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Elle Dougherty Jan 2012
Poor young thing.
***** carpet, ***** face, ***** feelings in this place.
Poor young thing can't help but cry,
"Stick a needle in my eye."
Empty bed, empty room, waiting for an empty tomb.
Empty even with her in it.
Poor young thing -
nowhere to go, nowhere to stay, can't stand to live another day.
Poor young thing.
Elle Dougherty Jan 2012
In the deep hollows of an abandoned mineshaft,
poised under the giant reaching claws of ancient
I found love.

At the top of the tunnel it was summer.
The aspens rustled their little dollop leaves at us;
the dirt under our feet ran down the mountain before us;
and the wind swept away the scent of us.
Into the trees, perhaps into space,
all the way to wherever our thoughts lay nestled close,
nearly touching.

Love is in the woods, he said.
True Love and True Nature
are the only things
we can always access,
no matter how far,
no matter how long ago.
Elle Dougherty Jan 2012
After so many nights pressed against the solid square of you, I felt geometry everywhere. The clock, that devil circle, cut out piece by piece, the triangles laid out in the way of us. Under my feet, red brick swayed back and forth in broken rectangles, bringing me closer with each step. And there were spheres - the suns you sent me from up north, the bulbs of unripe blossoms. Each day is a line. The length of them varies but the thickness does not. Each morning I wake up to trudge through the same murk. Take me to the ribbon and I will cut it and break through, landing on the flat of my back on your hardwood floor and never moving from that divine plane again.
Elle Dougherty Jan 2012
The crack and crash of tree limbs
signaled nothing to me yet -
I did not see him, fearsome head of Death,
stalking to where the boy lay, screaming.

There was a wall of stone,
a pale whip of chain link and
a splash below.
We were young and reckless and
there, in the morbid glory of it,
pushing through the trees.

I snapped out of it once they closed the black bag.
I climbed up the rock and
Daddy, Daddy, carry me down the mountain.
Take me back across the sea.
Elle Dougherty Nov 2010
a small thing, aged 6, has small knees
braced in terror against the wall and one small hand
gripping the towel rack above its small head
and there is someone stronger about - he hears the noises of the small thing
from far away and
he is annoyed.
because the small thing is misbehaving.
making a scene. it has to shut up or the neighbors will hear.
small thing, aged 6, hears heavy footsteps of someone stronger stalking the hallway,
searching for it,
flexing his broad, dark hands so
small thing, aged 6, tries to choke down its screams and
tries to cram itself into the farthest corner or
cover itself with its fine, blonde hair, but
someone stronger sniffs out the small thing’s small hand on the towel bar and
brings it down from the wall with one heavy gesture.
small thing, aged 6, is crying for forgiveness with small hiccups
but someone stronger has no patience for small things.
someone stronger is moving quickly, back into the hallway,
a small thing thrashing in his grip.
someone stronger likes to make noises with his hands and sometimes,
small things get in the way.
small thing’s small body hangs from its small arm
hanging from someone stronger’s horrible hands
floating up, away from the carpet (or tile or bed).
someone stronger likes to throw his weight around but sometimes,
his own is not enough so he uses the weight of a small thing, too.
someone stronger likes the sounds of snaps and cracks.
small thing, aged 6, once had a mother who loved it
but this time, the small thing’s mother is
downstairs where someone stronger left her, and she is
angry with everything and
putting her shoes on to drive to the doctor.
Elle Dougherty Feb 2010
i know that i am how i am because of my eyes
and what they are saying.
dark, they are, stretched and translucent --
my blues are pulsing in and out of greens
and greys
my eyes, they droop wistfully, as if
to say "i am alone, all alone here, only i know what this is and will be"

fingertips. to fingertips.
i move my face in closer, so slowly and slowly still,
and i exhale.
my lips are dry and flaking, sliding
over hostile teeth and stinging jaw.
that bone whose vibrations claw back, back into my head, the
sharp hurt, the crash, the dull aftershocks. and i keep moving.
ignoring the animal groan of my heart, my
quickening heart, rattling frantically round my
ribcage, looking for a way
(any way, please, any way at all)
to get outside. it is smothering in
this dank and musty room. my

ribs scream shrilly to my spine, "forget!"
forget all it knows
especially this --

and my eyes. black and cavernous.
my sad eyes.
too weary, too hopeless, to do anything but
shrivel and
stare in disappointment.
Elle Dougherty Feb 2010
today, i saw

a million things that used to be.

i saw the pavement breathing hard in the mist of

rain, tears filling the dark spaces and the

cracks, where

so much water once welled up and ruined e ver y thing.

what i had to do was:

listen to the coolness,

that unseasonable pressure on the points of

my desolate cheekbones. feel

my eyelashes just brush my skin,

and in between looking i had to see,

and in between seeing i had to look.

things were just fine,

it           is                  okay.

we see the shine and sparkle of tall buildings and we are all tempted

to forget the slap of bodies against water and pavement, the hopeless way that

people curled up and died.

But if you look closely, if you turn your

head away from the sun and look out

across the crystal city, more clear than ever, if you open your eyes —

you will see that today,

the pavement is crying.
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