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Mandy Owensby Dec 2020
Every time I’m full of sparkling stars
Filled with the hope that waiting brings,

The answer comes each time, a flood,
A crushing feeling shutters me.

I chase and chase after each bright spot
As they scatter and rush far from my reach.

It’s a silly childish wish, I know
A hoping without a chance of hope
So many paths I’ve walked that make
That hope the failure of my stars
And a fool of foolish dreams.
Mandy Owensby Jul 2020
Night’s joy begins early
Sun setting
You show me your teeth and run to the bedroom
I follow and we begin to fall easily toward each other,
My eyes focus in on your steel eyes, each silver hair on your chin
Something sings outside, birds, frogs? They are laughing, cheering.
The bed is too soft, but the floor is better.
Tonight, you will be my object of worship, my deity.
I dedicate my pleasure to the cause. Each rolling wave, I hold tighter, hold my breath.
I wrap you in each passing daydream, each fervent prayer, tighter and tighter
A spider’s web round and round you, round and round me
Until each glistening thread breaks, all at once.
And we fall
Mandy Owensby Jan 2019
I heard it then, through the tension that tried to hold back the sliding, halting slurring. I shouldn't have come. I always do anyway.
You tried to be funny with your too loud voice and all I could do was squeeze the wheel, knuckles bursting white.
It was not you, and the moment would not pass. I willed myself to keep moving, and the sickening lonely fullness came over me. Fullness like wretching, but I could not purge it.
Mandy Owensby Aug 2018
I know this space, and in that knowing, a creature was born, strange and shining. It is yours and it is not yours. It is mine and not mine.
I know these people, the ones who have come and will come, the ones who seek to remember.
You will not find another so easily, for the bow I wield was shaped by violence, cut from the tree, carved deep with courage, survival, longing, seeking, beauty. I have always been the first to raise my hand, the firstborn, first to fail, first to leap toward faith. You will not be able to pick it up, this now, for it was made for my hand alone. Yours is waiting, still.
I know these women. We became girls again, building forts, hiding, finding, cutting trails through the wilds, through our shared heartbreak, picking berries, laughing, crying.
I know this lovely thing which moves and grows, foraging on the unknown. This thing, you do not understand, but there is no need for you to understand, stop trying.
You are the farmer’s hand, worn by time and practice. You bring water, decide where to prune and let wither; decide where to graft and where to plant the next crop.
Do not forget. This is a place of remembering. You need not understand it to feed it, to make way for it, to love it as we do.  Do not dismiss it. It will not be diminished by disbelief.
You need not understand to see it’s power and its purpose.
Mandy Owensby Jun 2017
Small boxes, edges with just a hint of curve
keys to a puzzle and dot to dot to dot....connected
The hours spent climbing up and down this little two dimensional ladder
on yellow legal paper

when I'm done, I'll feel something
I take the weights that pull heavy on my time and my mind,
and squeeze them between the two guide lines, cursive please

the crisp check inside of the box, awards and accolades must know this feeling

On this list that no one sees, my life flows in roller pen ink and pink sticky notes- just to make sure I don't forget.

Don't forget. This. Then. Me.

coffee cup rings and circles around the shameful thing that must go on tomorrow's list.

get it done and you will know relief.

The metronome of my hours, minutes, seconds as the boxes are ticked
tick tick tick

Accomplishments. And yet I feel betrayed by the sun slipping under the horizon, it was only just watching my progress from its noon perch.

enter the data. search the name. find the right person to call. smell the rain coming in through the screen door. Soon sleep and cloudy dark night will push those boxes, unchecked, to the next page,
another day.
Another tiny ladder to climb.
Mandy Owensby Sep 2015
We're living close to the bone this season
Skin stretched tight
Water scarce
Dust in teeth
Then you turn to me one morning
Sleepy smile
The sky rumbles and for a moment I think it is the old truck coming to life.
And the tears wash trails down our cheeks
As the roof chimes with each drop of salvation from above
the valleys fill with the flash floods of instant gratification
Some unforeseen forgiveness
And new blooms appear overnight
Stretching out their faces to the sun,
The burn gone, now the light illuminates bone and flesh and petal
The hands have a moment to rest
Plunged into the cool water
A new river winds down the old canyon
"You gotta love something.
Me, I love that river."
Mandy Owensby Apr 2015
We never should have gotten this far. It's purely luck that we got by.

Just hanging on to hope for dear life.
But when we get to that place where it's up to you
To Take a leap of faith
To tell me the truth

When we get up on that high wire
Like a fool, I thought we would walk each other across. Pushing harder, getting traction, finding balance between our hands.

As I lean in, you just slide right past
I find myself reeling in open air.

And you call me a fool as I fall toward the earth
Saying- see. I knew you didn't have my back.
Guess you were right all along as bones splinter and crack.

You used to tell me you never thought we'd make it this far.
when the truth was you never put your money on it, never got in the car.

You were always just playing house. Locking doors behind me so I'd never get out. Locking doors in between us so I'd never get through. Locking yourself away so no one could hurt you.
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