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17
Elaenor Aisling Nov 2013
17
I was 17,
when we discussed workout routines in gym,
thin legs branching from ruby-red shorts,
skin pale and dappled in winter air.
I described my workout of 200's.
200 crunches, 200 sit-ups, etc. etc. etc.
"You make me feel fat,"
my model- built friend complained.

I stared down at my shrinking thighs,
wondering how fat she would feel,
with hollow spaces beneath her skin,
numbed by the gnawing of metabolism on muscle.
If she could feel her labored breaths circulate
through drained limbs,
and saw the stars and sparks in the haze of exhaustion,
that perpetuated around me.
If she shivered
walking home in without a coat in December
simply because
Cold burned more calories than warm.  

At 17, I learned
Electric blankets were invented for asylum patients
so they wouldn't freeze when they were lain outside
to get fresh air.
I shivered under mine in a warm house--
strangled by three layers of hoodies,
a morbidly comical scene-- the skeletal inmate cowering
in masses of cotton
and still cold.

The skeleton in the mirror had no eyes,
Only its bloated stomach stared back at me.
Forget the thigh-gap,
the stomach was the only thing that mattered.
It should be as flat as the unleavened bread
I refused at communion:
I didn't know how many calories it had.

I was 17,
when the word "beauty" fell from my vocabulary.  
Lank, unwashed hair hung limp to hide the
Inflamed scratches on my face: feeble efforts to eradicate
the hatred, guilt, over two extra bites,
and what I had become.
Here I was, in all my gollum-like, two by four perfection:
except the stomach.
That ****** bloated *****
I wished I could tear it from my body,
Throw it aside to rot on the heap
of moulding high-school dreams
I kept in the corner of my room.

But it remained, day after day,
the stubborn thing stayed on,
even when filled with saltwater,
to force it to give up the last bit of its contents.
Three mugs, and several tablespoons later
it finally relinquished,
in the emergency room,
as my mother stood
holding my hair and crying.
I still thought she was over-reacting.

I looked up at the ER doctor,
middle aged and blonde,
her eyes were sympathetic, but annoyed,
As she asked me if I was trying to **** myself.
"No," I said. Not Yet I thought,
I heard my dry throat crack with the words,
"I have an eating disorder."
Thanks to rehab and prozac this is all behind me.
Elaenor Aisling Nov 2013
Give it up,
relinquish those thousand thoughts,
the thousand hopes,
no one ever wanted to know.
Keep only the things they wanted to read,
the ****, the gossip.
The secrets shared between you and your lovers,
whispered in hushed tones
across mascara scarred pillows at 2am.

Bury the dreams,
that had no meaning.
The happy ones, full of lavender and vanilla,
But keep the nightmares,
the ones that left you screaming at 2am
that will make the hair stand up on the nape of their necks,  
and give them nightmares of their own.

Starve your soul,
till all that's left is the shell of a body
that they will praise, then critique.
Who needs souls anyway?
Without a soul, you remain forever,
undamned, unsaved,
alone, in the dark, at 2am.
Elaenor Aisling Feb 2014
My dreams are growing darker-
maybe it’s the weather
but my bed is growing colder
despite the extra sheets.

I dream of wars I’ve never been in
And men I’ve never seen,
dust rises all around me
in the distance drunken screams.

And the barren cold is creeping,
seeping deep into my bones
I feel the marrow freezing
will take years to thaw the frost


Where has all the color gone?
All fading grey, no black and white,
I’m tumbling down the rabbit hole;    
at least three dreams a night.

