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Anna Skinner Feb 2017
I came across a BMW 528i today -- same make and model as yours, same rusty maroon clunk ******* you drove so proud. Could’ve been yours, with its cracked leather and yellow stuffing vomiting from seat to the floor, steering wheel worn from your callouses. High school football team kind of callouses, country boy livin' kind of callouses. Inverted smile, dimpled chin, kind brown eyes kind of callouses. Take a girl like me on a 4-wheeler and make her scream middle of a Sunday kind of callouses. Raise in surprise as headlights blind you in Charleston kind of callouses. Lay limp with pavement shot through your skull and bone shards in your leg kind of callouses. Some drunk kid driver says just some ****** drunk kid crossing the street, came out of ****** nowhere. You were some drunk kid, but you had the right of way, and how couldn’t he see you? You brought the light wherever you went, drunk kid, and now you're ICU comatose-kid, and thousands of us are thinking about you back home. Drunk kid, high school football star kind of kid, just out for a drink kind of kid. Likes his cars like his women – flashy, look past the maintenance kind of kid. But your girl’s back home projectile vomiting yellow body stuffing through leather ****** lips, and your 528i is somebody else’s, and they didn’t appreciate it like you did, kid. It's just sittin’ in the street, and you’re just lost. Some kind of hospital kid.
for my good friend, Ben. get better, bud

Jun 2017

One day, parkouring through my uncles two story apartment,

I was drawn naturally to his desktop computer

upon which I found his OkCupid Dating profile.

I don't remember his username, Or anything about the site really,

But I remember the head-shot of a beautiful woman

framed above the desk

the sterile grey Rubbermaid totes behind me like caskets, 

How they made even the hardwood floors

look like they were holding in the dead.

For my Grandmothers birthday

my family gathered at Captain Newicks

her favorite seafood restaurant.

My uncle flirted with the waitress.

I don't think I've ever gone to a restaurant with my uncle where he

didn't flirt with the waitress.

Captain Newicks went out of business shortly after that dinner

followed shortly by my grandmothers life.

the relationship between my uncle and that waitress expired well

before both my Grandmother or Captain Newicks.

I remember asking my grandmother about my Uncle.

Tarots Fool would have predicted

my grandmothers eyelids

a silent prayer before her words.

He had two children by his first wife,

keeps a portrait of her above his desk.

She was a blessing on the family

Selfless amd loved by every one.

She took her own life

Spread her wings to break free from the cage He kept her locked in.

He buried his heart in her casket,

motorcycles, empty bottles

had a third child by a second wife

who buried her heart in drugs and strangers.

Amanda was 6 years old when her mother died.

my uncles wife. Her brother josh was 3

when she died my uncle wanted to put them both up for adoption

he didn't.

Their mother died on the 20th of September

a week after her 25th birthday.

their mother once bought a bunch of carnations

with a dead rose in the middle

and said "it looks like I'm dead".

she took a bottle of pills before going to a chinese restaurant

went out as a family

and collapsed at the table.

she was rushed to the hospital

she didn't make it.

their mother wasn't happy

her and my uncle were getting divorced at the time

lived in the same house that I grew up in.

when my uncle told the kids mommy wasn't coming home

my mother was 17 

and there to see all of it.

When my mother was 17 

she had to watch her baby cousins be told their mother had died.

When my grandmother passed.

grief bounced off of my uncles callouses

ricocheted to my cousins, robbed 

twice now of a selfless mother.

The tragedies in my family

have always enthralled me.

like shakespeare sonnets

I breath them into my faithless nights

tap an extra dream-catcher on my bedpost

in space of a prayer.

When The hearth-fire of our family dimmed 

a tealight in my grandmothers eyes.

grayed, Glossed.

she could no longer crochet 

one big dysfunctional quilt, 

together from our families yarn.

without her needle, 

I was determined to watch how our life spun forward.

The next time I saw my uncle,

He offered me a job.

