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Iskra Dec 2018
The crackle of Lofi beats and fingers combing through acoustic strings always reminds me of you,
Laying on a sloping floor sharing cheap sour candy,
When our fingers would occasionally brush looking up at that epileptic nightmare of a laser show in the pitch black of Michael Jackson’s top songs,
I swear it was the closest thing to a high that two suburban girls like us could ever feel.
I could’ve just turned my head and we would’ve been kissing,
But instead I now turn my head to writing poetry that you’ll never read
On these rollercoasters of stinging eyes and insomniac nights.
I can’t sleep.
Iskra Aug 2018
Laying in my bed curled up
Acid in my throat because I didn’t eat
Clenching my fists around my blankets because I can’t sleep

Are you thinking of me?
Laying in a tent, uncomfortably,
Snuggling close to your fluffy white dog or your younger brother to stay warm.

Are you missing me?
No. Not the way I’m missing you
You’re not thinking of me the way I’m thinking of you
And though it means the world to me that a beautiful soul like yours is friends with a storm cloud like me, it shatters my heart into thousands of sharp, jagged pieces that you’re
~ just ~
my friend.

“I’m sorry but I need to know, is it mutual? It’s alright if it’s a no, I can handle it, I just want you...to be honest”
A pause...
Then the raindrop falls.
“Right now, it’s a no”

Ripples.
Right now.
Right now.
Right now.
No.
No.
No.
STOP.
I care about you so much, I know I need to let you go, so you would never read this, and I would never show anyone this.
It’s all swirling around in my chest, faster and faster until it explodes, word ***** and tears.
I love you.

I didn’t tell you I loved you, only that I had feelings for you.
Why bother? It would’ve made things more painful for me, more bitter for you.

But I can’t show you this.
I don’t want you to change.
I don’t want you to change the way you speak to me, to change your mind when you’re about to type a heart emoji,
to stop yourself after just saying “goodnight” and leave out the “baby”

This is my undoing, not yours, and I want you to keep letting me be your anchor, your shoulder, your shield, my open arms waiting to catch you when you tumble from your flight.
I can’t keep loving you, I can’t stop loving you.
I want to stop feeling at all.
Thank you all so much for all your compassion and the amazing comments. Your kindness brought me to tears. I’d send hugs and healing (if I could) to those of you who commented because you’re experiencing the same thing right now, and I promise you, even though it hurts like hell now, it does get better.
Iskra Aug 2018
I never believed in love at first sight.

It was always something that happened slow,
With the one I least expected it to.
Falling in love always took time,
But before I knew it I was in over my head,
Drowning in it.

I always had too much,
And they never wanted any.
So I had to drink it all up,
An ocean of it,
Every last intoxicating drop,

Until my chest ached from it, about to burst,
Throwing up onto white pages that could barely soak it up
Leaving a trail of hastily combined words,
Love, pain, anguish.

So this time I decided to just let it out,
Let it run out from sound instead of tears,
Let my less-than-eloquent language blur
With colloquial words,
Let the feelings flow with my tumbling speech,
Falling upon her ears instead of a page that she would never see.

So now sometimes I look up from white paper
And see a cotton sky,
The same color.
And I realize, it wasn’t love I had drowned in.
Love fills a comforting space,
Warmth on these silver and cotton days,
It was hope,
And lack of hope leaves an empty space,
One that fills with rain.
Iskra Jul 28
Face will glisten and fingers bleed,
For this love too out of reach

Notes pour off the page too quick,
Wrist trembles,
Shoulders click

Crystal tears dull thoughts of blood,
It’s a passion, hurts too much
Iskra Aug 2018
I wish for misty drizzle days
Instead this dusty smoke,
A cheap replacement for petrichor.

Longing for the cozy hug of a droopy sweater or flannel shirt around my shoulders
I find comfort in soft cloth.

Waiting for late mornings,
Cups of steamy tea,
Or frothy cider with warming spices,
Faded book covers and stretching knitted blankets,
Gray dawns and wordless smiles.

Because I am a mouse,
Who munches on crunchy orange and yellow leaves for inspiration.

Who admires the fluttering and faintly glimmering spiderwebs,
Adorned by tiny drops of diamond dew.

Who loves dripping,
Just barely ripe apples
Ones with pieces that tear away with a juicy crunch.

Who hides her soul in towering, curly fern leaves,
Surrounded by ghostly green tree moss,
Wispy strands hanging down like ancient whiskers.
Most people find this kind of scenery to be dreary, but it’s always been my favorite.
Iskra Aug 2018
Sleepy seabirds rest their heads
On downy white feathers
Azure ripples glimmering
In crystalline splendor.

Dry brushed clouds lounge peacefully
In porcelain skies
Seabirds take to lazy flight,
Echo mewling cries.

