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Amanda Apr 13
Pull me out from depths of the prison of panic and fear I inhabit

One small phrase willing words straining against bars of my ribcage to slip through
And be released

Passion the officer responsible for overturning the former guilty verdict
In favor of a tentative plea bargain

To let solitary confinement end

Along with the silence that had been my cell since the very first day
Of my self-inflicted sentence

Now I sense a shift
As the emotion locked tight finally is allowed the sweet taste of freedom

As the door to jail my heart was enclosed in opens with a click
The words I have been holding hostage are trapped no more

Escaping my lips with surprise

My feelings in chains no more

"I love you too"
About the first time my boyfriend said I love you after we had been broken up for a year
by Michael R. Burch

This poem is dedicated to Harvey Stanbrough, an ex-marine who has written eloquently about the horror and absurdity of war in "Lessons for a Barren Population."

No, I will never know
what you saw or what you felt,
****** into the maw of Eternity,

watching the mortars nightly
greedily making their rounds,
hearing the soft damp hiss

of men’s souls like helium escaping
their collapsing torn bodies,
or lying alone, feeling the great roar

of your own heart.
But I know:
there is a bitter knowledge

of death I have not achieved,
and in thankful ignorance,
and especially for my son

and for all who benefit so easily
at so unthinkable a price,
I thank you.

Published by Romantics Quarterly, Poetic Reflections and Poetry SuperHighway. Keywords/Tags: Vietnam War, maw, mortars, rounds, souls, escaping, bodies, corpses, death, heart, roar, bitter, knowledge, thanks, thank you, service, honor, duty, courage, bravery, heroism, patriotism
i. Prodigal daughter

I flew out my mother as a prophecy.
An oracle, a sinner; girl in the wrong
place at the right time. Not who I was
supposed to be. Scripture on my arms,
coating the back of my throat, words
I’ve never wanted to read.

I crawled out my mother’s womb
with a ****** cough:
Grandmother’s handkerchief.
Some letters.
No name. Not mine.

I carried myself out my mother’s soul,
hands stained red with prayer,
legacy shattering a baby’s spine,
bearing the sin of

She’s always told me,
You never cried.

ii. Menace

I bury my teeth in the backyard
to stop myself from biting back.
I have a few left up in
sore bleeding gums,
burning softly
and waiting
for the day
I will speak.

A demon somewhere in
the dirt runs its fingers
down my forearm.
There are bones
molting along
with feathers. I am
buying bigger
band aids these
days: they wrap
around my arms
as vines left in
the sun to rot.

wait on my windowsill
to make sure I am okay.

But I am a burning woman
settled in the wallpaper. I’m
sure my eyes are yellow again:
I cry as she paints, sealing my
body up in the floral silhouette.
This house is as haunted
                                         as me.

The demon has an alibi.
Liar, it spats.

iii. Flight of the wolves  

Moon takes me by the hand. Some
ancient light. Howls in the distance.
I dance through the edge of forest
wishing they would utter my name.

Moon calls out this time, urging me
to step closer. I prowl out to
the real world, greeted by snarls.
I bite at the air, our feral eyes
sliding into one another's.
Before I can
escape we are already

The moon watches us:
In all our inhuman
humanity. we rush
through leaves and
spoiled mud, running
against ourselves
and bleeding stars.

fading as nothing
but hungry dogs
into the night.

Here, they whisper. Eat.

i.v. By the fireplace

I have never wanted touch
like this. They gather me
into their arms, one by one.
Something mysterious lingers
in the air, like an old cup of
tea. I feel as if I have swallowed
someone else’s sun, whole. I
do not let myself think of
prophecies. I cannot let
my spine feel it,
either. I want them
to stay.  

Fire has his hand in my mouth.
But I refuse to scream. Months
gather on, and I assimilate to
the fire and embrace. I’m
mumbling of prophecy
in my sleep. Bones
tremble as they realize
we’ll never know
what’s coming

The future leads me to
a lavender loveseat
for just me alone.

Fire takes his hand
from my mouth
briefly, with pity
and permission
to breathe. They
wander, picking
dust and dirt from
my hair.

Oxygen tickles the
roof of my mouth,
and I realize the
settled words have
faded away. I am
warm now, despite
my barefoot stance
in the dirt.

I’m sorry, Fire mumbles. I had just hoped to help.

v. Town fair memory

They find me by the craft table
breathing in an elixir of sunset.
Shadows tiptoe around my adolescence.
Maybe they are all my first loves.
Is this a family? I’m not entirely
sure if they’ll stick around once
they find I am drenched in
divination and sweat.

Three ghosts drift across the market
and I make some sales. I wondered
what a ghost would do with coffee,
if taste and touch were really

Hours live on, and fireflies
beat against paper cups
and strong-willed

l on the cooling blacktop
with my friends. The sky is pink
but not as warm as us, and we can see
the stars from here:
I have no
intention on
waking up from today.

Scars morph into smaller divets, like
scratches of clairvoyance against
oracle bones.

They drive me to an artist in a
city cottage. It’s okay, I am reassured.
She will not hurt you here.
Leaves run down the walls.
Water speaks in some foreign tongue.
I feel oddly safe. We cover up my
prophecy, which was never real to begin with.
Prophecies are a sin, of course. And though
we have transformed from monster to human
and back again
I might be the biggest sinner of them all.

A distasteful monster
hellbent on some
lack of legacy
to pass on for

I did cry, I tell myself. But I think we will be okay.
Girl, the demon whispers;
Child, the moon sighs;
Live! They cry.

And Fire says
his place
between our
Chiara Jan 11
Into the night I wander,
It's darkness that I seek.
I want to escape the thoughts
That are nearly drowning me.
But even the pitch black night
Cannot block out the things
I think about each night
And that haunt me in my dreams.
Toxic yeti Feb 2019
I remember
My grampa’s birthday
Ran light
It was a clear summer
So I decided to
And noticed the super moon
I run
Running hoping
To take of
Like a Boeing
From this ****** planet
To the heavens
For I would be free.
s Willow Jan 2019
The old crystal cript,
dead and bare trees
line the path of bones.
Doorways and windows
glow red
expelling Blue fire.
Dreams run.
Demons escape
and joins
the mortals.
Casper Dec 2018
She loved me
And will love me
So for ever.
I pictured her,
There in her room
As she spoke,
Looked now at the dress,
At the veil
She was to wear tomorrow,
Then turned away.
If I had known
The last gift
I’d give to her
Would be a white doe,
I’d have given her more.
She did not smile,
She cried.
I do but speak the truth,
If you will have it.
Will you want
Such an old story?
She died in my arms
And nobody ever knew
She died before tomorrow.
Casper Dec 2018
I wrote you,
Several long letters,
Convincing proof,
Of the love,
I escaped.
Mae Hoek Dec 2018
I feel tied down
to an invisible post.
I don't know who brought it
or even if I did.
I do feel like I'll never escape.
Tugging on the post,
I can feel my wrists
getting pulled apart by rope.
I don't get worried
because this has happened before.
I'm in an endless loop
of being hurt over and over.
I want it to end,
but I don't know how.
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