*And the barren cold is creeping,
seeping deep into my bones
I feel the marrow freezing
will take years to thaw the frost
Elaenor Aisling Feb 2015
There is something divine, of light through clouds,
in that cantabile,
the plaintive, golden chords, minor falls,
radiating from the deepest recess of the soul
a tugging lilt of melody.
To think these might be the lowest harmonies of heaven
the simplest of notes in Gabriel's voice
the sweetest, must be so,
It is a wonder
the heart does not break with beauty.
Elaenor Aisling May 2014
Here, again, a campaign of confusion.
Assaults of second thoughts
and broken promises.
What we failed to say then,
we're saying now.
But the question of casualties
still remains unanswered.
Elaenor Aisling Feb 2014
And we never stop being girls at heart.
Even at 80, in the nursing home bathroom mirror,
I will probably stop
and stare, at the parchment-faced woman,
with wrinkled cheeks and drooping eyes,
and wonder where the acne faced girl,
with bright round eyes,
has hidden herself away.
I will smile at the young, handsome, CNA
as he passes in the hall, wondering
what he would think of me at 18.
Elaenor Aisling Feb 2014
I still wonder at the beauty of my sister
and the flocks she will draw at 16
piles of phone numbers at her feet,
Psyche incarnate, I the strange sibling
no servant of cinders, she is exalted.
Not that I am unloved, but it is strange to see
how much the contrast shows in family portraits.
Elaenor Aisling Jan 2014
I read stories of women,
dressed in silk and wool,
quiet, passive, faceless ladies
defined only by their spontaneous romances
with strangers on trains,
who dug out childish notions in their heads,
as they forsook their loving husbands of twenty years
for slick haired young men,
who pretend not to mind their sagging *******.

Madam Bovarys for a modern age.
Afraid of fading youth, dying embers,
bringing up the same high school insecurities,
they felt when their prom date flirted with the cheerleading captain.
And quenching them just as quickly
when they fogged up the windows of his father's car.

But maybe I should keep quiet.
What do I know?
A thin, ******, school girl,
who has known little of passion, but some of love.
And when I learned love, I learned loyalty.
And after, there is only a gaping emptiness
the familiar ache
The desire to drown myself in soft things
Fill my pockets with pebbles and all the poems my muses will never read
And wade into the Lethe
To the place of the first breath after momentary pain
The liminal gasp between sighs
The first touch after a long absence
Body awakening to memory.

Welcome weary traveller, you are safe here. Dwell. Abide.
The scrounging scratching crawl you call a life withdraws.
Here,
Float in the fingers of sunlight through glass
The murmur of breath against hair
The glimpse of ripples from a water-strider’s gait.
Here,
You are small and safe
You suffer no harm nor cause it
Your existence has curled in on itself  
And blooms with the sunrise.
Here,
Your presence is a fleck on a robin’s egg
The bruise of teeth on a petal
An eyelash in sand
Lost, lingering, and longing.


The Lethe plucks the pebbles and poems into the current
Your likeness billows with ink in the wake
Adrift, I clutch at your fading hand
But rising, find I do not know this face
Left only with a flicker
Of a stranger’s arms
around my waist.
Elaenor Aisling Jun 2012
You found yourself
in a paradise of strangers
all going one direction or another,
though none towards you.
You stood alone on the sidelines
not sure who to follow
where to go
Seemed everyone had a place
except you.
But then,
you decided to
make your own way
and took off
through that sea of strangers
into the unkown.
Elaenor Aisling Dec 2013
On the last, icy, breaths of December 2012,
I found a wounded sparrow,
who had mistaken glass for freedom.
The tiny neck was askew,
but the heart still fluttered against my palm.
I thought, for a moment, of ending his misery,
but the idea of bludgeoning the fragile skull,
or twisting the brittle neck,
turned my stomach sour.

I brought him home in a kleenex nest,
moved him to a basked of pine, lined with rags.
Tried to coax a few seeds and drops of water
into the tiny beak,
but to little avail.
He died new years eve, with the last breath of the old year,
and I buried the stiff body
in the garden with the dead rose bushes.

Had I, like the ancient greeks, believed in bird signs
I might have taken it as an ill omen,
run screaming to the oracle,
demanding what misfortune was to befall me,
with the first gasp of January.
But, like Achilles, I put more stock in my own two hands
than the silver-plated fingertips of Olympians.

And with that first cry of the new year,
came fates I could not have imagined,
no matter how many feathers and fates I followed.
Misfortune, of course, made her customary visit,
and stayed longer than expected.
But Joy did not shun my door,
and, by good fortune, stayed longer than her bitter sister.
Elaenor Aisling Jan 2014
I am not a woman of Mona Lisa smiles,
(if she's even trying to smile).
I am not coy, no pretense, simply shy.
There is really little mystery to me.
My heart is on my sleeve,
my mind is an open book.
Few take time to notice the blood drops on my clothes
Read the lines scrawled across my forehead,
inspect my ink stained hands,
or read the late night rambles I hesitate to call poetry.

