And I am tired, faded, worn.
Cold, and numb,
I feel the thrum through me now:
I'm one with the sea.
As I let go, and silence covers me,
Like a blanket against the water,
Lulling me, slowly,
To the deep dark blue embrace.
There’s peace in giving up,
Relinquishing the fight.
The ocean hums now,
So far beneath the surface,
It's quiet here, away from thoughts.
(for P.)
Haley Protega Sep 2020
My lover has a scar
Just above her hipbone;
It's not a small ****,
a forgotten accident.
They're words -
Straight lines she etched

I trace my fingers softly,
Not to wake my love,
But I can't soften their bite.
Words of cruel warning,
An order, imperative.
Commanding, even faded,
Echo a silent scream.

They mock me, mock us,
For they still have a hold:
She is only half mine.
They hurt me, cold,
Like unblinking eyes,
Knowing that she stares back
Every day.

I barely brush them,
Intruders on soft skin,
Indelible scripture
Of darkness within.

And they keep whispering:
don't eat.
Haley Protega Sep 2020
I fashioned myself a dress of black lace;
Dark and elegant, epitome of grace;
Soft on my skin, caress like a lover's,
My comfort, my design, a haven of covers.

They called it macabre - filled them with unease;
Dangerous, they said, termed it a disease.
And yes, I'm unwell, but darkness is my veil -
A reprieve from hell, solace without fail.
I am the tailor, the sculptor of shadows,
The reaper of melancholy my art sows.
And yes, it is odd, fragile, morose -
The marble thorns of an obsidian rose.

The judging whispers that follow in my wake,
Can't comprehend I do this for my sake:
The sharp edges they call jarring and cold -
They are my palace, impenetrable stronghold.

Where others see emptiness, I notice lace,
The gossamer threads of a misty embrace;
They are but blind to the kingdom of nothing,
Only see moats, and wall canons jutting.
My castle of ghosts, the court I control,
Those remain hidden, deep in my soul.
The siren song, my foggy lullaby,
The velvety clouds on which my thoughts lie.
It is morphium, made in my mind
Embroidered dullness only I can find.
The words bounce off my protective bubble,
Your bombs shatter into a gray rubble.
I blow it away, along with my fears,
I got good at this, during the years.

Give me some credit, I am no fool,
Where others would drown, I can rule;
I know not to freeze, when water's too cool,
The fire you'd burn in, I use as fuel.

Yes, it's a thin line, I know it best,
But I'm a trapeze-artist, can pass the test;
A veteran of trade, the air is my nest,
I've learned to live without getting rest.

And I know my limits, how far I can press,
Worry you not, I've survived on much less.
I'm not glass, disperse your concerns,
If need be, the lace to razor wire turns.
Haley Protega Sep 2020
Two a.m. and it hits me like a freight train -
The realisation that I'm never letting go,
You're too familiar, too engrained in brain,
My highest high and my lowest low.

In every whisper, gasp, and sigh,
You're boiling in my blood,
Far away and yet close by,
My senses drown in your flood.
My avalanche, my hurricane,
my natural disaster,
My shelter from the pelting rain,
Machine-gun pulse racing faster.

A spectre, haunting, never gone,
Your imprint ever by my side,
Knight and bishop to my pawn,
Commandment that a must abide.

And every new experience,
Every wayward thought –
Shadowed by the remembrance –
Fights what can't be fought.
Each new one I compare to yours,
Forever my default script.
A room without windows or doors,
This heartache is my crypt.

You never knew and never will,
Just how deep I buried
The memory I couldn't ****,
In my soul seared and carried.
A keepsake, invisible brand,
Bittersweet reminder
Of doomed castles in the sand,
Love poems in a tear-streaked binder.
(for S.)
Haley Protega Aug 2020
A full Moon on the horizon of a powder-blue sky

The gentle breeze of Dawn passes me by,

caressing my cheeks like a lost lover,

soft as the clouds which in the distance hover.

I turn around, my back to the Moon:

the melody of daybreak begins its silent tune.

The first gossamer threads of Dawn's embrace,

cobwebs of brightness, Light made of lace.

A lonely bird towards the Moon flies,

hoping in vain to stop its goodbyes;

and my romantic soul melancholically sighs,

attempting to imprint the image in my eyes.

As the sunrise ripens, a celestial fruit,

it robs the lunar ambience, grabbing its loot.

And it basks in the riches that it slowly steals,

in brilliant ombre shades, as the Moon - defeated - reels.

The night's companion quietly fades,

ethereal pallor on now greyish shades;

no more powder-blue, grey turns to white -

it's the bed of clouds, prepared for the nightlight.

You've done your job, illuminating the way,

to travellers and dreamers, lest they go astray;

Rest for a while, take a little break,

until Sun retreats - then you can awake'.

The Poets' Lamp, nocturnal glow,

you'll shine again, with stars in tow.
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