My heels bite the pavement,
the cadence of Monday through Friday;
My shoulders are stressed
In spite of ergonomics.
The strangers who pass me,
eyes glossed with similar fatigue,
beat a shuffling rhythm:
the melody hypnotizes.
That's why I don't notice.
Walking just the same,
a pace not unlike the teller
or the lawyer in front of me.
They speak of a repast,
old haunts, new places,
television and sports.
Another measure, no sign of caesura.
When I find myself unsure,
uncertain of the cool ground beneath,
of the muffled grumblings
and the scrapes on my knees,
it feels like a dream.
“I'll wake up soon, I'm at home.
I've fallen asleep to the T.V.,
a wacky dream bred from the same.”
The breath on my neck is so hot.
Once my head straightens up,
the world once again standing still before me,
the weight against my body multiplies.
The floating sensation of sleep,
The feeling of a shell within a shell,
It dissipates and my insides are knots,
molten lava, churning against its crust
and my skin screams in tune.
The grunting and the pawing,
brusque lips are sinking ships.
There's not enough sandpaper
in the world to compare.
Those heels are dust,
their teeth broken and rotted;
Percussion takes a rest.
I am trapped inside my clothes.
Twisted like a snake around my body,
I want only to be free of them--
in any other situation but.
“Here let me help you with that.”
The words slither, covered in mold.
My every wish in that single moment
Answered, a betrayal; trite axioms abound.
Suddenly the weight lifts, is suspended,
a chance accorded to a plain old girl.
But my limbs are heavy, fear looms,
Justifications swarm my panicked mind.
“Don't be stupid. Give them what they want;
They'll leave you alone. Go to another place.
Return with some piece of mind:
no matter how fractured your body, you heal.”
But there's a light on overhead.
The unmasked man stares lustfully at my lips.
His uncharted groping is fervent, fearless--
his desire to be soon bestowed upon him.
Consequences do not glaze his feverish eyes,
and worry lies dormant, sets off no warnings.
The cage was set, the trap precisely executed
and there's no spoon to help me out of here.
Sept 13, 2009; Portland, OR.