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A Catherine Oct 2013
Look at me
Take my hand
Bring me outside

Don’t let go – it’s snowing.
Hold your breath – it’s silent.

With quiet steps, lead me under the pines.  Their shadows extend the night to forever.  As stone-still sentinels, they guard our midnight trek from artificial kitchen lights into the snowy abyss.

It smells cold in the woods.  That sharp scent that circles each nostril and creeps down the back of your throat.  Our skin tightens as it tries to shrink away from Jack Frost’s fingers.

Lungs burn as we exhale.  The silence breaks with a metallic ping as our breath freezes in winter.

It is one blink and it is a lifetime.  The trees fall away and small steps slip across a frozen lake that hides beneath a brand new blanket of snow.

The moon reaches through the clouds and the world erupts with light.  Each beam refracts off the ground beneath our feet and a billion falling snowflakes.  The night shimmers with life.

And there we stand.  Wrapped together in falling snow and life and the soundless night.  The clouds slowly wrap their hands around the moon.

Don’t let go – it’s snowing.
Hold your breath – it’s silent.

Look at me
Take my heart
Keep me close
A Catherine Jul 2013
Yesterday, I plucked up the planet and dropped it into a colander.  I shook it through, taking out all the ships and lifeboats, the yachts and canoes.  Putt-putt boats and blow-up rafts.  Every life vest and floating device was carefully removed.

Today, I cried for twenty-four years.  The oceans began to rise and the coastal towns fell off the shorelines.  Everyone fled the coasts, but it did not matter.  After twenty-four years the world was covered and all things green with life were drowned and flooded.  When my tears slowed, I scooped out each eyeball, wrung them out, and then placed them back into their sockets.

Tomorrow, the water will recede for twenty-four years before I find any solid ground.  When I do, I will crawl out from the sea and let the sand scrape at my body.  The tide will wash over me until I am sprawled out, absorbing the rays on my speck of land in this ocean-world.  

The sun will sink into my skin.  I will dry out.  My brittle remains will crack and flake away when the sea reclaims its only island.
A Catherine Jun 2013
I squeeze my eyes closed, tilt my head to the side, and jump.

That itch in my ear has been growing.  For weeks.  For years.  Like water stuck after sinking below the surface of a pool.  I rub my ear to my shoulder.  No relief.

I jump again.

Out from my right ear starts a slow leak.  I can feel the moisture trickle out, slide beneath my earlobe and under the line of my jaw.  Every hair on my neck and the back of my arms reaches away from my body – desperately trying to flee from what’s coming.

A tentative hand reaches up to my face only to find it now plays host to a small river pouring from my skull.  My eyes turn to saucers with the realization.  The hair that had rested on my shoulder is soaked through and my cotton t-shirt hangs heavy and clings to my skin.  The river quickens.

I fall forever.  I fall to my hands and knees.  Like rolling the last of the toothpaste out from the bottom of the tube, pressure builds at my ankles and works its way up the back of my legs, through my spine.  My scalp splits open.  A waterfall is hurling itself out from my shoulders.

My limbs give.  I lie flat on my stomach.  The water surrounds me and I float at its surface.
Slowly, slowly, the waterfall loses its force.  The river runs dry.  I drift with nothing more confined to me.

Before falling off the edge of the new ocean, I am gathered up by a massive hand.  A coronal cut separates my back and front and the giant scoops the flesh from the inside of my skin.  The backs of my eyelids are scraped clean and I am truly empty.  My body is a husk.

My halves are thrown back to the sea and they begin to sink.  Before I hit the bottom the tide has pushed me along and washes my pieces onto the shore.  

Here she lies, eternally, a shell face down in the sand.
A Catherine May 2013
He stepped out the door and                                                          From­ behind the door, she put one hand
looked towards the face                                                             ­                         to the glass and watched him
behind him.                                                             ­                                                         burn into the night.    

Diamonds filled the sockets                                                         She weakly mirrored her own spark of life,
where eyes should have been and                                                 who pounded at the cool surface behind
from his smile poured the sun.                                                             ­                                                her eyes.