Golden flecks swirl glimmering,
In indents left by feet.
Coin-sized ***** scuttle away,
No wish to become meat.
Short poem about a morning spent exploring the beach.
Iskra Mar 17
I saw you again today,
And oh dear let me tell you that not a single curl of your hair,
or plane of your face,
Not a note of your comforting cologne,
Not even that impish grin
Has changed

You said you had of course,
But I know you only changed as much as I did,
In something so small as developing a taste for coffee,
That had always been there.

I only realized how much I miss you when your stupid friends ditched us,
Somehow just as I expected.
As we sat on that log, coughing and laughing from all that harsh smoke,
And of course you sat there anyway, like a stubborn ***
because you probably thought it would make you seem more attractive,
To smell like a walking campfire.
You didn’t have to tell me,
For me to see that you’ve never been more alone.

And let me just tell you, I’m so
So
So
Sorry.
I can’t repeat it enough.

You deserved so much better than to be some fling,
Because, just like me,
You could never just be a fling,
You love with your whole being
With a heart as broad as that hazy sky that wraps around us on this island

You deserved so much better than a girl who treated you like a burden,
Than a girl who would push you away,
A girl who would lie,
All you wanted when you pushed my buttons all those times,
Was the real picture of me,
Instead of all that photoshop
Pouring out of my mouth.

I now remember, you said I was too perfect.
Funny how that works out, I felt the same way about you.
‘Till you spilled all the darkest things you’d never said aloud without any hesitation,
‘till your tears were smoothed away by my words’ comfort,
Or perhaps lack of judgement,
But of course I lied about mine.
You only saw the shallow scratches,
The ones that came before I learned where to hide them.

I’m sorry.
I wish I’d let myself trust you.
I wish I hadn’t lied.
I wish I could’ve just carved all the things that were tearing me apart inside
Onto that stone platform we stood on
Instead of telling you something akin to not realizing I had preferred tea all this time.

It hurts,
Now that I realize,
That the reason we never worked out
had nothing to do with my alleged distaste for coffee.

In truth, I’ve always had a taste for a few types of both.
I resolve to be more honest next time.
Iskra Aug 2018
I can hear the accusing tones downstairs,
Muted yelling from below,
Can’t make out his words
‘Cause the pitch is too low.

Wincing at the thud of something hitting the floor,
Stomach twisting at the sound of tearing paper,
Pulse quickens as I hear him slam a door.

I shouldn’t have directed him towards her when he came to pester me.
Now everyone in the house is on edge,
So I’ll busy my hands and mind by keeping the kitchen clean.
Iskra Aug 2018
Think, rich and heavy, like flattened layers of gouache paint slathered onto a canvas, meant to portray peeling layers of pearly alabaster, glowing white stripped away to reveal dusty blues, steely grays, and muted purples.
Iskra Sep 2018
Pale yellow sunlight streaming through cream violets,
Lighting them up like wedding lace,
I tried to comfort you last night,
Could picture the tears streaming down your face.
This colorful morning,
Mind clear of emotional clutter to make room for truth,
I realize how much,
Despite my efforts,
I’m still in love with you.
Iskra Mar 23
I lay on my back,
Crystal water
Washing around me
Ringing in clarity.

Waving gold forests
Caress my fingertips.
Their shimmering spots of sun
Soothing to me.

Clouds, cotton candy at first,
Fill space and time
With sureness and sense
With fragile glass eyes
I watch them go by.

They float farther and farther
Sun brighter and brighter.
I’m still,
Brittle,
Clear water washing over me,
As I drown in the vast, empty sky.

Swirling silt rises as the my thoughts pollute the water,
Blackened, poisoned by my mind.

I lay in darkness, frozen in murky-still slush.
A thickening swamp to rot in,
What does it take to stop clinging to the bottom and rise,
Rise above the murk to clarity,
Away from the sediment,
Up towards serenity?

A last strand of sunlight reaches down,
I shut it out,
Searching for a light within
Searching for something to brighten my own darkness after the sun will set

One ray.
One sliver of clarity will be enough.
When will it come?
How was my world so light before, so clear?
Waves lap over my face, over my head, over my chest,
Revealing a faint glow.
A new angle, new feeling, for once a breath of air.

Just enough.
Enough to part the swirling silt,
To catch a glimpse of an inky sky.

Though it may have seemed otherwise before,
She is not empty,
But filled with stars.
Small, far away,
But breathing light,
Glowing and just bright enough to soften the vast emptiness before me.

All with their own lives,
clear streams or silty quagmires,
All so far and alone but still shining, beaming with hope.

Just enough
Just enough to relight a spark, to bring a silvery luminescence to the waving, silent forest.
Still swirling with silt, but growing clearer each day.

Enough to see the thick, rich clouds,
Collage on canvas,
Layers stripped away to reveal
Stern colors beneath.

The clouds changed,
No longer fillers and pillows,
Now new and untamed.
A complement to the sky, not her replacement.