I am simplistic, with stripes of imperfection,
My music has been called "Sweet"
as one might say a child is sweet,
in a winsome, ribbon-laced fashion.
I know it is simple. Juvenile.
But children can speak with more depth
than their mature, beautiful parents.
My poetry is merely fractions
of my soul, disguised on a page
to look like words.
Nothing quite a masterpiece,
I'd be shunned from the guilds of European masters.  
I am folk art, they are Rembrandt.
I've never been known to send someone to a dictionary,
or force a rhyme in Chaucer's name.

It is all simple shards of imagination
That managed to struggle out of my brain, down my arms,
and into my hands.
They're mangled by the time they arrive.
Colorful pilgrims worn by hard weather,
and lack of skill,
but no less pious.
Elaenor Aisling Feb 2015
Water bearer*
It is always borne.
Never passing under the bridge
where it's supposed to be.
Streams burst from under the tongue
and sponge pores.
Drowning inside,
under memories weight.
I don't place much stalk in signs, but I always thought this an interesting ideal. Any other aquarius have hard times letting go of memories?
Elaenor Aisling Nov 2013
As I looked out
into the great beyond,
I, the voyager, trapped in doldrums,


Found the soul that had slipped away from me.
My quest ended, I discarded
the gravity-encased form my mother gave me,
Trading it for the light,
The soul had always longed to be clothed in.


And my soul danced,
on the dihcotomic sea of what is,
and what will be,
waltzing across the waves of dreams,
as light is want to do,
whenever it meets water.
Another installment of the FB first line challenge, not really a fan, but I think I was able to salvage a decent poem from it.
Elaenor Aisling Jan 2014
A sadness haunts that town.
stuffed between the cracks
of dilapidated matchbox houses,
and in the grit of rusty trailers.
Even below the green carpet of government buildings,
And the marble courthouse floor.

Poverty stares Wealth in the face from across the street,
his haunted, empty eyes
lit by the embers of discarded cigarettes.
Wealth is good at glossing over the cracks,
setting up the chain link fences and rail road tracks.
Iron curtains that could be stepped over,
if anyone knew they were there.

But no matter how many fences,
there's still that nameless sadness in the soil.
A potent concoction
of dead dreams, harsh realities, and broken hearts.
With a dash of Cherokee tears and lead from the War.
All stirred by Monotony,
who lights her cauldron fire
with electric bills and dollar store receipts.

Like a curse, it spares none.
Though they've learned how to smile
with tears in their eyes,
above moth eaten scarves or pearls.
It's permeated everything, down to the roots.

But not to leave the glass half empty;
Some still find happiness,
some are still sad.
That's just how it goes.
Hope and despair are but two notes in the same tune.
Elaenor Aisling Feb 2014
I have luck in all the wrong places.
Right place at the wrong time,
I'm always early for everything.
My head, ten minutes fast,  
My heart, ten minutes slow,
so much for synchronization.
My soul gave up tracking time long ago
Anatomical or atomic.
Elaenor Aisling Apr 2013
Men loosened Justice's blindfold
So she could "see the evidence" they said
She protested and tried to fix it,
but her scales fell out of balance.

Peace asked her why?
Justice cried and her tears
wilted Peace's olive branch
the dove drank the salt water and got sick.

Hope tried to console Peace and Justice,
But when she saw the blindfold amiss
and the dove sick
her fragile heart couldn't take it, and she died.

Love tried to revive Hope
but she knew it wouldn't work,
because she couldn't gather enough
of Hope's soul to bring her back.

And for that Peace and Justice
Shunned her, rebuked her
they said she was useless
and banished her to a far northern land.

So Love fled from men's hearts
and found herself with Patience, cast into exile
Patience was happy because Loneliness fled,
But Love longed for her former life.

