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Jan 2019 · 133
Tide of Days
Rebecca Karlsson Jan 2019
My edges are being worn away.
When the chips and cracks come
When they are raw and open
the tides of the days and hours
washes and washes the edges clean. Polishing and dulling at the same time
Until it’s all as smooth as it ever was.
The damage a memory, if even that.
And a person is whittled down to a very small piece of what she really was.
So it goes
Crack after chip after torn piece with bits still hanging on.  
All worn away by the merciful tide of time.
This is how a life can continue.  
Until just a speck remains.  
It’s the only way to go on.
The speck feels no pain.
Mar 2016 · 654
Necklaces of Life
Rebecca Karlsson Mar 2016
Like beads are the years
that we string to make our lives.
Many times choosing the forms, weights, colors.
More often taking whatever is offered or found.
Your necklace seems of pearl
light and smooth.
Easy to the eye.  
Mine, a patchwork of random creation.
Here, harmony.  
There, mismatched and oddly combined.  
But not unbeautiful.  
A strong string runs through the middle of the two.
Faithfully bearing the uneven weight
and the growing heaviness
of our ever-filling lives
Mar 2015 · 1.4k
Loose Hinge
Rebecca Karlsson Mar 2015
She's got a hinge loose.
Well, I'll tell you,
it's more than that.  
The whole door is falling off,
And will certainly take a few other things with it.
The sum failure of her small unseen parts,
Coming loose one by one.  

And there never seems to be a proper screwdriver handy when she needs one.
Rebecca Karlsson Feb 2015
You were precious
like a gold ring.
And I was careless.
Taking you off and taking you on.
Until the day you slid
into the sink-thing,
and down into the black-mouthed drain-thing.
I should have tried then
to recover you quickly.
****** my fingers into that dark throat
and forced it to choke you up again.  
But I wasn't made for drains.  
I'm still not.
Jan 2015 · 812
Rebecca Karlsson Jan 2015
Rest your eyes on something.
Rest your heart on something.  
Rest your mind on something.
Just rest.
Hear but don't listen.
See but don't look
Make a burnt offering of your dreams.
Make an effigy of your past.
Sew a voodoo doll of your hopes.
Then just rest.
Paint your ambitions on a canvas of sand, and kick it apart.
Let the blindfold of knowledge slip from your eyes.
Push yourself away from the table of desire.  
Now rest.
Just rest.
Rebecca Karlsson Oct 2014
It is kinder
The way you're doing it.
A little now and again.
Hurting me and letting me feel on my own.
From heartache to heartache,
learning every time.
You're leaving me for sure.
There can't be doubt.
Even after I let you go,
finally crying my pain to the woods,
You return.
Having you back makes me sad.
You're to be lost in the end.
But I like the way you're leaving me.
The way you're  doing it.
Kinder to go a piece at a time.
Sep 2014 · 657
For That Which Never Was
Rebecca Karlsson Sep 2014
I ached for that harvest,
And tended you as best I knew
With hands, heart and later
with hope-heavy resolve.
Daring to taste ahead sometimes
but only very little.
Only in my mind.  
The days were early then,
so faith was modest and weak
as a newborn.
You were in an infancy of my making.
Birthed from an appetite that longed for sweetness,
but wearied during the ripening.

Restlessly watching for the shift to blessed fruition.
That moment when you would be no readier,
and would eagerly be reaped.
Poor Gardner me, too careful.
Shyly waiting for you to come to perfection.
Foolishly letting you whither on the vine.
All I have now is the taste of what you could have been,
Sweet on the lips of my mind.
Jun 2014 · 325
Rebecca Karlsson Jun 2014
Answer now.  Don't wait.
I am the one who must wait.  
Don't make me wait like that.
It's been a long and confusing path to tread.
Aren't we both weary and dragging?
Can I will you to act?
Can I send a hex?
Can I pray it into reality?
Is hope building, fading, or completely imagined?
There's just the one solid thing.
The same that's always been.  
The one lone beating of a single heart.
Not two yet.  
Please answer now.
Rebecca Karlsson Jan 2014
For Jennifer

You can't know that I know.
Years later my heart can still be bruised for you.
Suddenly in the sweeping of a porch,
or the lazy glance to the lake
from a kitchen window,
Eye wets.  
Throat dries.
These were your walls to touch,
and your rooms to warm.
From this hill, your views to the world.
You built yourself into this house.
You are steeped into the creaking floorboards,
chipped tiles, crooked cupboards.
All woven from your dreams, never mine.
Thank you for giving me your treasure.
I'm hardly worthy.  