And in my corner of this sky,
I learned I was the moon.
Though I would darken,
Draped by shadow,
I would always find a spark to light my own way in the vast emptiness of a tortured mind.
And perhaps even enough for a lost star to claim its light.
Iskra Aug 2018
There’s an old superstition
That pictures taken of you
take a piece of your soul.
I’d never given it much thought before
But I think in your case
It might be true.

I remember once, when we first met as children
Your mother joked that you were a wild horse

You were always running,
Towards your goals,
Towards the future,
Towards being better at back hand springs than those pesky boys.
Always leaping,
Towards new experiences,
Towards success,
Towards the adrenaline rush of doing something slightly dangerous.
Always first
You stamped out jealous insults with a toss of your mane
Never afraid to dive in headfirst where I was too cautious

I thought you’d grow up just as strong,
Fearless and bold.
But somewhere along the way the wild horse became ensnared in a realm of mirrors.
The camera flashes,
then your eyes and fingers tear apart the image.
“Disgusting” you say.

Every click of the shutter is a chip away from who you used to be.
Every moment spent zooming in and leaning close,
Every moment dissecting the features of your face as if they were a bloated frog,
Every moment spent standing in front of that mirror, erasing and redrawing your cheekbones and eyebrows
Poisons the wild horse inside:
Breaking her nimble, fragile legs,
Burdening her slender back with a little more weight.
Your hatred eating her away.

When I look at you, I see a bird,
Slim bones and delicate shoulders,
Long fingers, ready to grow into feathers that take to fluttering flight.
But when you look in the mirror, it’s all twisted, and you can’t see  yourself.
Instead, a grotesque monster with swollen eyes, pebbly, festering skin, and a hulking, hooked nose glares back.

I try to untangle your mind, but you twist and tear my words.
Light, wispy tresses become a thinned frizzy mop.
Glowing, smooth caramel skin becomes ashy and muddy.
Amber, gold-flecked irises with a light-catching texture become dull, drab, brown.
A slender figure falls flat.
It’s never good enough for the emptiness inside.

Why are you so intent on hating every inch of yourself?
Why is such a pure jasmine flower as you festering in a rotting swamp, covering herself in slime and weeds?

My next words may be cruel, but perhaps the pain they inflict will fill the void just enough for you to wake up.

So long as this obsession and hatred continues, you may be pretty as maple candy to look at...
But the husk of yourself you’ve become can never be truly beautiful.
I wish you could see yourself the way I do... but I’ve kept your name out of this because I don’t want to hurt you.
Iskra Oct 2018
Should I get up?
Should I write down the things that were assigned,
Instead of spilling fragmented words and phrases
Turning round inside my mind?
I know I won’t be able to sleep either way
As I hold my breath and press my lips together
To keep the ragged gasps at bay

I’m shaking in a near imperceptible pattern
Infinitesimally small,
Only using the word because it’s yet another measure of my worth,
How much I can learn
It’s only October first
My bonds and binds are already breaking from the heat generated by my lack of sleep  
That’s right,
After one month

Can’t keep it all together,
Grasping at trickling time, desperately
Clinging to even the smallest things I like
Is it bad that I’m starting to master the abysmal art
Of crying silently?
Iskra Nov 2018
Bare feet lit down on a slim shelf of sand,
Only to rise with a turn of pale hands
A comet flashed by in the sky’s afterglow
And bejeweled ***** scuttled briskly below.

Breezy white silk fluttered faintly as I rose,
Met by plum-violet ink of a sky far too close
Stepping down onto stairs of smoke-polished stone,
Engraved with runes of alabaster and bone.

Inside of low doors gleamed emeralds green,
Cherubic smiles tugged at my sleeves,
Golden haired, their laughter swelled,
They weren’t little girls, but something... else.

Years will pass,
I’ll revisit that place,
To collect pyrite from the shore,
And just below the looming space,
On serpents’ wings I’ll watch them soar.
A very important dream, but I’m not entirely sure what it could mean
Iskra Dec 2018
In a weeping valley ringed by slumbering mountains
The most beautiful things
Are slivers of December sky
In between layers and layers of  clouds of darkened silver,
Reflected by the sea-bottle blue of sea glass panes.

The tops of spires nestle in fine mist,
And lifegiving raindrops splatter across crumbling walls,
They stain everything green,
Giving this haven of patchwork concrete and metal it’s name.