And with Hope dead
it didn't take long for Sorrow
to smite her.
Ava
Elaenor Aisling Mar 2018
Ava
Your broad forehead glistening--
kissed with salt from the sweat
of the sea you've never seen.
The clay is still under your nails
from molding the beaker beside you.
Meadowsweet on your lips
you lay down to die
with the softness illness brings.
Tonderghie copper hair
falls over your knees,
body curled as a new babe's.
Carry with you our songs to the afterlife
from this cold forest
to clearest skies.
Inspired by the Achavanich beaker burial project.
Elaenor Aisling Jan 2013
I am letting them go today, all the "what if's".
Letting them slide away, chasing some out
I banish their offspring of Paltry Wishes with them.
Sending the whole lot into the Siberia of Reality and Pessimism,
Along with false hope and innumerable maybes.

They try to come back, persistent things.
Beat upon the door, knocking, crying, begging,
to be let back in.

But I slide the dead bolt and turn away.
They bring only pain, real and projected.
At least I had some pleasure before, I think.
But it doesn't make it hurt any less.
Elaenor Aisling May 2013
Two birds in similar cages bound,
with bleached white staves
a brig of flesh.
The lock unreachable,
as with any prisoner,
but it keeps them not from calling,
to their opposite companion.

The Jailers hear the songs,
block them out,
try to stifle the warbling beaks,
but they know there will be no peace
till the bleached white staves are joined,
and the two birds may nest together.
Elaenor Aisling Feb 2015
Sing in the greyness, the darkness.
Twine it round your fingers
round the staff lines
you carved into your legs.
Black white and red
what have we anymore?
Dame Misfortune Madam
of whorish time,
who waits for no man.
Which came first?
See who lit the cigarette last,
see, he puts his trousers on
one at a time.
Eternity in a nutshell,
the universe in an eggshell,
and we brewed beer in them
to get rid of the changeling thoughts,
though mother heated the shovel
iron hot, it glowed
black white and red.
Flicker, dance-- does it live?
Do we live?
Even when we can see the end?
Blindfolded fortune, justice,
says no,
twisting ribbons round her fingers
black, white and red.
This just tumbled out.
Elaenor Aisling Mar 2013
There is pain here.
It swells, drifts,
within the ribbed cage
covered with pale, stretched skin.
My heart, the bird, beats it's tiny, wounded wings,
in fear and aching throbs,
to escape from it's ****** aviary,
but the bars are too strong,
and it sings a final, mourning note
as the bones collapse around it.
Elaenor Aisling May 2014
It's time I fall out of love with your memory.
Admit, like Augustine, "I did not love, but yearned to love."
(Though I still cared)
I've scraped the bottom of the barrel.
Turning each curl of wood
till it crumbled in my fingers.
I could have stopped long ago.
Should have stopped long ago--
unearthing the memories
again and and again and again.
I think now,
I will let them rest in peace.
Went through the archives today and got rid of some of my most silly mopey poems.
Elaenor Aisling Dec 2015
I have dreamed of you. Branch like arms, solid sapling strength
as you arrange words perfectly on a page. I have so long been frightened of shattering the silence. Silence and I, we are old friends, can it do without me? Dare I bruise it? As the proverb says, are my words beautiful enough to make snowflake-shards when it breaks?
     Words, what are words? I can write them quietly-- silently, here they hold no decibled danger-- shout them, sing them, whisper-- silently.
     I thought my mouth an ugly thing. Sister jealous of quiet depth, woman of few words, tired of the vomited syllables that pour from others, tongues flapping. Do words live or die when spoken? I could not add a note to the melee, my head swims as it is. Voices, so many voices, inside, around, abreast, beside. I cannot help but listen. I listened so long to their siren's songs I forgot how to speak. I have mastered the silent tongue. Fluent in touch, in sigh, in glance, shift, breath. Incompetent translator, I have forgotten the mother tongue, red lips standing locked and lifeless. Does something misfire in my mind, rusty rifle whose trigger cannot be pulled but on dry days? Thoughts have scattered like leaves under my feet. I am bland, I am blank, blanched, useless, dumb.
     Speak, you say. I want to speak. I will sing, I will shout, scream, anything for you. Listen to how much you mean to me. But not just for you. For me. For the heart of hearts that cannot reach the page, the tone even the most emotive of words cannot capture. Yet fear has bound the mouth of my heart shut. So afraid of causing harm. So afraid of pain. Is the fear of suffering really worse than the suffering itself? I am frightened of the first un-eloquent strokes of the tongue.I do not want to blather, chatter, stutter on about pettiness.  I do not want my head to speak when my heart cannot. Tell me, dear heart, tell me, tired heart. Tell me we will learn to speak again.
Elaenor Aisling Dec 2013
I've a bad habit.
Of bringing up the bodies
of memories, to make sure they're still in their graves.
Thought I've marked them well.
They rest comfortably in the deep furrows
carved in my brain
by wind and water and whispered words.
Eventually I'll let them rest in peace
When fresh new furrows have been dug,
and I'll plant forget-me-nots
before the tombstones
time himself has carved.
That brief moment
Walking into the shaded apartment to find you reading in flannel
And everything in me jumps
The camera obscura of my iris snaps,
Suspending you in amber light.
The tapered elegance of your fingers across a page
A glint of Versailles blue-gold eyes
And fortified ramparts of your shoulders.
I will carry this vestige with me
In a petticoat pocket
Until we are old
And your arms do not lift me as you just did
The last strand of your hair is silver
And your cheeks sink with age like your father’s.
These small gems of youth
Of promise
To keep in a sleeve until they are needed
And the mirrors show reflections we cannot change
Elaenor Aisling Oct 2014
Daughter,
you are a cathedral.
Your ribs rise in vaulted grace,
the nave of your mouth stands open,
and cloister arms,
extend.
Your skin's stretch marks
are etched like stained glass,
Flame light flickers in your eyes.
Wonder of time and art,
made by divine hands,
You are more beautiful than Notre Dame
and all her souls.

