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I grew up in a house of closed doors and retreating footsteps, sometimes so light I wondered if anyone was even there, a house of ghosts, made so by a layer of thick dust on the couches, and doorbells that were never answered.

I grew up in a house of silence, the only signs of life: coffee mugs in the sink, and leftover crumbs on the kitchen counter. Silence so palpable it wraps itself around my throat until it becomes comforting. The microwave cannot reach zero here.

Birds chirp on Sunday mornings and the weight of their music sits heavily on my chest. Plants reach for the sunlight trickling between dusty window shades, and I can hear their leaves straining. I want to plead with them to stop.

A patch of sunlight reaches the floor, and my cat purrs loudly and unforgivably in it's warmth. I am sitting at the edge of my bed, hushed footsteps down the hallway, a door softly shuts, the silence is broken.

My throat closes to comfort me. To be unseen and unheard here is to be safe. There are five ghosts in this house, and I am one of them.
I think people interpret it wrong
when someone says home
they mean where they belong

A home doesn’t have walls
it has security and comfort
It makes you feel all fuzzy and warm
it's a house that has these bedrooms and halls

Home is a feeling
you’ll find it in that one person
who’ll make you feel warm even when it’s freezing

With each other
you’ll argue but you will also care
You will cry but then also learn to smile
with each other, everything you’ll share

You will have lots of adventures together
from dealing with life, to maybe visiting Rome
But no matter where you go, for always and forever
You will have this person as your home.
Thoughts deflate then wither in silence,
Contained in this skull shaped dome
Breath taxis the sound like an organic drone
But delivers to no one,
A voiceless zone
They said they'd be here,
But no one's shown
It isn't new,
Still don't know what to do to atone
I wouldn't say I'm not lonely,
Just not alone
Many fractured personalities have left the nest,
Off to make a life of their own
I try to keep the piece on my own
Not a radical idea
Not something I'd condone
It increases the gravity of a situation,
One I could have never known
But what's another boulder to a shoulder of stone?
The devil on the other shoulder is now older and grown
Adopting a fatherly tone
I got a bone to pick with him,
But that'll have to wait till we find home

Kendra Gatz Apr 8
Begging for mercy from a cruel false god
As the years go by, I’ve seen through the facade
But I’m still chained by desperation and fear
And the false hope that you’ll be sincere
And the pleasure you take in my pain will disappear
But it won’t
You don't want to change
You never will
So it will be my blood and tears you continue to spill
Consume me body and soul
Whenever you are hungry for a little power and control
Whenever the world is too much for you
You take it out on daddy’s favorite punching bag

Mother is on the stairs
But she might as well not be there
For she doesn’t interfere
Not even when he fists curl up
Not when there are tears
She watches with quiet scripted interjections
As she watches this towering god looming over me tear me apart
No apologies no remorse
Just me with ****** hands picking up the broken fragments of myself off the floor
I don’t want to be here anymore

And after the damage is done
She provides false comfort
Then angrily scolds me
“You know better than that”
“Why did you say that”
“Why didn’t you say that”
As if the looming tsunami would ever take mercy on me
So I cower in my room licking my wounds forever alone
For there is no one else’s hands to hold
No one's arms to surrender to
Just grief
And a false hope that one day,
I will be free

But even when far far away
Those cruel feelings and fears remain
For now they are woven into my DNA
selina Apr 3
i didn't know how angry
a scar could be until i saw
one on myself it was something
like a pocket-sized chilean coast
dragged across my knee disrupting  
and hills still dispersing as an acl
torn but unseen like how the many
excerpts of dreams were wiped clean
the anger is always ephemeral but
it always comes back whenever
i want to feel breeze in hair perhaps
i just miss the delaware river scene
and a long ago when my pencils
moved too quickly for my thoughts
yes indeed maybe i just miss loving
the journey not for the end like the
part where i did not know anything yet
still believed that it was all for the better
tore my acl at college last october, and everything feels like it's been downhill since
outskirts of
in darkness
the road
is moving
at the perfect

like peaceful
blend into
the fog
of circling

an overnight
staring out
the window

entirely out
of the interstitial
that make
for a sort of
i left the same day that the wildfires clouded your skies with orange dust, dirt, and debris
how fitting
they always say the weather matches your mood
in the same way the smoke from the fires was ripping through the air
i, too, was being ripped from your embrace
i felt the smoke fill my lungs as i gasped for breath
or maybe it was a cry for help
i like to think of it as mother nature placing a veil over what could’ve been
in a way she protected me
i didn’t have to face you as i left
neth jones Mar 27
a reclaiming tide
each spring   the forrest laps
at my shanty door     then  retreats
nature demonstrates  to me
its permission
tanka style
Anais Vionet Mar 20
(There’s a song for this: ‘Confessions’ by Sudan Archives)

I remember it like it was yesterday (it was yesterday).