He waved a see-you-later wave, and from                                    Desperately, the spark tried to grab the
his fingertips trailed a shower of                                                                 attention of the star gliding away sparks.                                                          ­                                                                 ­              down the street.

He was alive and music sounded each                                         A pretty face, blanched with panic, and
time a foot struck the concrete.                                                              the word “Run!” forming on her lips.

But it was too late, and he was gone.  Her hand fell from the glass and her shoulders sagged.  Behind her eyes, her spark sputtered and sank to her knees, diminished.  She rested a cheek against the inside of the pupil and mourned the oncoming sounds of a broken heart - like the cracks that echo when ice splits across a frozen lake.

She turned out the light.
Really challenging to get the formatting for this poem right on the website.  Not sure it will always read the way it's supposed to.
A Catherine May 2013
Like the broken wing of songbird, my head hangs limply about my shoulders.  Bowed in resignation, I pay homage to powers I can no longer resist nor deny.  Reluctantly, I allow my skin to soak in this broken, gray home I’ve built for myself.  Like bathwater that’s gone cold, it offers no comfort; and like a tree’s sap, it clings to me.

My health has been stolen from this young body.  I have submitted; the flame of fight died long ago and the memory of its light has finally sputtered out.  With true darkness comes a plague baring the pit that grows in my gut and the lump that chokes the air from my throat.  And as my lungs catch fire, they scream for my heart – crying out for help.  A heart full of blood to put out the flames that lick their way up soft, pink tissue, but there is no relief to be found.  There is no heart full of blood, only a note that says, “Looking for greener pastures.  I’ll be sure to send a postcard.”
A Catherine May 2013
There’s a constant, quiet fump fump fump coming from the space where my muscles fold into my flesh.  I feel it along my arms and chest, underneath my cheeks.  The pattering wraps around my thighs and crawls across my stomach.  It’s desynchronized; it’s chaotic.  It makes my skin feel as though it’s stretched just too tightly across my insides.  And the fump fump fump speeds up.  My skin is like tissue paper, and as the rhythm reaches a frenzied pitch, it begins to tear from within.  Out of my forearm appears the slimmest, black appendage.  It slips through like a straw through the lid of a cup.  I lift the hem of my shirt and a fissure alongside my navel reveals a single wing beating frantically.  Panic twists like ivy towards my throat as more splits open in my skin and the existing tears grow wider, but more than that - I am alive.  I take one last great gasp of air, reveling in that feeling of life - that electricity that sparks its way through every cell in my body – and my skin loses the last of its papery integrity and ten thousand butterflies hurl themselves out into the world.  Each wing is unfurled completely and the fump fump fump is now a chorus of twenty thousand delicate membranes embracing freedom.  The insects push at their new boundaries and fly, scattered, to the long lost corners of the universe.  And as the last spark flutters away from the epicenter, that place where I once had a body finally finds the silence.  The stillness.   And where I once had eyes, I close them.  When they open once more, I am bathed in the sun.  I am stretched across a leaf.  I am fanning my wings.
A Catherine May 2013
The clouds had been threatening thunder for days.  They rolled in the sky with their malice building every moment that they continued to hold in the rain.  Stretched below them, an endless sea going as deep as forever could go long.  It was as clear as glass with only the slightest ripple signaling its deceptive appearance.  Below the surface, energy wound through every molecule in a tumultuous and festive rhythm.  If you could touch the water's face, you could feel the pulse of life through your fingertips.

But I could not touch it.

Between the sea and the clouds, moments were still and sat heavy like the oppressive heat that fills a humid, hazy afternoon in late summer.  Thoughts moved… slower.  Sounds wrapped around you, taking long enough for you to realize it was happening before it was through.  

And there, that is where I stretched each limb for opposite corners and existed.  Suspended between a heaven in turmoil and an abyss of color and chaos.  I was timeless, frozen out of the balance – in separation.  Sluggish thoughts fought to free me but they grasped to whispers of activity with broken fingers.  And in one moment, they took hold.

I felt the vibration in my bones before I heard it.

The thunder exploded around me.
The tension broke.

I fell in.

— The End —