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Dana C Nov 2013
Brittle fingers stretch
limb from limb, etch
piercing minuets against
the roaring numb;
deliver sharp secrets
through our desperate eaves.
Our frayed woes drawn fore
& aft across plucked
heartstrings taut with resin.
Each harbored note
drips bitter with ancient
nuance; a hollow crescendo
that sinks instead of climbs.
This refrain is
in half-steps.
Midnight groans and shifts
its searing song a-lurch.
Cicadas chorus a thunderous
applause & we exhale.
Dana C Nov 2013
Following fog from foreign lands--
sleep still etched,
dreams yet sketched to form.
Muffled clouds of shuffling sounds
submerged in deep & cottoned ears.
Grasping at whispered edges,
interrupted slivers dissipate & scatter.
Perforating an entombed quiet,
almost-noises punctuate the night
with cold finality.
Memories put on hold resurface,
conquering attention.
Dread sets in:
you are lost all over again.
Dana C Nov 2013
When you came,
I fell.
Not like before,
not like I had a choice.
Spread across my face:
that foolish smile
you seem to know so well,
and a hint of something else.
That foolish smile
would never save me.
You knew how this might happen.
You spread your arms
and waited for me to choose.
And there was something else.
I fell into it;
in that moment
it came to me:
there was never any
saving me
at all.
Dana C Oct 2013
The melting sky waned
a mixed pallor of shy and silent
as the day settled in for night.

The softening light
reminded me of you;
the moon,
fell into my lap.

A gasping craw gnawed agape,
the quickest glint of desperate:
the pit of my stomach sewed shut
into itself.

The echoing silence moved
from open
to empty.
Dana C Oct 2013
When my guilt paralyzes me,
when my shame makes me cower
under the piercing lights of discovery,
my shoulders melt.
Bone becomes fluid, leaks into cavities,
pools around my organs in puddles:
puddles that fill crevices, then freeze.
Molecules grow closer, fit to form,
cementing my fears together
like negative space on a statue.
My guilt and shame were read to me
like bedtime stories every night at nine.
My quilt was littered with secret hurts
to cover with shrugs and a stoic face.
I wasn't just taught to take the blame
and accept responsibility for that which I can't control:
I was taught how to bury it in the backyard,
how to papier-mache a mask
over my reddening cheeks,
to soak up my salty woes
and further solidify the facade.
As the years passed and practice made perfect,
my entire body became encapsulated in fear and pride.
Independence burned bright in my self-descriptions,
but all I truly had to offer was an island,
desolation built upon an inevitability.
I was taught to hold secrets like water,
a never-ending flood of pieces of myself.
My reflection once told me to stop:
there was so much debris, I was manic static
over a vital broadcast.
That hunger took hold,
ripped the pain right out of my lungs
like warm breath on a chilly morning.
But self-awareness dissipated just as quickly.
Acclimation; Stockholm syndrome.
I came to covet the shell,
unbreakable like the vice over your heart.
I was taught not to burden;
I was taught not to trust.
Dana C Oct 2013
When my body turns to dust,
I want the earth to know it.

My knees will filter sunlight,
sparkling shards of broken glass
to feed the turned, fallen leaves.

From my hands will rise a steam,
lost from ghosts of wilted dahlias
and pulling beads from snail shells.

Softening footsteps in numbing silence,
my scalp will take root in boulders:
a lichen stretched anew.

The crunch of my nails will lilt,
a filling sound which bleeds the heart.

My heart, itself, a rotten composition
(spoiled as tender and cloying fruits)
will slip through Her fingers,
drench Her purpose in richness,
and swallow my searing in depth.

My skin, taken first as appetizer,
breeds microcosms of tiny dancers
and will never forget that feeling.

Collapsed and empty, one lung and the other
will cease to feed themselves,
twisting from entrepreneur to altruist.

Other sundry organs, bones, hair and ligaments:
a donation of retribution,
payment for what was stolen,
recompense for an unforgivable abuse.
It is all I have, and it will be everything.
Dana C Sep 2013
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.
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