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  Jun 19 Karen Lee
Leah Barton
I came to find you rested
Upon some fabled shore
My ballerina toes gracing
Your ivory piano keys
Can I dance your melody
Without messing up once?

The wind slowly encased
Our bodies with sand
Forever entwined
But still cursed
To die together
I'd rather live without you

One day after eons have past
We will be resurrected
By archeologists
Who will think we are deities
And they shall compare us
To the ghosts of Pompeii

I wonder now if I should have come
To meet you on the beach that day
But something inside of me knew
That before I even walked towards you
Before I even spoke your name
That you'd ruin me
And I came
Anyway
Karen Lee Jun 19
As leaves fall off the branches
So do your words upon the ground

Ebbing and flowing like waves
That wash away the stillness of the coast

Watching your lips move, I think
How could such simplicity bring such consolation

And I bask in the soft comfort of sound
Filling me with an undisturbed peace.

I wonder if my words mean the same to you
As I stare at your moonlit eyes in silence

If eyes are windows to the soul, then
The wind has blown the curtains closed

For you remain a beautiful mystery to me
And no words of yours can change the fact

That I won’t see you again.
And even though I barely said a thing

It’s okay, because when I look outside,
At the snow-covered world, and see that

the last leaf has fallen, leaving
the branches empty and forsaken

I realize, that maybe silence isn’t so bad after all.
I breathe in your last scent, so sweet and sad

And as the last leaf hits the ground,
So does my last word to you- Hello.
  Jun 19 Karen Lee
A
When we began to love each other, in my mind, I saw a room. The bedroom of an old farm house; windows open, and soft, pale, green curtains moved lazily about the sills. Light of late afternoon slipped in, whilst a faint, blue summer sky waited outside. The door to the hallway is open; the rest of the house - still. A bed is the only piece furniture in a room with wood floors and white walls. There are only sheets on the bed, old cotton sheets, heavy, limp, and cool. This room was our togetherness. Since he died, I am not in the room, and light in it is cooler. It is evening and no one is home.

I am waiting at the door of the story with peaches in my hands. The door is shut, and the peaches are unripe. None of their warmth and sweetness can be smelled, their fuzz clings to them like tight new skin. When we wait patiently for things to open, we stay with them and be, and they ripen, and the door opens. I wait for the peaches and the door as they wait for me. A story through that door will show me and harm me, it is with peaches I may come through.

I was a small child when my mother told me a story of peaches. When I remember it, I remember the peach tree across from our old house. Short and squat, with shining, skinny leaves; the tree crouched in the rose garden. My mother told me about the peace and bliss of heaven, and that when we went there we became angels. She told me that angels longed for the earth sometimes, and have bodies, because angels cannot taste peaches.

When I taste and smell peaches now, I try to give myself over to them, to live and feel the taste of them, to not take them lightly, to not keep them foreign. The day that he died, I found a nectarine in the kitchen, and carried it with me, praying to it to keep me in the world of life, to remind me that moments of peaches are worth the pain of aliveness.

Every story starts with the breaking off an indefinite number of things that have come before. To try and tell the story of Lucien from the beginning, means I will omit the stories of before, the peripheral stories which came before and bled into his, like color on wet paper.

I suppose there are so many ways of telling a story. Not one will be perfect, but each is a prayer. Can you feel this? Can I make something? Are our lives commensurable? Do my words mean what your words mean? We shall see.

This story, too, is a prayer.

A prayer for a new house, a new tree, and a new beginning.
Karen Lee Jun 19
sea waves blue, smooth as a silk sheet are
gently lapped by chilly December air
my skin prickles as the air leaves
goosebumps on my bare arms. i try to
ignore them as the frosty gale bites into my clothless skin.

boats are tethered to shore, no longer
roaming far at sea, they have a home at least
though only temporary, but a safe sanctuary. i wonder
where the people are, perhaps safe and warm and cozy
in the comfort of their fireplaces and families.

i lay down on the barren grass,  now mere stubs that too
***** my skin, they were once lively and green under the shade of a once blooming tree,
now limbless and leafless,
a mere trunk of wood that stands stubbornly on a patch of forgotten ****.

as nighttime falls the boat lights come on, setting patches
of deep blue ablaze, like a fire it spreads and spreads until
you can no longer see the depths of aquamarine,
and maybe just maybe pretend to yourself that they
never even existed.

maybe grass needs to be barren before spring brings shrubs and
trees decapitated before they can bloom again,
maybe matches need to be lit
and places burnt to ashes
before the past can fall away like a brittle husk.

I look up to the cloud-filled sky, blue dotted with specks of white and
perhaps there is no heaven beyond those clouds,
no god near welcoming doors, and
if all prayers are just a shout into the empty void
then perhaps all we can do is
shout.

— The End —