Thick mosquito blinded us as we carried our sweat 

with Rubbermaid totes into a blue two story home 

deep in the evergreen thickets of Maine.

a tall white fan rotated slowly back and fourth 

Cooling the wet patches on our T-shirts while my Uncle 

flirted with the landlord

I still remember when my uncle tossed me the truck keys

the look of terror I gave him

How easy it was for him to trust

I guess when your heart is buried in a casket 

you stop worrying who has your keys.

It makes me remember

when my daughter asked for my keys 

I would sit her in the drivers seat

watch her pretend to drive.

I loved imagining her free

living how she wanted.

I still wouldn't give her my keys.

she would turn my car into a casket.

It makes me remember

when that little girls mother asked me to drive

My words spun portcullises

prison bars forged in anxiety

scaffolding out of latex secrets

Glued with siren smiles, pacifier kisses

denying cigarette smoke on her breath

fueling infernos in my head.

when my uncle handed me his keys without hesitation.

my religion was insulted by his tough skin.

I felt his simple kindness 

like a splash of holy water. 

saw in me, the devil 

caging a woman like property

holding her hostage 

out of fear.

And yes 

when She could drive she left me

And yes 

when she left me she took her daughter.

every morning 

cereal bowl of pills, I **** myself

keep a poster of my mothers face 

covered in bruises 

behind the tiny orange bottles 

to remind me why I do it.

wake up twice, 

first as Phoenix, dying

second as a watcher, writer and admirer.

callouses are not to protect us from the outside at all.

Callouses harden our bodies into caskets.

Hold in all our dead.
sweet ridicule Aug 2015
kiss me with mango sherbet
in your mouth and sticky
orange tinted lips
these car tires are growing old
but I am young with three
dimples on my face
callouses on my fingertips
of my left hand
stop with the
'you're scared'
in which century does
refusal amount to fear
liberation by the pen drawings
on my hand consumes me
individuality is not dead I
am here
with fiery intent occasionally lost in
a girly figure with a small
waist and awkward ankles
don't dance alone dance a soliloquy
like the bruise on my neck

(labors of love are not
merely towards humans)
good night
mt Feb 2018
i want to be able to see my heart in word-form, all of its callouses and scars spelled out in strings of the alphabet
i want words to flow off of my fingertips like the drippings of water droplets into a sink from a faucet closed only half way
yet i've found that the four-letter word i've been feeling
can only be expressed as it is
i want to be able to express myself but i feel as though i have nothing to express anymore
mt Oct 2013
Smelly feet
Walking across its own callouses
Creator of worlds
Perfect inscriber of nameless wonders beyond mere
Conception and discrimination
That permeates the minds of men
Misguided across the arc of ages
Leading only to cycles of
Hollow pain repeating itself
Lacking substance but appearing
Like unmovable boulders perched
Atop greener mountains
That whisper using their voice,
The wind
Carrying its message in its form
Disappearing but never gone
The homeless,
Not content to trap two sided
Ideas of being in overflowing
Homes filled with the true
Forms of out sourcing
The spirit, torn for
Perfect packages to be sent
To faceless names to further
The collection of vessels
The wanderer,
Unhappy with goals
Moving towards the never ending
Journey of perfection
That ends nowhere but travels
Everywhere leaving no quarter
Uninvaded and sadly ringing
In transcendental ears
The lonely,
Unwilling to spread their
Personal pain
From personal failures
To any one but themselves
Using the compressed aggregate
Sickness in scientific lobes, only
Representations, to create faucets through which representations
Of the unrepresentative
Eek out an existence
Among glaring, modern edgy
Movements in endless circles
That sear images into retinas
Working their way to ******
Thoughts, deflowering the only
Worthwhile virginity in the sad reflections of experience
Called man.
The ******,
Never fulfilled from false conceptions
Or the self materializing aspect as
The passage of time
Looking to capture the eternal moment and ****** of the Now
Lasting forever but done long
Chasing the end of self
And forgetting the body for
Higher realms untouched by lazy
Thoughts and repetitive notions
Creating the mundane
The un-mundane is furthur up than most of us can see
Even if touching it is
The experience
Not different from the life you will
Live for a million regressions
The contemporaries
Never travel the
Path of the Mountain
First camels, then lions
Finally to turn into godly offspring of
Flowering being at the peak
Standing above ubiquitous faces
But contact on level planes
The mountain of self
To create a new identity divorced from the diseased blockage
Flowing through humanity's veins
Only to tumble down
Into the pulsating
Heart filling, disintegrating
All in one undiscriminating
Destruction unborn from the
Young universe only
To lose the conception
And absorb the absorber
Forgetting that once,
A young man carried all the
Pain he had handed to himself
In shiny packages
Pretending that the others
Ever even existed.
Calloused is defined as having a hardened area of skin.