Let my sorrows depart swiftly with these silent currents,
Let my wishes be fulfilled by this emerald city.
What a lovely place
Iskra Aug 2018
Laying outside on a creaky old balcony,
On our backs, tangled up together in heavy blankets,
Rubbing our hands and ears
Because they’re getting numb
Thankful for the summer’s gentle night

I drew my eyes away
From the graceful Venus in the South,
A lone golden light shining wistfully
And I finally found the shape of the Big Dipper.
I stare at its lowest corners’ bright star,
An unfathomable size, and even greater distance away
Making me feel infinitely small
Infinitely calm
I trace with my gaze its tail
As icy white sparks fly lightning fast
Through the dripping-ink sky
And burn out faster than a blink,
Barely caught by our drifting eyes

The three of us talk, I sing, maybe to stay awake or maybe to pass the time
Bohemian Rhapsody’s bittersweet melody never sounded so pleasing to me as at 2 in the morning.
Our chatter of secrets is punctuated by gasps
Of us pointing out those bright streaks

We all make wishes,
For love, for luck, for answers
As celestial raindrops keep reaching across the sky
One bright orange jewel with a lavender tail
Burns beautifully by

I wonder why people make wishes upon something that’s dying,
Though spectacular, at the end of its life
“People wish upon things of the heavens”
Is your beautiful reply.
Inspired by a night spent stargazing with some close friends.
Iskra Oct 2018
We sway gently back and forth on a speeding charter bus,
Too exhausted to speak
As we drift in and out of something that’s not quite sleep
Resting our backs against the fuzz of plush seats

A strand of your bleached, copper hair fell on my shoulder,
Making me remember that you smell like lavender and early summer,
And now our warm hands are intertwined,
Your slender, brown fingers curling ever so slightly under mine,
We’re leaning against each other, breathing in rhythm
With the crackly and haunting piano melody that plays over a syncopated beat,
The way my heart beats at the feeling of your side
Rising and falling in tandem with mine
The crackle blends with the splatter of glistening droplets on the windshield, running down and turning light to a muted
Somewhat grayish white,
And as we listen to this music just for the two of us,
I hear it in my left ear,
You in your right,
We drift in and out of the haze,
Warm, content inside a cloud
Where you are the silver lining.
February 2018
Iskra Oct 2018
How did we get into this game again?
The one where I pretend
That it means something that we fell asleep together last night,
Your arm draped across my body
Your forehead pressed against my cheek
Where I try to drink in your warmth
With every inch of my skin you can possibly touch at once
I don’t know
And I don’t think I care,
Because there’s no better sound than the sweetness of your voice when you’re mindlessly singing me to sleep,
Dragging your fingers through the short hair on the back of my head and neck
Those gentle fingers that kept my demons in check
As I rest my head in your lap,
All too aware of your delicate hand resting on my back
How can I tell you that you’ve made me feel like we’re the only two people in the world these past two days?
And now that you’re not by my side, somehow I’m so afraid
To lose that feeling
And I know you told me you didn’t feel the same way
But it’s starting to be hard to believe
With how many times you kissed my forehead and shoulders and cheeks
Is it because it’s different with girls?
If you only knew...
I’d never try to make a move  after getting a definite no for an answer.
But this whole situation has me very confused.
Iskra Aug 2018
We were stumbling back to the car, late at night on aching feet,
Our worn out voices sounding raspy and weak
Makeup smudging on our eyelids and cheeks

Arms entangled, it started with you looping your arm through mine,
Then my hand found its way to your shoulder
And somehow we were holding hands again
It was all a blur.

Your words were slow and slurring
As if you were thinking through honey
For me not so,
my mind quick as ever to put my thoughts into words

Instead my insides felt fizzy
Your blurring remarks making me giggly.
“That’s a church”
You mutter faintly,
Waving a hand towards the Cathedral
Giggles escape from my mouth,
Growing into laughter
I try to make it sound dainty.

Perhaps the passerby thought we were drunk,
But we hadn’t had a sip of alcohol
You were drunk on tiredness and music
And I was high on dying love and music.
You never fail to confuse me, dear firefly.
But I’ll let it slide.
Just know that love isn’t something that dies overnight.
Iskra Sep 2018
Ice cubes
Chapped lips
Short nails
Bruising pinch

Pink lines
White-knuckled grip
Sharp edges
Red drips

Rapid breaths
Aching ribs
Don’t cave in
Fingers slip

Avoiding questions
Wording trips
“That’s not healthy”
It’s the easiest fix.
The choppy rhythm reflects a choppy state of mind.
Iskra Aug 2018
Stop touching my sides
Just because I let you touch me like that once before
Doesn’t mean I’m yours
I’m not your toy.
Iskra Aug 2018
Waking up without a telltale dryness in my eyes,
The morning grey light’s cool blue tinge caressing my cheeks
I step outside.

Gone are hollow, yellow air and hauntingly pink sun, of diluted blood
Replaced by a spongy sky.
Replaced a clatter across dry leaves, a creak of thirsty trees, like snapping and groaning bones
Coolness drips into my hair and drizzles on my arms

Wash away this acrid flavor from my lips,
Carry the dust and drying weeds from my lungs,
Bring blossoms to the thorny brambles tangling my ribs

Settle on my eyelashes,
Fresher than all this dry fear
Trickle down my throat and cool away the dancing fire demons
Tormenting my soul.