I arrived on a cool (42°f), blindingly sunny New Haven afternoon. It was as if they’d opened up that troubling ozone hole just for me.
I was as happy as I’ve ever been to be back. It was as if New Haven actually meant freedom.

I’d opened the door to our suite, dragging every bag I own.
After intense hugs, I'd said, “PIZZA - NOW.”
So, Lisa, Sunny and I, after some debate, selected Town Pizza.
Town Pizza’s specialties are those thin, gourmet pies with crust-free cauliflower crust, oil (not environmentally problematic tomatoes), topped with panda cheese and tofu.
In a shocking development, I got the cheeseburger special which I hit like a vape. †

SO, the three of us were there, happily devouring. Not bothering anyone, when this guy stopped at our table to offer us salvation and introduce us to - whatever (yadda yadda yadda)

I didn’t catch the entire pitch; I may have momentarily dozed off.
“No, Thank you.” Lisa said, politely but dismissively.
Not taking the hint, he reached into his cheap shoulder bag for pamphlets and began a new tac.
“Go away.” Sunny said, unblinkingly, but he jabbered on, showing the unaware persistence of long covid - like we were interested or tolerant.

“I’ll show you my bra if you’ll shut up,” I said, with my best deadpan face. Lisa and Sunny shrieked with several kinds of outraged laughter.
He became a statue, like a Twilight Zone episode where time stops for one person. A second passed during which he didn’t blink or breathe. “eheheheheheheh* I toned, like a buzzer.
“Two late!” I gameshow said, shrugging, “You didn’t verbally accept, sorry, I don’t make the rules.”
He shook his head and walked away—with Lisa and Sunny giggling and waving him off stage.
Our mission was accomplished. We’d defended our water hole like lionesses.

A few minutes later Lisa said, “He DID shut up, I’m not in law school, but I think you owe him a flashing.”
“I guess he wasn’t in law school either.” Sunny observed, between bites.
“I’m taking this to the supreme court,” I promised.
“How did the supreme court get to decide every ******-little thing?” Lisa asked, biting her abomination flavored pizza.
slang and notes…
devouring = eating like barnyard animals
Twilight Zone = More, so much more, than the most creative moment in man’s evolution. *
panda cheese = Ok, I made that up because it sounded gross.
† the author, in no way, endorses vaping, vape-related consumables or accessories
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: ******: considered cheap and distasteful

*our cast*:
Lisa, (roommate) 20, grew up in a posh 50th floor walk-up on Central Park South, Manhattan. She shares my major (Molecular biophysics and biochemistry) and is easily the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen in person (and she’s sensitive about it). Our tastes match, in everything (fashion, media, music, humor) except men.

Sunny, (suitemate) 20, is from Nebraska, she’s a cowgirl (seriously, she has a quarter horse and barrel races). She’s an outspoken fem-facing ladies-lady whose life is an endless parade of ‘sleepovers.’ Sunny always knows all the best gossip and she’s somehow befriended all the professors.
B Mar 4
Texas is as hot as hell
and looks like it sometimes too
but I can't leave, it's paralyzing,
I love it like I'm dazed and confused.
Know I'd miss the flat green land
and always knowing what comes next
yearning for the shade of the soft, dark pine
crackled leather growing on my neck.
Here, you cannot hide from the sun
it chases you like a bird of prey
yet I have learned to live with it
I rise and I kiss it, never stray.
And I can sit and drink
like I am baptized from the inside out
this is the easy way
to taste freedom in the South.

It takes forever just to get out of this state
stretched as wide as the chasm of my mind
so long a journey from ear to ear
what am I supposed to find?
Left alone with no friend but my thoughts
what terrible company they are.
At least the skies are open here
I can find familiarity with my lone star.

Sometimes people leave,
in a chase of meaning, and perhaps some hope
but they will always come back
unforgivingly pulled by an invisible rope.
I'll let my curiosity wander
but not for too long
Rough cowboy reminds me
where I belong.
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