When the men come to pray,
Do not let them
desecrate this house.
Stand unshaken,
as the bombs burst around you.
You will tremble.
But you will not fall.

Enfold the weary pilgrim
who comes to you by night.
Sanctuary
he will say.
And find it, in you.
Elaenor Aisling Jan 2014
And she reads Chekhov in the bathtub
thinking that 19th century Russia
must have been visually interesting, but literarily dull,
writing overstuffed with description and repetition.
It's pungent perfume pleasant at first, but soon overbearing.
She never made it through Anna K. either,
and only conquered Ilyich for academics sake.
Swimming in the long winded, emotional descriptions,
all she could think, was of what Northern ancestor
decided all Russians should go by three names
and what cunning linguist adored 'V' and 'Y' to such extent
that he proclaimed they should be used as much as humanly possible.
A popularized,  sadistic joke
for a younger brother with a speech impediment.
No offense to the Russian language, or anyone who is a Tolstoy or Chekhov fan, I just find it a little heavy for my taste. :)
Elaenor Aisling Aug 2013
Child of earth,
With your muddied hands,
Half-moon fingernails black with soot,
From digging in the ashes
Of your forgotten playground.

Child of earth,
With your star-crossed eyes,  
Deep as sorrow, black and blue,
Look out to silver spires,
Sparkling in the midday sun.

Child of earth,
With your weathered feet
Armored in calluses, black from tar
Stumbling along familiar ground,
One with the rocks and soil.

Child of earth
With your sun-scorched skin
Darker than leather, black as midnight
As tight as a newly made drum
Holding your soul in tight embrace.
Elaenor Aisling Jan 2013
China Blue

China blue and snowy saucers
On the old oak table where you once sat
Alone and plaintive, dusty
I haven’t had the heart to move them yet
There’s to much of your spirit
Still in the house
It seems wrong to clear it away
When you’re supposed to come back
And drink your tea.

I went through your desk, though
It was necessary.
You never were organized
And I found myself buried in mountains
Of old bills and notes and wishes
And by the time I found the will
Paper birds had roosted all about the room
Their inked markings unreadable
Thanks to the flapping of their wings.

Your sketchbook I left by our bedside
Your notebook and Hemingway
Rest under the alarm clock
That will never wake you again
Though it rings its mournful, piercing wail
At 6:00 every morning
It scared me, the day after the funeral
I hadn’t slept all night, screamed,
Clutched your pillow
And threw mine at the foot of the bed,
The Phantom shadows of dreams disappearing
In the light of a grey morning.
Elaenor Aisling Jan 2014
I do not know what to make of this.
these scraps of clay and paper
that were once “Us” and now are “you” and “I.”
Paper-mache remnants of lonely romantic’s dreams
you present to me as relics of a bygone year.
I know you would like to rebuild.
But things are better this way.
Our hearts have thrown enough punches in the dark.
Elaenor Aisling Jan 2014
She stood among the thin, goose-fleshed schoolgirls
with their full moon eyes
and straw braid hair.
Reciting Chaucer, Emerson, Frost,
as their feet scraped against
cured leather shoes,
toes curling with each word,
beauty lost in the hands of a sinister teacher,
no room for beauty with discipline.