Soothe my splintered state of mind,
Turn cracked earth to loamy mud
Wash the dreading from my veins,
Bringing life to blood.
The rain calms me down.
Iskra Mar 18
Let my heels brush,
The bushy heads of evergreen trees,
With fingertips enveloped in mist,
Ghostly wrists drowning in breathy kisses,
Fulfill my desire to feel your skin
Drink in its warmth,
Flush against mine
Draw me close by strings attached
Just under my ribs,
Please...

Turn this ethereal moment
Into an ephemeral forever.
Iskra Aug 2018
Streaming sunlight and horse tails lightly swaying in the breeze, flicked lazily at gadflies.
Hoarse dove cries echo hauntingly as I wander across lush grass, towards the murky pond.
Dry, splintery boards of the rickety grey dock creak under my feet. Stone still, opaque brown-green water lies beneath. I close my eyes, resting my hands on the railing, letting the euphonious melody of rasping doves, cheeky robins, and other chirping birds blend with the bubbling sound of running water in the distance, and wash over me. The water bubbles and froths, it has a foamy sound, not as clear and ringing as streams and fountains back home.
Carefree.
Bullfrogs splish and dart into the silty pondweed.
It’s all as if this little world requires no purpose, it’s enough that it simply... is.
If only I could find peace in simply existing. Freedom to just be.
Iskra Aug 2018
This is a tale of love and a tangled lie,
An apology.
A letter to a brown eyed firefly.
Our players being a naive spark,
Lost in feelings without a map
A broken, bittersweet charmer,
A dancing, reading dreamer with his face always turned to the skies,
And of course, the rosy orange firefly with warm coffee-bean eyes.
I hope that fireflies can glow a rosy orange, but my knowledge on this matter can’t be promised.
We live in a dreary place, one without lightning bugs to keep us honest.

A charming schemer once began to toy with a young, carefree spark,
Pushed her away when she got too close.
He tried to win her back, trying for a fresh, clean start
But soon he realized her trust was something to earn.
She was frighteningly cold when she was angry,
But even frozen, sparks have a tendency to burn.

As she brooded, pain and confusion kicking up a spiteful flame,
The bitter boy found a firefly, another pretty light with whom to play his game.

The spark’s young heart began to thaw, but the charmer continued to play and tease.
Wanting to shield herself from heartbreak, the spark turned her attention to a dancing, stargazing dreamer.
He made her feel much more at ease.

Firefly whispered to the spark, in girlish gossip,
Admitting to a love affair with the charmer, whose lips she could only describe as delicious.
But to the firefly’s chagrin, the bitter boy had demanded that their romance remain surreptitious.

The reading dreamer had a beautiful mind, his intelligence capturing spark’s glow.
But his lust for her, while with respect, was not something she cared to know.
Caught in a romance with the dreamer boy, while her desire for the charmer began to grow.

And so the game of cat and mouse resumed, until the spark succumbed to a kiss, too great was the desire.
The charmer told her there was no one else...
Poor firefly. Her lover was a liar.

A bruised plum mark seared into her neck
Dimmed the spark’s glow in burning shame.
Next day when told that charmer boy had left his firefly, she cursed herself, for she was the one to blame.

Such a tangled web of lies, all from the foolish girl’s mistake.
She’d tried to force a romance with her starry-eyed dreamer boy,
In finding that his feelings were one-sided, she’d tried to feel something new
With someone who treated her as if she were a plaything, just a toy.

And out of debt and friendship,
she comforted poor firefly, with words like balm, but all in vain:
For when the leaves turned yellow, charmer and firefly were in bed together, just the same.
But this time, charmer called it a dalliance, and but a pitiful echo of romance and sweetness remained.

Confusion thickened in the mapless maze, when once the firefly let slip
Ephemeral infatuation had overcome her in the spring when looking at the spark,
And all the lanterns of the maze were dimmed,
Wavering flickers in the hazy dark.

But truth came quickly to her mind,
As spark dreamed more and more of the firefly,
Spark loved her soul, her soft full lips,
And in doing so, she condemned her own youthful heart to die.

Oh such sweet torture fate had concocted for the foolish spark.
To crave the one she had betrayed.
To carry a love unrequited, all while watching the firefly’s innocent kindness be wasted away.

And this, dear readers, is the last chapter of this tale.
The spark left the dreamer, realizing her heart had been hiding behind a flimsy veil,
For she found herself more drawn to nymphs than gods.
And now there are three suffering heartbreak,
The dreamer missing his bright spark, the firefly wishing for just a simple date,
The spark knowing she’ll have to let a fate with the firefly slip away.
If only I had known my actions would cause you this much pain.

And so,
I’d like to apologize.
I can’t do it in person,
Cowardice being my excuse.
I can’t even call you by your proper name, because you can’t know this letter is for you.
So in my writing, you were a firefly.
A firefly burned by a spark.
And as a spark I’ve yet to learn,
Altruistic in every other path of life,
Not to yield to Selfishness:
The vice that doomed my soul to burn.
Time to let this go.
Iskra Feb 18
I don’t understand
Why my love is something you need to understand.
You want to spend the rest of your life with a woman,
So why can’t I?

