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Manda Raye Nov 2018
From the inside out,
we waste away.

I remember the first time I coughed
up a bit of dust, perfectly dry, and said to myself,
"this must be normal."

However, I have always been
much more than normal.
More hesitant than normal.
More fearful than normal.
More of an empty vessel
floating through life than normal.

Nowadays, if you knock
gently on my chest
like a door it will respond
a low hollow sound, void of life, free of emotion.
The dust comes and goes. I feel
the marrow of my bones
drying more each day. Eventually,
I figure, they will crack and snap,
pouring out more dust
until I am weightless.

And maybe then
I can be freed. Set off to sea
like an aged piece of driftwood. Floating out
with eyes for adventure and a fate
full of rot.
Manda Raye Nov 2018
What happens when every image
becomes a cliche? No one
has had an original thought in years,
what makes you think you are any different?
Sculpting language so meticulously,
like you're the first to compare to seasons.
I bet you write about writing, too. Pathetic.
Love is not a feeling, it's a force. The words
write themselves and purely use you
as a vessel. Somewhere back in time
we did a seance of sorts and now sometimes
poetry drops in like a demon, possessing
the mind which tells the hand to pick up a pen.
Demons, whatever that means to you,
do not answer demands. They play their own game,
which we are indeed a part of, though
we were never invited to play.
Manda Raye Nov 2018
The door only slams
on windy days, and
in a similar fashion,
these days I just snap.
I am a manifestation
of all that I fear--
it is what made me
and thus it is all that
I am. How does
a heavy door transcend
the force of the wind?
How does it transcend
the forces that be,
who decided
it was a door?
Manda Raye Nov 2018
Something about the comfort of autumn—
in California our leaves go straight from green
to gone, if they choose to change at all.
The sun stays bright but the air starts to bite,
and the Santa Anas blow through to dry up
our last drops of livelihood. Most seem to like it—
the streets littered with death and ready to restart—
but the rough winds always hollow me out,
echo a haunting song off the tunnelled walls
of my bones. It’s about this time I empty out,
and fill instead with cotton mouth. My lips chap
and crack, but I smile silently, and I wait.
Manda Raye Nov 2018
Do you fear me yet, sweet one?
I manifest my horror as tender touches
and soothing pet names. They say something
about killing them with kindness,
but love ends lives so much more smoothly.
Each scratch of a fingernail adds to your unease.
Every "darling" called from the backroom
causes you to cringe. But you won't say a word,
will you? Because this is a fate you chose.
You like my cold arms wrapped--
so boa constrictor tight--
around you that there is no room
for another set. Each time you leave
you are tortured by the thought of me,
laid out in the darkness awaiting your return.
Like an unforgiving dog. But it is you
who cries when we are apart, soothed
only by my talons, which hold you tightly,
but are careful not to cut too deep.
Manda Raye Nov 2018
Sweetheart, don't be fooled
by my thick veils of lovely
language, this curtain behind which
I can easily disappear. I sing
a song which invites both
fact and fiction to the dance floor
to perform a number they didn't
know they knew. My tongue
wraps their love with a cherry stem--
still tied in a bow--though
they both long for more
than the other
will allow.
Manda Raye Nov 2018
Darling, darling--
I still creep beneath you
I yearn for your reach.
Lit between the floorboards,
I watch you dance in panels--
watch you undress under strobe light--
watch you sleep in shades of dark.
Sometimes, I crawl out
through the vents, to come sit
on your nightstand.
And we breath in synchronicity.
The air grows hot between us
and sometimes, I can't help myself
but reach out for the covers
to uncover, but instead
I crawl back down
and sprawl my legs
and disappear again
back into the walls.
September 2018; Featured in Cat Skull Publishing October 2018 Compilation @catskullpub
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