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Sam Dunlap Jul 2016
Looks like a storm tonight
and i'm glad
because an integral part of my existence
thrives on knowing that
there is power beyond our control.
Sam Dunlap Jul 2016
Liquored fingers entwined in hers
The nectar on her palms
Dripped to her wrists
Before, she did not know the scent of sunshine
But in the glint of copper and gold on their wrists
She could see forever
And beauty
and youth

Then the night came in a blaze of colors
Sinking into her skin and drying the sweetness on her hands so that it cracked in a glaze
She was afraid and alone
Cloaked in darkness blind
Nothing could save her it seemed
So she looked for shelter inside herself
Hunched her shoulders into her hurt
Waited for the sun to rise

And then the light came
Not in the form of peaches and summer
But in unadulterated silver
Clean and cut out of shadows
Illuminating her eyes in a thin layer of moon and breath
And the stars spread before her
Plated crumbs around a celestial plate

She found sustenance in it, spread her arms out so that she could catch
every bit of the light
and the glaze on her wrists peeled and fell off,
and she stayed that way
with her eyes wide open
until the sun came to claim her once again
in a cherry red glimmer at the edge of the earth.
Sam Dunlap Jul 2016
There is a quilt on the bed in Shea's room,
Pink, red, blue, green, and violet,
Lace and stripes and polka dots,
White pillowcases with crisp corners.

There are books on the shelves, different genres,
Stuffed in sideways and upways and frontways,
old fantasy, thrillers, adventure,
Smudged ink in their yellowed margins.

There are papers on the desk by the wall,
Poems and Post-its and signatures,
Cardstock cut into star-shapes
Journal entries and unfinished sentences.

The closet is empty in Shea's room
Cobwebs and dead ladybugs lie still
A lamp has a cord around its middle
No breeze stirs the air; the curtains are closed.

There should be music in Shea's room.
There are songbooks, yes, but no hum of the heater
No branch scrapes the window outside
When a storm comes, the raindrops fall without rhythm
No longer are things made in Shea's room.
The colors are faded in Shea's room.

They say that there's something in Shea's room
Memories and fragments and pleasant dreams
They say stories came alive and still linger
Seeping through the cracks of the wooden floorboards
Horses graze in green pastures in Shea's room.

But I know what's really in Shea's room.

There's a year's worth of dust coating Shea's room
Not a thing has been touched for months
There's no Shea to be seen in Shea's room
Since she headed for the hills and never came back
There's no life and no soul in Shea's room
Shea's room is an abalone shell
The inner shine scrubbed away by disuse
Only shadows survive in Shea's room.

There is nothing alive in Shea's room.

Just an empty closet
And books
And Post-Its
And ladybugs
And remnants
An old favorite. Thought I'd post.
Sam Dunlap Jul 2016
Stare into the eyes of the wolf.
Which do you see,
The predator or the lamb?
Which do you love?
Which do you fear?
They are the same, but they fight for space in the flicker of the iris,
the flash of the teeth,
the curve of the brow.
Which will win out? Neither. Both.
Is it a fight if you can't win or lose?
If twin souls, displayed against an infinite canvas,
never run out of room
but never quite fill up as much as the other?
Which do you hate?
Which do you ignore?
I dare you to stare and not be intrigued.
It may be possible to look and not see,
But we are drawn to wars and dances alike.
You know, you
can tell which is which
When you squint
Clench your jaw
There's a difference
A purpose behind each half.
The wolf you can find
Out of the goodness of the lamb
The lamb you can find
From the hatred of the wolf
Or is it switched?
When one soul is tied to another
The colors start to blend
And the mix is not reversible
So I ask again,
Which do you love?
Which do you fear?
Love the lamb. Fear the wolf.
Fear the lamb. Love the wolf.

Make your choice.
Sam Dunlap Jul 2016
You were not a firestorm
Nor a wild spirit
You were the tide,
the thing I always knew but never saw
Until it came upon me.
You did not ravage me,
But you lifted me up, so that I was floating
In salt and kind smiles.
The one thing you had in common with firestorms
Was that you couldn't stay for long.
Sam Dunlap Aug 2014
I feel like the stars and the sky
Have eyes
And that they look upon us and see
Straight through to the core
Of every tiny life
Realizing that for every bit of good
There is an army of bad.
Maybe that's why the sky cries sometimes
Fills every crack with tears until there's nothing left
And maybe that's why she gets angry
Furiously scrubs away the roughness
Until all she can see is her reflection.
Perhaps the stars are the reason
Riling up the poor sky
Showing her tiny crimes and tiny lies
Whispered in tiny ears
The stars shedding little lights
On a seemingly hopeless situation.
Perhaps she can't help but vent her frustration
Because the stars are right sometimes.
Then who comforts her, I wonder,
Who gives her strength to show the sun
When the hours of night are waning
And the day still hasn't begun?
Is it the sun, the moon, a god, the wind
Or love as the case may be?
Or does she comfort herself
When she feels that she's in need?
Sam Dunlap Aug 2014
It is possible
To feel small, without feeling
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