For Aoyola

You said so little as I carried away your precious creation.
Into these foreign hands you placed the colored beauty that had journeyed from your eye to your heart to your hand.
Born from a deep place that no one can ever find.
Taken from there by you
And brought to solid Earth.
You can't know that I know,
That you sometimes see those colors again behind your closed eyes.
My face is long faded away,
Still you see every brushstroke you put to life in that painting I carried away that still, hot day.  
Thank you for your gift.
If you could know how cherished it is.

For Anna

You cannot know because I cannot tell you.  Your pain has soaked into my bones,
and I'll not be rid of it.  
I feel you crying sometimes,
And your tears run hot down through me too.  
They pool in that corner of soul I gave to you, without ever wanting to.
We are nearly strangers,
And ever will be.
But on those too hard days,
in that unbearable moment,
When grief floods in,
And you start to crumble apart,
I am three miles away, and right beside you.
Our tears can never stop flowing,
It's a Mother's loss, and only a Mother will know.
The deepest and never healing wound that can never be borne alone.  
Bleed a little through me dear one.
Let me share your sorrowful burden.
This is what I want to take from you.
Jan 2014 · 1.4k
To Tomorrow's Girl
Rebecca Karlsson Jan 2014
I care about you Tomorrow's Girl
But you are right to fear me
I can be uncharitable
My intentions, sometimes dishonorable.
You do well to distrust me
I do not always wish your best,
even as I pledge you my loyalty.
Your desires are interpreted through my jealous filter,
the Maya of my own creation.
I will wish you ill,
And neither of us will know it.
Beware, I warn you from a higher perch.
I have also trusted in a Yesterday Girl.
My deceiver she was.
And wounded I was by her
In the very sanctuary she had created for us.
Above all suspicion,
She cradled me from weakness to strength
Then coldly abandoned me with the scars of her desires.
But she is not dead.
She whispers to me still, of promises unfulfilled.
And I listen.
These I must pass to you Unfortunate Friend.
I can choose nothing else.  
Release me from your grim judgement,
As I have long-forgiven my beloved betrayer.
You too will wrong your charge.
You too will give a Judas kiss.
Dec 2013 · 479
Drifting heart
Rebecca Karlsson Dec 2013
The heart I gave you long ago,
The one I'm sure you've never known,
Travels an icy river road
To an end I fear cannot be shown.
Alone in currents black and swift
Rushing downstream bruised and sore
Eddies pull and waters shift
And Heart floating on in rapid drift
cannot bring itself to any shore.
Over rapids poor thing goes.
No eye sees
No one knows
As flesh does tear sad heart grows frail
Can give no fight
And slower waters latch on tight.
Respite for a moment then
The burning flicker still within
Not quite extinguished by the wet.
The time to drown has not come yet.
Dec 2013 · 705
The Soap Bubble of the Body
Rebecca Karlsson Dec 2013
Body born into color
Many-swirled movement of dawning life
A certain thickness of  hues
in a wrinkle-free skin
Intense in existing, finding itself to suddenly BE
Now twisting in constant change
glorious in this proud dance,
willing beauty forward
Then, a slow shift in rhythm
Softening comes to everything
The reds go flat
The blues dry out
The pinks and greens cling to each other
All mesh and flow, darkening into gold.
Lastly, a bright silver until
thinner, thinner yet thinner, the sheath is paling. Grayness now all, and exhausted
Suddenly gone
Body is no more
Dec 2013 · 470
Number 47
Rebecca Karlsson Dec 2013
In a room with 47 people
Some of us are great friends
Others I barely know
The younger ones group up
The middle ones group up
The babies don't know
The ones around my age look with eyes of knowing
They feel realer
They can look back at more
But it won't last
They too are fading
Who comes in later to sit, I wonder
And who has been forgotten
And later
when I am just one small piece of that last person to come to us
will the woman numbered 47 be remembered by her at all?

— The End —