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Katelyn Arnold Sep 2020
he said, "tell me about your history"
because he knew i loved history
and how the chronological events
turned into a collection of memories.
what i wish i was told was that
some parts of history was blacked
out; redacted; forgotten; thrown
aside; history doesn't always tell
you the truth, so who are we to
believe in false prophets?

when i told him about my history, he
believed i would succumb to the past
just like everyone before him.

the past is not the present
the present is not the past
i tried to make him remember
but i forgot my past trying to
make him recall the present and
that's the thing about history.

you can't undo history, which
could be the beauty and curse
of living. history is the ghost
of my past, visiting me before
sleep, showing me how much
more beautiful the world would
be if i joined the nonexistant entity.

i believe in the propaganda of the
ghosts telling me i'm better off
becoming a part of history.
Katelyn Arnold Sep 2020
my job was to purify the zones, full of spectres and creatures
grotesque in appearance. it was my goal to stabilize the rocky
ambience and translate the cuneiform inscriptions scratched
into the walls to maybe understand how to get this situation
into a chokehold. once walls full of color, i came back to a black
and white slate. loving someone - i realized - shouldn't have
been a purification process. but as the first of four elements,
it's an important element. because without love, people could
lose their will to exist and self-terminate.

once, i told you i was scared of the dark,
and you promised me, for now on,
there would be no more darkness.

it all went wrong. i must forget about it and dream sweet dreams.
it was what you would have wanted for me. you wanted me to
see the world in color, but all i could see was the bloodshed.
hence nothing remains except for my regrets.
Katelyn Arnold Sep 2020
you began shaking the snakes out of
the trees in the garden of Eden, i did
not realize it until i noticed the
whispers in my ears grow quiet. the
river underneath the bridge still runs
red from the blood spilled the day you
passed. i remember the sincerity you
spoke of - a false prophet. i didn't care,
i just wanted to find some sort of peace.
i wanted the rivers to run dry, i wanted
a drought, i didn't want to see the blood
shed, but i stared death in the face.

it stares back sometimes.
Katelyn Arnold Sep 2020
the mountains, covered in salt, recede
over time from the acidity of the rain
it's a gradual decline, eventually the
mountains will shrink due to erosion
the tree branches are like arms:
reaching towards the mountains
wanting to scale the giant
wanting the same power
the trees are depression
the trees are getting in the way
all i see are the branches, and
i don't have a scythe. no longer
can i see the brilliant skyline. the
sun doesn't peek through the trees
anymore, and i am afraid of the dark.
Katelyn Arnold Sep 2020
using a blade as a writing utensil
and your skin as the parchment
you wrote my name in scarlet,
a permanent reminder of what
could have been, what should
have been. it's like carvings
etched into a tree, but if it was
axe wounds. it's like the tree falling
in a forest metaphor: it makes a
sound. you make a sound.

i hope someone finds your fallen
tree. from your trunk decay, i hope
they can grow a garden inside of you.
i hope their thumbs are green so they
can cultivate art from the wounds i
will do nothing but open. i hope you
can see the flowers bloom inside you
one day. i may never get to see that
day. that's okay. i need to bury the
hatchet before i swallow the bullet.
Katelyn Arnold Mar 2020
she must be the perfect 1950's housewife,
wearing her rogue lipstick upon her chalky
foundation. every weekend, your wife cleans
out the closets filled with the skeletons you
bring back home. i wonder if her motherly
instinct kicks in, if the warning sirens ever
go off in her head when you come home
smelling like a one night stand. i wonder
if she ever sleeps in the same bed as you,
and i wonder how much the kids gather of
your relationship with him from arguments
behind closed bedroom doors.

i wonder how much of her smile is false
advertisement. i wonder when she will
finally have enough of his white lies.
Katelyn Arnold Feb 2020
to own up to your crimes,
first, you must admit to the jury of
the candles lit that burned bridges,
let's have a drink for your children,
innocent, untainted, left in the dark,
unable to see the fires their father
left behind. how do you not smell
the burning embers on him? how
do you not smell the offal?

in the absence of hope,
there was women,
and that's how i will begin my revolution;
i'll create waves so strong, ridges form in
concrete stone with power-hungry women.
i will bring my strongest army, all the artillery
i can wield, if only to feel safe again in my skin.
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