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Heather Butler Jun 2013
The pages on my heart
are empty
and the blood staining my soul
mirrors the countless stars—

Let’s make constellations
from my platelets.

As you push your way farther into the sheets
I will chase you down
in spite of my fear of small spaces
and of being enclosed in your eyelids—

I cannot stand to take myself away from you now
but it never existed,

this moment played on an endless loop in your head
repeating repeating
a lapse in consciousness—

You fall
but I can no longer
catch you.
Heather Butler Apr 2013
A Manipulation of Thought

I like to think you will read this in a cluttered room,
with your hand on your chin
and a lamp on the table illuminating the soft white of the page.

I like to think you will smile as you read,
because you will think I am witty
or beautiful.

You will read this
in your personal place

I like to think there is a picture frame
containing small pressed flowers
that make you think of yellowed wallpaper
or dreams.

There is a clock ticking somewhere to your left
and that is strange, because
how many clocks have hands anymore?

But you are a magician in your own right
you speak words that conjure death
in a small way.
My poetry remains in the ashes.

The words will dance across your eyelids
as you blink in the sunlight;

you emerge from your hermit shell
a momentary mirage in the heat waves off the pavement
they are words they are these words--

The delicate flowers--
and the sunlight.
Heather Butler Apr 2013
Burning the Dollhouse as a Paper Lantern

You are meek, almost
   humble, little bird.

Tell me, is that who you were designed to be?

Your mother leaves flowers at your door
     like a tombstone
and she cries all the same.

Make them happy make them happy
I know there is a worm whispering in your ear
       infecting the silver apple
there is a fingernail sliver of a moon tonight.

             --He talks through headphones and broken binary
01001000 01000010... Hell I don't know what it means
they are switches like brain nervous endings
        they fire 01010000 01010100 01010011 01000100
                  at a thousand beats per second

You are a paper doll you do not know how to exist
anymore. Light a candle   you are beautiful in the flickering

send the flames licking the sky

a beacon to the one who loves
and leaves flowers at your shower door--
        you are a fragrance divine

as your house goes up in flames around you
a watery grave your bathtub doesn't drain

but you were paper anyway.
The water was suicide enough.
Heather Butler Apr 2013
Love Songs from the Pillows

You are real like nothing else is;
like the god of bellows never was
beyond the stars and waves of ocean
crying out to sister moon

you are real like no one else is.

We've been waiting for days
and rather I've been crawling tearing holes in my knees
I am crumpled and worn out I am an old pair of shoes
but we mold together

two separate pieces of the same broken glass.
But we are real like no one else is.

I am not the same I am empty--
rather I am a goddess of the cemetery and no one seems to notice--
you plant flowers in the weeping bed of skeletons
and bury your face in my love--

we are an embrace of air and loneliness,
two separate pieces of the same broken glass;
we are real like no one else is.

Finally we come to rest beneath a peace and heaven
between a soul and the bedsheets we find solace
in a whisper--
you and I are a dream,

and we are the dreamers,
an embrace of air and loneliness--
two separate pieces of the same glass,

real like no one else could be.
Heather Butler Apr 2013
For Fear of Returning Home

I curl my hands up into little *****,
small concentrations of the frustration I'm boiling in.

I fold in on myself like a sheet of paper
I crumple and wrinkle
and I haven't spoken to you in a while, now.

I am a sad excuse
for a great many things.
But he loves me anyway:
saying those things are just things,
just that,

even if I have been through
"more than most people should."

And he still tries to talk to me
He still feels the need to tell me
things I would be better off not knowing.

"I liked cuddling with you,"
he tells me.
I collapse in on myself and forget how to exist.

We are traveling at 70 down I-55
tire treads and wooden crosses forgotten on the shoulder
and I think of the monks in Vietnam who
walk two thousand miles around a lake
falling prostrate at every third step.

And I think of how much easier that would be
than to pray at the side of the interstate
falling prostrate every third step
onto broken glass and all that litters
and glitters in the headlights--
and catches your tires as you slip into the shoulder

late at night when the moon is new and absent
and you are tired.

I think of how much easier it would be
falling prostrate every third step
down the fifty miles to my bed

than to promise myself that I will
wake up tomorrow at all.

I slept all day today, my love
and I know you are disappointed--

but sometimes, most times,
it doesn't really seem worth the effort.
I wonder what motivates a seedling to keep striving
for the surface at the promise of sunlight
after spending so long in the dark.

Is the sun even shining, my love?
Can you promise me that one thing,
that pushing through whatever
hell this is

that there will be sunlight when I break through?

I don't want to tell you--
your love scars the side of my leg worse than
his **** ever did--

but he haunts me worse than
anything before him

and I am afraid of going back home to look at
the God-fearing family that sleeps
Heather Butler Jan 2013
The drops of sand
were blood
falling to the floor
of her hourglass
Heather Butler Dec 2012
Is this hell?
Staring at the seat of your pants
I can see each thread of the denim.

Your deity lies on the sofa across from us;
this house is empty
except for the bed and your single barrel shotgun.

That wasn't me, I want to say;
you keep poor tempo with drums.
Is this hell?

You hold me close so I can hear you tell me
that you have to keep me away;
I saw your naked body by the knives.

This is hell;
we were going to have chicken tonight;
a one night stand salad of condoms.

I saw your naked body in the knives,
your naked body,
and the knives,

and a wild hog as I chased you down the road
as you drive off with your deity on the front seat,
and this is hell, I say,

this is hell,
and your naked body,
and the knives...
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