I don’t understand
Why I’m supposed to be proud.
It simply happened, it’s not an achievement.
I’m proud of my sisters who overcame oppression, my brothers who accepted themselves,
But not because of how I am.

I don’t understand
Why you’re sad about this.
You weren’t sad when you found out about the disease,
You brushed it off,
“caprice” you called it.
And now you are sad that I might not have biological children.

I’m not an alien, a walking freak, a troubled deviant.
I’m not broken.
I may be, but this is the one sure thing that that’s normal, healthy, BEAUTIFUL about me.
Let me love in peace.

Remember the day I came to school with my hair shorn?
Caterpillar fuzz on the back of my neck, finally feeling a breeze on my scalp.
Fluffy locks on top.

Remember the days I began to dress more comfortable?
Men’s shorts have real pockets,
Plaid shirts keep the scalding sun off my shoulders

That’s when the questions, the stereotypes started.
No ill-meaning intended, but curiosity.
Asking about labels.


So yes,
I love women too.
What is it to you?
Iskra Nov 2018
“Respect yourself!” They say to young girls,
“Your body is a temple”

A temple.
With sensual art and tiled floors,
A pyramid that stands for thousands of years in its grace,
Bringing awe in its imperfection.
Faded colors, chipped walls, and climbing vines
It is still worthy to be a place of worship.

You say my body is a temple.
But you really mean you want it to be your temple.
A place seen or used by no one but you,
One that hasn’t stood through stood through a thousand storms
One that never shows the pain that every step of womanhood brings with it,
The burning skin on our ******* and thighs,
The aching pain that rolls through our stomachs and backs,
And the blood lost with it.

My body is an apple tree
With slim, graceful branches that stretch and bend
And sweet smelling blossoms
With bark that cracked from rapid growth,
and gnarled, twisting roots.
Imperfect yes, like anything beautiful.
Yet all you want are my fruits.
So you tell me that they must be sour anyway
Because they’re unavailable to you.

So next time you tell me to respect myself,
Here’s what I’ll have to say:

If you truly believe that my body is a temple
Then get out.
You have no place telling me how to decorate the altar.
Iskra Sep 2018
Standing somewhat spellbound in this glittering moment,
Something so familiar was torn away so quick
Still in sight, just out of reach,
Sunflower petals and drops
of milk tea left adrift
In the swirling orange and gold.

Amber voice and gold chime laugh,
Arms wrapped around my waist.
My chin rested on her rolling shoulder,
Faint lavender caressed my face.

She was speaking orange and gold,
And it bled into my emptying soul,
Found a spot and called it home,
Grew to make me more alone

Lips parted, eyes fixed,
She’s staring straight ahead, seeing only empty space,
Hands folded softly, toes grazing carpet,
Strand of black falling across her face.

She was bleeding orange and gold,
And it poured into my aching soul,
Tried to lift away her pain,
She went back to its source anyway.

Now she’s basking in the calm,
No buffering currents,
Only still spirals of cantaloupe glimmer,
Until a dark green will stir the surface,
Like it always does.
But she forgives anyway.
Iskra Sep 2018
Yellow, and waxy smooth in shape they spiral down
The color of banana peels and rubber ducks,
Not enough to crunch,
Just the occasional skittering sounds from an accidental nudge
Of a laced up black boot.
It’s all lit up by pouring color
Painting the world pale gold and dusty blue,
Dimpled footprints across dusty sand,
Perhaps foreshadowing of future eons of crushed cement.

Evoking an image of rusted door hinges and creaking sheds,
Orange drips from ripened fruit,
Dappled dry reds of a curling leaf or faded velvet skirt.

And down below and oil painting of bottle green glass and soft leather,
Glinting and undulating in a translucent serenity.

Paint turns to pastel further out,
Smooth hints of pink on touches of sighing blue and perfect cream with lemon zest.

Oddly blending with the metallic rumble of heavy strings,
Thin black wings
And soft fabric on palms,
Warm light and a cool breath.

Interrupted by a jolting movement of a graceful, curious silk spinner,
Who dropped, and frightened the delicate moment away.
Iskra Aug 2018
I was finally healing so well

Now everything’s grey again
I’m unsure again
Feelings fluttering, sparkling, and sputtering out again,
No one to love, I don’t know who to love.

I don’t know who I will love.

One moment of clarity gone.
I knew I craved the touch of her gentle fingers and soft curves, the sound her amber voice, and brush of her silken tresses

But now I wonder if I could love someone with broader shoulders and strong hands, hard muscles, and a voice like coffee

I did twice, but they both walked the line between sweet and firm, and now I reject that part of myself

Funny.

Most usually do the opposite.
How spoiled I must be to be ashamed of my attraction to someone I’ve been told someone like me should love

But I am an individual being,
and I’ve always said:
Attraction is spontaneous.

Why shouldn’t I just float upon the joy I feel?

