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 Feb 2018 Emily K Fisk
she is the heaven
you would go to hell for
 Dec 2017 Emily K Fisk
 Dec 2017 Emily K Fisk
And my problem is that i don't know
where to start or how to end.
I live in ellipses,
commas, and dramatic pauses
and I pretend that I'm doing it on purpose.
When you saw through the blur in my head,
you told me all about my heart and
how out of sync it was with my mind.
And I was sitting right next to you when
I hid a letter in a box,
tucked it right between your running shoes,
but it's December,
and you don't run when there's snow on the ground.

I told you I was a baseball field,
empty at two in the morning,
dust settling, but I don't think you
knew what I meant.
So I told you that my bathroom sink
has swallowed more demons than gallons,
and that I lay on my kitchen floor
more often than I sit on my couch,
and that I am hemorrhaging indigo
and dry-heaving maroon late at night
when you are asleep,
and maybe you only pretended
to understand what I was talking about.

They're all sick of me
ending statements with "never mind,"
downplaying my madness to keep them calm.
I told my dad I loved him for the first time
in two years, and followed up by
stealing my grandfather's anxiety medication
to sedate the butterflies in my stomach.
I like to think I know what it feels like to be dead.
Like sleep, only colder. Darker.
Less and less until I only exist as
stains on people's brains.
I always liked the number zero.

I am the journal I threw out two nights ago
without checking the pages for things to keep.
I am three days awake, bloodshot eyes,
six cups of black coffee first thing in the morning,
and black-out curtains at three in the afternoon.
I am a suicide car and a pedestrian who never looks both ways.
I'm my own worst enemy.
Someday, I'll light a few candles to set the mood and
take a bath with my toaster.
I am an appendix; nobody needs me.
I'm full of **** and I need removing.

And I guess you should know that I am not sorry.
You're going to find that letter tucked between your shoes
come spring, written by someone who isn't red stains
on bathroom linolium. She was
rainbow streaks that the sun plastered to your livingroom walls
at eight in the morning.
At least, that's what you told me.
I don't think I knew what you meant.
 Dec 2017 Emily K Fisk
this is how it happens
it's the last day the temperature will be
above thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit
until February
you're not looking at the date
it's just the end of November
the middle of the night in the middle of a road
at the end of November
the hum of this small town hurts your ears
you're stuck in a dream where everything you see
turns into a weapon
this is how it happens
you knocked back sharp, amber liquid
to make this place feel a little more okay
and it only worked halfway
no matter how soft the edges are
you bruise your hips when you
run into them in the dark
you're ******* on your fourth cigarette when
a police officer pulls over and asks
how you're doing today
in the too-bright white of the headlights
the sick taste of Red Stag sticks to
the roof of your mouth
the mouth that you're moving into a smile
the mouth exhaling plumes of smoke at the ground
you're okay
"i'm okay."
you don't tell him what you're really doing
you're really taking all of your
thoughts about stopping your pulse for a walk
you don't tell him you've been
chasing ambulances all night long
please, officer don't leave me alone, you don't say
he tells you to have a good night and drives away
and this is how it happens
the moon smiles at you with every single one
of its tiny, sharp teeth
nobody but your cat finds you in that bathtub
nobody but your cat watches you rise from red water
watches it drip drip drip
from every chasm carved in your left arm
nobody but your cat saw the soft animal of your soul
shiver from the cold that day
it's the first day the temperature
dropped below
thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit inside your chest
based on true events
People cheat for many different reasons
But almost none of them involve you

Being enough is not a factor
Listing the things that could be done
Differently is a waste of precious time
Because it truly wasn't you, it was them

Some do it for power, some do it for control
Some do it in loneliness, some do it in emptiness

Whatever the reason, remember it isn't you.
It is a mental compulsion, a temptation
That some otherwise extraordinary people
Fail to overcome, inhibit or control.

This isn't a justification, nor is this an excuse
I just want you to know these things
Are not because of you.
Everytime I let
the men on the street,
feast on my anatomy,
I lose body parts.

The first part to disappear
are my fingers,
leaving me unable
to touch.

The second part to disappear
are my feet,
leaving me unable
to walk.

The third part to disappear
is my throat,
leaving me unable
to talk.

If a fourth part were to disappear,
I fear it would be my heart,
leaving me unable
to love.

I search for my body parts
in hopes of
becoming whole again.
But they are scattered
among hungry dogs
wide-eyed and salivating,
always wanting more.

I face forward
and avoid eye contact,
repeating silently:

I must protect my heart.
I must protect my heart.
I must protect my heart.
The sirens blared that 4th of July
Officer Duncan gave Mammy a ride
An emergency dash to the hospital
He’s 2 months premature Mammy cried

Deaf, dumb and blind is what the doctors said
To our mother when Sammy was born
But none of us kids ever were told
Until Sammy was stable and grown

Pappy declared that they’d both be fine
Not believing dire news doctors gave
We happily named him Uncle Sam
Trusting in him to be strong and brave

His 1st 5 months in an incubator
Hooked up to every device
In Newton Wellesley Hospital, 1959
A miracle saved his life

Reaching gloved hands through holes in the side
Weighing just a bit over 2 pounds
Looking more like a spindly ET
I was amazed to be hearing breath sounds

Sam worked on doubling his weight by Christmas
Nothing seemed easy or fast
Still Mammy survived the eclampsia
And Sammy went home at last

Returning a few years later
Sammy’s doctor she would find
To show off to all the nurses
Her son NOT deaf, dumb and blind

I so love my brother Sammy
Always felt like a sister and mother
I’d give all I have for the time
Just a minute more with my dear brother

I’d speak to you of those 57 years
Of the great whirligig you carved with your hands
All the times you showed up for me
Through the good and the bad our love stands

You wasted no time hating anybody
Children and dogs always your friends
Quick for a laugh despite any lack
I draw comfort that all your pain ends

The sirens blared once again for you
The ambulance came, the paramedics tried
Racing you trying to save you
All in vain, in the OR you died

Like Tommy’s rock opera is over
Perhaps you paused to speak to a stray dog
While keeping your divine appointment
By reaching right into the hand of God
Just blew out my candle in vigil for Sam, my baby brother, 12 years younger than me.  He died on the OR table as they tried in vain to save him after a tragic accident.  He’s in God’s hands now.  He had a military burial yesterday, the saddest day of my life, in the National Alleghenies veteran's cemetery.  Freezing cold & windy in Pittsburgh.  I so wanted to jump in that hearse and drive him back to Florida, like in the 'Cremation of Sam McGee' poem that I love.  I realize that was just his Earthsuit, and see him smiling in Paradise.
 Dec 2016 Emily K Fisk
jayson m
you had the sun in your arms,
cradled the love of the earth in your unworthy palms and said she wasn't enough.

you touched the heart of the flame,
pressed your lips against every good thing he ever possessed.
but it wasn't enough.

we have been broken,
but we've never been broken like this
I am the son of love and war and my father taught me that sometimes all you can do is fight until there's nothing left to feel. I'm a breed that's not good at choking on my anger but for you I tried.

Apollo taught us that sunrise is sometimes slow and sometimes sudden. He didn't warn us that dusk came twice as fast - that darkness was forever chasing the heels of light.

Aphrodite promised us perfect loves. Two decades later and we prefer the company of whiskey, instead.
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