Later she met the Janitor's boy in the broom closet,
She found beauty there, in his sweet, nonsense whispers,
fragments of Neruda bloomed in her mind,
Straw braid undone, leather shoes off.
Solomon's Song was written in his fingertips,
rough from mop handles and water buckets.
Their innocence burned in the dark,
their words unclouded,
Memorized verses on their breath,
they meant every line.
And she knew this was what the poets wrote of.
The smell of oolong still speaks your name. In the tea and spice shop I drift among leaves and peppercorns, petals and sugar,  I want to fade into the muted tones of flavorful hulls, curl into the scent of cinnamon and cardamom. Pulling down the iron goddess of mercy, I realize the veneer of curled baroque leaves rest on a sandbag. Shadowed abundance, a pretty lie, hollow, futile. Too much like us. The Cheshire glimmers of what we could have been. What I always wanted you to be, and what you sometimes were. A small edge, tiny supply to fill my cup, flavor fading too quickly. Replacing the jar, I realize there must have been a last day I named you mine.  The last time I called you boyfriend, partner—by our last talk, it was already finished, the last note in a fading song, off tune. I cannot recall the shape of my lips, the weight of your name, the tenor of my voice, the bend of my tongue, much less the listener. I still hear you, through the broken measures of a desperate song. You say you still love me, but perhaps I never told you, dear, I prefer coffee to tea.
Elaenor Aisling May 2014
I had forgotten how it aches.
Like old men before a storm,
complaining how the weather
makes their knuckles throb.
Here you are,
dredging up the things I buried months ago.
The old ache returning
as the clouds gather.
TW: Rpe, Sucide
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Dionysus wipes his hands
With a wine dark-cloth,
His bar the confessional booth, for gods and mortals.
The absinthe green of his eyes loosens tongues
until their sins fall from their mouths like snakes and stones,
clattering onto the tarnished marble bar.
The stinking incense of each dog-eared dollar,
sustains him in its foul smoke,
the muttered prayers over empty glasses
chants and cries and pains and joys
Falling over each other like drunken feet,
Weaving themselves into stories
He recounts to Ariadne in the morning
As she folds laundry, and he does the dishes.
The threads of small mortal lives hanging around them untethered.
His patrons check their best at the door, he knows this,
Welcomes it,
He still has the best wine in the city
Even if they ***** it into the storm drain outside.

Asclepius stops in after his 12 hour shift
Eyes haggard
The blood of an attempted suicide on his scrubs,
the pull of a thousand witnessed deaths curled around his hip flexors,
Trying to drag him down with every step.
Still, he moves like a snake through sand,
The soundless strength of his movements
Ripple a wake of quietness, hallowed calm
On the floor they call him gentle giant
Always ask him to work full moons.
Artemis never did like him,
But the mortals are stilled
Under his hands.
Cracked and dry from over-washing
His knuckles bleed when he reaches for his glass.
At home Epione will take them in hers,
Rub lotion into the palms with the pad of her thumb, working her way in concentric circles all the way out, tenderest on the backs of his hands and their maze of scales and interstices,
The strong cherry-tang scent of almonds rising from their fingers.
At work sometimes he will feel the ghost of her touch
Crave it, as the sanitizer and soap smart against his skin,
This is an old intimacy they have always shared—the meeting of fingers, the firm pull of her thumb against palm,
And sometimes the way she traces the faded green lines of the serpent tattoos that twine around his forearms,
The slow caress of her index finger, the tiny scrape of her nail
Until her hand encircles his neck, cradles the serpent’s head
And she leans in to kiss him.
He will go home to her in an hour
When he is warm from the whiskey
And his mind is a little softer,
Some of the blood washed away.
He sighs,
Men are curing men
But they always find new ways to **** others
and themselves.