Why must it have a neatly labeled category?

Love defies language,
Thousands of poems written in its name,
Yet no words can be as intricate, as concise, as layered, as simple as its nature.

Love defies boxes, it spills out, it eats through the cardboard and collects in fuchsia pools across the floor,
Too fluid to be contained.
Even when I know what I feel I still question it.
Iskra Aug 2018
I can’t stand the sickly sweet, falsetto love songs on the radio anymore.
Because ghost of your lips on mine lingers,
Because I’ve kissed you a thousand times in my dreams
And I’ve woken up alone, longing for you to be by my side, a thousand times more.
I reach for you, my light at the end of the dock.
Like the flash of a Polaroid camera when dusk is falling
Recounting and decoding moments that we’ve lived, a mindless brush of your hand against mine that meant nothing to you searing itself into my skin and memory.
Perhaps it would’ve been easier if I’d known from the start that you’d never be mine.
Iskra Apr 9
I may never know
What lies behind the veil each night.
I may never know
If pain or paradise await my mind,
If I will dream of milk and honey
Or run from hellhounds endlessly.
I may never know
What lies in store for me each night,
So I can toss and turn
As every day grows long and bleak,
But I can’t stay awake forever
For everyone must sleep.
Iskra May 31
We’ll sneak onto the railroad tracks,
Or break into the local pool,
Any moment, any adventure,
All a bliss for me and you.

Take my picture,
Capture time,
Stall before this whirlwind tears us up.
You loved both, you loved two,
One came first, will you stay true?

Or will you spend the day with me,
Stay late enough to spend the night,
My muse, that’s just how these things go,
I know you didn’t dress warm enough, just so I could see you wear my clothes.
Inspired by Life is Strange
Iskra Apr 2
With your curly mess of coal-black hair,
And hints of already graying streaks,
A devilish smile and youthful, slightly rosy cheeks,
Leather jackets and
Knitted green, wool sweaters,
Enveloping embraces,
A calm sureness beside me
Soothing the grit on graphite-dusted fingers,
You make me wish I weren’t so much of a coward
And that you liked tea a bit more than you really do.
Iskra Mar 16
Maybe I can cut my hair,
Fresh start,
Bring me closer to a feeling that’s not quite there.

Want to be loved,
Just not by you.
I wish I could feel for you the same way you do...
But there’s a sunflower seed still growing wild somewhere inside me,
Even though there’s no hope for it to be
It’s still there
Iskra Aug 2018
Crunch of gravel, conveying a mixed beat
Of some brisk and some merely wandering feet,
Rushing fountain in the distance
Gliding cool water slips silently beneath.

I lounge comfortably under this tree,
Gaze wand’ring from blocky buildings to sky,
Wearing playful cologne and expensive shoes,
Completely invisible to the passerby.

A muted flush of cherry-blossom clouds,
Reminds me of a time not so long ago,
Of wishing you were here to walk with me in this lovers’ park
Yet once again finding myself here alone.
Iskra Aug 4
A click of a lock at curfew cut off the chaos of the day,
The last pulse in the longest piece we’d had to play,
Stillness and silence until tomorrow’s dawn.

Until a string broke in the room,
A final sigh before the creak of drying wood,
The trio rocked and murmured ‘til my tears subsided.

The Sultan would spare the enchantress,
But I still wept, because I knew
That ten doors down, in her own prison,
Scheherazade was weeping too.
Iskra Feb 2
You say that you’re ashamed,
Afraid to admit,
They’ll say you should’ve seen the signs.
Don’t they know the witch’s house really was covered in candy?
No one could notice the skulls laying nearby.

He torments you, he wrings you out,
Leaving you reaching for the door,
But once your fingers brush the ****,
You’re betrayed by his kiss,
And the torment starts once more.

For twenty years you’ve kissed a the ring he doesn’t wear,
But lately, when we go outside,
The faintest hint of dawn light
Glows like the smoke of a blown out candle,
A nearing end, a nearing flight.
Iskra Aug 2018
I cannot write!
For my mind is plagued
With thoughts of a beautiful girl.
Iskra Apr 3
Celestial mead dripped from the skies
Where boisterous winds and nymphs did dance,
And thrummed an ode to their  sweet revelry and romance.
It churned up streams of opaline dust,
And brushed it thin through melted streets,
Where all the crawling things did drink it up.
It tinted earthen dun to gentle green,
From budding leaves to twinéd roots,
It sweetened blooming maple flowers,
Bright and tender as ripened faerie fruits.
Iskra Aug 2018
As silence settles, and a kingdom of faint bronze on haunting ebony appears,
A scrawny lion spins a broken record in my ringing ear.

Weighted walnuts, or perhaps slow bullets, strike just below the spot where my ribs meet:
Mental hiccups.
Sentencing the calm to its defeat.

Then they come,
Crashing over my skin in icy waves,
Like ghostly spiders, leave raised footprints in their hurried wake.

