Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
If there was another way to say it;
An easy way for you to understand...
I would not be pouring out these words
In an attempt to paint a picture.
I wouldn't be desperate to bottle
My emotions and thoughts
Into these stained glass letters,
With the tin syntax lid.
Poking holes through the top
Of my head,
So you could see.
Firefly ideas.

I am a photographer of hearts and minds.
The blood red room holds
My negatives.
How can I make them easier for you to see?
The composition so sweet,
The lighting so contrasted with
The shadows hiding the everyday.

What I really want you to do is stop reading.
Go look into the eyes of a lover.
Go hold a child's hand while they sing.
Listen to the wind change.
Feel the pulse of a city.
Cry with old wrinkled skin
For youth and life, and hope.

That is what my poem means.
It is a pulsing picture
Held captive in rhetoric.
Today is one of those days.
Poems spill out of me,
The pictures I am taking with my mind
Speak volumes of hope, life, truth, and purpose.
I am painting philosophies
On the blood red walls of my heart.
I want to dance until my sweat feels
Like rain on my skin.

Today is a day obviously meant for celebration.
Happiness is a friend reaching around a corner;
"Why were you hiding?"
Today is a day to stop hiding.
Today is a day for hide and seek.
The grass begs for my bare feet.
My arms wait for embraces given,
Not taken.
I am animal.
I am human.
I am alive.
Sometimes I wonder
If when my parents first met me,
They spoke to God on bended knee
And said, "What on Earth is she?"
My mother's tongue loose
With the ever convincing persuasion
Of a more-than-her-share dose of medication.
My young father's frightened yet eager eyes,
Like getting a first glance at an unexpected surprise,
That you haven't figured out
Whether or not you can love yet.

And I was wrapped in the blanket
Of their nervous doubt-
But willingness to learn-
Presented to them though most showed concern
Over their lack of age and experience-
Of life.

I wish I had that moment in a bottle somewhere;
The electricity of their hope in me
Making waves on the air
And later as I wonder where-or why-
My mother hasn't shown up again,
Or how my father and I stopped being friends,
I go back there-to that moment-
And try to start all over.
When I picture my childhood;
not trying to weigh the bad-the good;
Just remembering.

When did I become this person?
When was the first time I tasted sin
Like a ripe fruit bursting in my mouth?
Was the influence of living in the South?
My grandmother waking me up too early
For grits at five in the morning.
Should my adolescent tirade against mosquitoes
Have been the first warning?
Was it before or after their fighting?
The birth of my brother merely highlighting
My parents' complete incompatibility.
Was it when I realized I was never unhappy
That they got divorced?
The fear of their yelling abated
By a court-approved mulligan.

When did I learn to lie?
Playing cruel jokes on my brother,
or holding him later as he cried over our mother
Not showing up again.
Which one was the real me?
Staying quiet as that boy slapped my ****,
Laid me down, lifted my legs up, and said,
"Let's play house."
When was the first time I wanted to douse
Myself with gasoline?
Purge myself and
Emerge clean...
How did I start to hate myself?
And later, when I met my father's saving grace;
What did she see when she looked in my face?
An echo of my father's distance or
the shadow of my mother's abandonment?
Or did she see a blank canvas-
That she could paint her love on?
Where did I learn humility?
When did I begin my refusal of others loving me?
How did I learn to live?
Discover the strength in me to forgive?
When I lifted someone's face to mine,
And told them the only reason they were
Surrounded by the darkest night,
Was because they were the only star shining bright.

What made me push my family away?
My youngest brother not even getting
A call on his birthday;
My sister refusing to wilt in my absence,
like a wild rose-growing without a sister.
When did I realize I missed her?
How did I learn how to stand and be a woman,
With firm convictions that I can believe in?
And if I went back to that moment-now-
Back as far as my life would allow.
Back to that hospital-
Looked my parents in the face
And told them how I turned out,
Would they cry, scream out loud?
Or would they be proud?
She struts into the room.
A sensual movement of the hips...
Tight clothes, firm but rounded muscles
half-parted lips.
The confidence is like a perfume.
Her fragrance subtle, but backed with the power in her eyes.
She sits.
Strips out of her coat.
Corset with strings,
a tattoo of wings,
sweet little sparrow...
Are you an angel?

Smooth shoulders
as she exposes her neck
while the rest of the room
stares on perplexed
like stopping to see a wreck;
As she strokes her hair,
we silently stroke her ego.
She knows she is something to see
And when we finally remember to breathe
I'm left gasping for air
with a tightness between my legs
I hadn't realized was there.

And she smiles like she knows.
She does but
Then she turns away
Continues on her way
and I'm raking my nails
through my sheets
for days.
Where am I
if not stuck staring into a restless candle
that reflects my own inadequacies
yet brightens up my life
with every pulse of the unstable
and flickering light?

And as the fire rises up,
licks and caresses my face,
my body, my heart,
where do I turn?
There is never a painless walk through flame.

I have experienced this loss,
this guilt, this anguish before;
knowing it would be over soon enough.
I miserably wilt
like a vibrant blur
that is little more than a flash
in a pan of sorts.

The end may be coming,
but it burns like hell first.
This upbeat-beat won't stop-
It's sound.
So tightly around-
My pulsing muscle's clenched veins.
This rain's
Leaving a rhythm!
I could dance-
Chance my-
Fighting back against this-
Wow, POW! BAM!

This tap tap tapping
Won't STOP.
And I've got-
This liquid laugh-
Flowing down.
I tremble.
This beating-
Heart won't stop stop-
Beating like feet tapping on tile.
All the while,
I float in and out of breaths
Like they're going out of style...

Like a bird chirp-
Deep within the pulsing.
Can't stop-
Dancing and singing
Though ringing
Go round
Inside of my ears.
And Biting
To just stop
This writhing!

Whispers in my ear...
And I fall, fall-
Don't dance! Ignore that pound-
Pounding sound.
Beat that beating,
And its tempting little-
What a great beat
Captured in a body.

I fought the war, and the war
Because you can't ever feel down

Lights swirling around
and exotic colors become all
      at once
           neon bright.
Searing your eyes enough to give everything
that dim cloud whirling around it
      like an oversized trench coat.

But this is all overseen
    and somewhat out of place
by the people in
     fur coats.
And ladies who hold silken scarves
over their oddly high placed noses
as they pass my friend's cigarette smoke
     just before they enter the "hip" Latin restaurant
          to prove they're cultured.

And even though I laugh,
     and give my friend a knowing smile,
I hear them over the crowd
     incorrectly pronounce
           the phrase "dos cervezas",
and can't stop the cringe that appears on my face.

My friend walks away as if nothing is wrong,
      truth be told, there shouldn't be.
We both know how this works.
Who gets upset about a heritage they don't advertise?

We have all
        but bleached our skin
(because anything that isn't white is in)
We want out.

Because exotic
              are often admired
(as they are worn around the shoulders).

— The End —