Athena’s seat is in the back, near the fire escape,
Where the shattered vinyl of the seat
Scrapes her thighs like desert sand.
Steel eyes to the door,
She gulps ***** neat.
After her second deployment, it’s the only thing that stills her hands.
Her pearled teeth gnaw the end of a burned cigarette—
If she chews hard enough,
the tobacco replaces the taste of her staff sergeant’s tongue, his breath, his blood.
Bodies in the dark, the vice-gripped wrists,
She bit, she clawed, she kicked,  
the muscles weakened by so few prayers
the dim fire in her eyes could not muster a single flash,
a flintlock in rain,
and she was another nymph, another Cassandra—
No one believed,
no one believed.
She can still feel Cassandra’s arms locked around her calves,
hear Ajax’s guttural grunts,
she understands now.
But for her there was no temple, no statue,
She tries to cling to herself,
But falls away to dust,
The guttural grunts of the staff sergeant echo as
The memories drag her, screaming, across her bedroom floor
Poseidon cannot drown them,
Only ***** can
And no one believes,
No one
believes.
Goal was to write a modern interpretation of Greek gods and goddesses. Title drawn from Niel Anderson's album/song.
Elaenor Aisling Mar 2015
Adulthood is falsehood.
I remember at the darkest,
hearing a voice other than my mother's,
mantra repeated for knife-depraving comfort,
keeping nails away from face.
I thought it should be the voice
of the woman who held me against her breast
who bore me through blood and near-death.
The voice seemed more woman than my mother.
The deep, solid, earthy voice of iron eyes and earthen hands
rough tenderness of nature,
the comfort of Eve
made woman, never born child.
But I suppose she understood better than we
innocence lost.

My mother has the fragility of spun sugar,
But steel bent will--
I realize there is still the scared child
buried in her heart
and I see the same reflection of me in the mirror.
Buck-toothed, grass haired, round faced, and wide eyed.
I wonder if I will ever feel fully woman.
Or if we're all just scared children.
Powerful and powerless
as the girl building sandcastles
holding dominion
till the tides of time bear them away.
Elaenor Aisling Feb 2014
I am a paradoxical mix of vanity and self-hate.
I will catch my reflection,
caught in the lure of my own eyes,
wide, dark olive drab, soulful, some might say.
The full lips, naturally red.
Slender limbs, well made.

The next moment,
I am all acne scarred skin, pock marks,
tiny *******, weak chin, critiquing the weight my bones carry,
tracing through every thing I've eaten that day,
decided, on a biased scale, if it was too much,
and how much work
will be needed to take it off.

The dichotomy of beauty and ugliness,
each raising separate voices
within the same body.
Both deadly sins, in their own right.
My mind reminds me, I am more than body,
I am also a soul,
but my body if fond of stifling it.
Elaenor Aisling Aug 2014
Don't kiss me.
My lips are rough-- pure scar tissue.
Torn,
from coughing up self-truths,
regrets, sobs, misunderstanding
and formal apologies--
I choke.
Gasp
   retch
      retch
         retch
They are always a lovely shade of red
swollen, bee-stung, sometimes bleeding,
I blot the stains,
but their shadowy ghosts remain,
haunting aches, and throbs.

Don't meet my eyes.
They are wells
one might fall into and break a leg.
They will take him out like a dying horse
and shoot him behind the barn
and bury him,
in the dank soil.
And I will come later, sorry, and put dying roses
in his dead hands.
But what for?
Company?
The dead are happy,
only misery wants company.

Don't reach for my hands.
I will hold it fast, at first,
soft anchor, and the fingers will hook into my skin,
but I, in uncertainty,
put my claws in
and then retract them, drawing blood
I never wanted on my hands.
I should have thought of this before.
I am sorry I did not.