Imagined strings lifting my hand towards the pin or blade,
Weightless ropes pulling my steps closer to the precipice.
The lazy, stilling terror in my stomach providing just enough weight
To keep me frozen in place.

They wrench open the doors protecting peace,
Obliterate the floodgates of my internal screams,
Marching in with their roiling hellhounds, uninvited,
Chanting horrid songs, voicing their desires, unrequited.

Over and over, their wretched requests bring horrific imagery about,
When they finally subside, taking with them prowling demons and low growls,
They neglect to close the door on their way out.
Iskra Mar 17
A grand opening of grander doors,
Fairy lights, cake and lace,
An evening for a girl transformed
Red silk rustled in elegant grace,

Spun ‘round the ballroom,
One, two, three,
‘Till we were a blur of smiles and red,
We floated on currents of symphonic glory
‘Till throbs of pain came with every step

The spell could last as long as we wished,
And your boy was secretly jealous,
That night, you were my princess
And I was Cinderella
A beautiful evening spent with a beautiful girl
Iskra Nov 2018
Late mornings of waking up to lazy sunlight
Stretching its rays across a pastel sky like I stretch my legs deeper under the crackling blankets
In search of pockets of warmth to keep out the chill

Where in the day the cool clarity makes everything a bit too real,
The ringing boldness of every line,
The inexplicable scent of chocolate and cinnamon and hints of fir
The sharpness of the Frost’s playful bite

Night falls early upon young lovers,
And watercolor lights glow as soft and colorful
As the secretly enamored gleam of overflowing joy in their eyes,
As they wander hand in hand, sharing music from decades before their time

When a muffled quiet settles in the suburbs,
All edges coated softly in glinting silvery-white,
An amber glow of street lights  keeping the night at bay,
With rosy cheeks and dry eyelashes
Peppermint kisses are exchanged
Iskra Oct 30
He told me all the wonders of the world,
All the smoke-filled ponderings and philosophies,
Yet he himself was but a wretched worm.

Young but wary,
I’d walk past the mushroom without a bite,
And walk into the flower garden level headed.
Drawn as I was to the roses,
Lovely hues,
Too classic for so whimsical a place.

But oh what a pleasant surprise to be serenaded by a pretty stargazer.
Who trilled in lilting soprano,
Blossoms rounded in the curve of treble clef,
Shrill and wonderful
Such that even my skin listened

And what would I give to linger in the garden,
But the journey and path continue on.
After all, the smirking cat said nothing about staying,
Perhaps the smile will carry on.
Iskra Aug 2018
How oddly comforting it is to live in a place where we’re never alone,
Where a friend to talk to,
Or perhaps a long-since past captured moment
All live inside the screen of a phone.

Where we seek momentarily vibrant entertainment,
A single click away from any form of instant gratification,
Thirty seconds of an advertisement are too long a wait
To listen to an empty, hollow song.
There is no more journey, only destination.

Teased for anything that makes one stand out,
Young boys and girls are taught to be vain.
Flooded with images of perfection
Who needs uniqueness when we can all be the same?

Neon signs, boastful words, glimmering lights,
“Progress”, we call it,
Conceal the smoke and grime,
The poisoned seas and wheezing forests.
Yet we never take the hint,
Even when it’s plastered around, a collection of signs
Pushing our problems on the next generation to solve,
We’ve made it this far, so we’ll never die…
Right?

Society is split,
And it was greedy hands that cut the cake,
Making it look like a chart,
Of the pie variety,
One of the ones that has one vast, delicious chunk,
And the rest is so small
That the figures are written off to the side.
Just crumbs left to eat for the frightening numbers of those
Born below that line
Such twisted irony:
For the one of the cheapest foods in the store
Is flour.

No happiness for the ones at the bottom
Except for patriotic half-truths.
“All men are created equal.”
So are bricks I suppose.
Except that in a pyramid, most are destined to lay
Close to the ground,
Worn, chipped, and dust-covered,
And but a few gleam in the golden rays of the sun,
The few on top, bathed in wealth.
But without its base, the system will crumble.
At least that’s what they say.

So we let ourselves be told how to think,
Never looking outside our bottles and bubbles for the source of reasoning.
“She’s a sinner, he’s just lazy.”
Such cruel things about unfortunate souls
The crowd can say.
But why?
“Because they chose to be that way.”
It’s simple of course, when only the individual
Can be to blame.

Society’s sentencing
Replacing the need for a God in a way,
Chains of morality, while amorphous through time
Have always been and will always stay.

And we judge without stopping to think,
Who told us that this is the way to think,
To think about why it is that we think
In this way.

Floating inside our bubbles and bottles,
Too steeped in others’ thoughts and words
To lift our chins,
Look around
And think of our own.

We’re ever marching forward,
To-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow
Effectively staying in place.
Though the landscape around us ebbs and flows
In our nature,
Essentially we never changed.
Inspired by Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

— The End —