Do not fall in love with me.
I've been reading Plath lately-- it is evident?
Elaenor Aisling Feb 2015
I dreamed he kissed me.
a breath of a kiss,
whispered, that
Vanished into sleep,
up the stairs
and into the attic with the ghosts
I kick at
while they wring their hands.
Mother's voice, another's voice
in memory, or in thought, dream.
Startled, started,
and then gone,
the wisp of a kiss
still on my lips.
I did dream he kissed me. But it wasn't even a good kiss, like a fifth grade peck.
Elaenor Aisling Mar 2015
I dreamed I dug a bullet
out of my own thigh.
I asked if I might bleed to death
and they said no
as long as I packed it with happy thoughts
and my mind went blank.
There was no pain, no cringing release,
grim rush to blank reality,
these legs are used to feeling.
I pressed a ***** palm to the ragged edges.
I feel better.
Elaenor Aisling Apr 2013
I thought he was going to **** me.
His eyes bespoke the strength of some strong emotion,
I assumed hatred.
I retreated, my feet treading garbage into dirt,
till there was no more ground to tread.
He grabbed me,
this stranger I had never seen
and stole the token so prized by lovers- a kiss.
A long, stagnant, suspended kiss.
I could not separate the moist circles of our mouths.
He held too tight, I dared not struggle.
Finally, his hands released me,
I gasped a breath of cool dream air,
and awoke as the warmth of his body
was replaced by the heat of my blanket.
Inspired by a dream I had recently. Random stranger kissed me.
Elaenor Aisling Jun 2013
Your eyes are of the ember kind
that sear their light into memory and thought.
They glow and warm, like sun bathed quartz,
Brighter still when our hands meet,
across the canyon of air between our bodies.

As sun-starved leaves in early spring,
my hands reach for the source of light,
like birds, nest on your shoulders,
basking in the warmth of your being.

And I am enveloped in such bliss
My heart has never fathomed
such depths, as those I find
within your eyes.
I miss the solace of your blue and citrine eyes
the anxious twist of the zephyrs in my core
Stilled near you,
Standing in cool shadows beneath an oak—
The heart tree your parents
Planted when you were born
still mewling as white coats pricked your tiny feet
The hunger they induced that never quite left you.
Still, under your branches
I was safe.

I remember the night
Lachesis plucked a few more inches
From her spool
And you wrapped them around your finger
Driven by ****** of dread
Drew me into your arms, clinging to the spaces between my hips and ribs
Whispering into the curve of my neck  
that if you released me into starlight  
Erebus would ****** me away from you.  
And I had not doubted that you loved me
But feeling your caged panic
I learned the wings of your heart were strong enough to bend mine.

In the dark I am more skittish now
Untangling our threads
I unraveled the Moirai’s veil.
Alone,
I am under the crimson eye of too many men
Now that I am not
The apple of yours.
The Graeae glance down from their mountain
Holding their eye above an abyss
Words I always wanted said are
poisoned by unwanted lips.
The restless zephyr in my stomach stirs
Searching the nearest escape route.
And the softer tint of the world
has turned hard again.

But you are still the nearest sanctuary
And maybe it is selfish
To think of you so
But I hope I am still the same
For you.
End
Elaenor Aisling Dec 2014
End
I'm sorry
I did not let go
gracefully.
Elaenor Aisling May 2014
You have lost yourself, I think.
Or deny it, wherever you've buried you
A scared child with a hardened heart,
beaten pain into armor too thick for anything
but her blue eyes
to penetrate.
Elaenor Aisling Apr 2015
I want a lover like the evening sun
half shadow half light
wanderer of dappled paths between leaves,
sojourner seeking the reflection
of life in darkened eyes.
He will taste like Pheobus
bright, amber honey tongued,
the golden glow spilling into the deep corners
light has yet to reach within me.
But his arms will fold like Erebus,
the comforting dark
of purple shadows behind lids falling for sleep
the peaceful night, quiet, cloaked
in the solemn strength of dying stars
and the last whisper of northern lights.
Remind me what it is to know
the depth of dark
without leaving the warmth of light.
Elaenor Aisling Feb 2014
He tells me I could get a boyfriend
if I spoke in my bad British accent.
It's very illegitimate.
I've only ever been to Heathrow,
I have no idea what dialect it is.
But he still says it's ****.

It would catch attention, I'm sure.
Interest from long haired hipster boys
Maybe the occasional "Oh, are you from England?"
And I could fib and say yes,
because the average American can't hear the difference
between a girl imitating Masterpiece Classic and Keeping Up Appearances,
and a true born Bristolian or Brummie.

"You're sure to get a man," he says.
'But I don't want one.' I think in reply.
I think he really just wants to know
if I am considering replacing his memory.
"Not yet Govn'a," I say in my best Cockney.
Not yet.
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