But I would venture to guess
That if you looked at my heart
And compared it to
My feet and my hands
That my feet and my hands
Would be in better shape.
See manicures and pedicures exist
But regardless of all the wear on my heart.
There's no procedure that can soften it.

Life has taken sandpaper to me.
Marring me through
Missteps in love
And searing loss.
Leaving me hardened,
Which served its purpose,
At least I wouldn't be easily hurt anymore.

I avoided love.
Not out of fear, I'd tell myself,
But because I was done looking for it.
I'd tell people that I was waiting for love to find me.
And so I'm still waiting
Or hiding.
From the fear of opening up.
From the fear of softening.

It's hard to be yourself
When you know that
You're scarred
Or scared
Or both.
So the callouses come in handy.
Keeping me from pain and hurt.

Actually, I prefer the term hardened to calloused.
Simply for the sake of finding a better connotation.
I'd rather be hardened by my circumstances
Than calloused by them.
I'd rather be hardened by the hurt
Than calloused by it.
And if loss were to strike me in the face again,
I'd rather be hardened,
Instead of calloused.

But if you'd grab a dictionary
You wouldn't be fooled by my attempt,
At clever wordplay.
You'd realize that both are the same,
And that whatever I'd chosen to call myself
Didn't matter.
I was still as broken as ever.
Still scarred.
Still scared.
As hardened
As calloused
As ever.
JR Falk Dec 2014
An artist has a busy mind.
Whether it be lines of a poem
or lines of a play.
One may argue that literature cannot be art,
But I will look at the accuser and ask him to count the callouses on my hands
he’ll ask what for,
what they are from,
and as I count them I’ll tell him,
"From crawling out of my own little hell."
Of course, he’ll scoff and leave, but who is he to blame?
Poets are emotional.
Others fear to feel.
Which, in retrospect, is very ironic when you think about it, because technically, they are still feeling.

My mind is like rush hour all hours of the day,
Because there is so much left to think about,
So little time to enact,
So little time to involve yourself in the thoughts.
Things occupy my mind often and when I sit alone on a park bench,
I see a collection of cars screeching against the pavement toward me,
or hear a phone call that tells me my mother,
my father,
my sister,
my brother,
is or are dead when all of the above are very much alive.

No, my mind does not silence,
It is persuasive and deceiving and it never fails to fail me,
Yet I’m trapped inside, because it’s all I've got.
When people ask if I’m alright, I respond with
"I’m fine! I’m perfectly OK!"
Because this is how my mind has been since I could count to ten,
and I cannot seem to picture it being any other way.

Normality is boring, but normality is accepted.
Being expressive is not.
So I’m told I’m too emotional when I speak in a crowded room,
I do not argue, though I still wonder how
An obnoxious burst of laughter is far too expressive.
They say the saddest people laugh the loudest
Because they are most vulnerable and susceptible to a comedian’s antics,
Especially considering they've muted their own expression to the point of near insanity,
Smiling and suicidal,
Laughing but decaying and cracking drastically with each and every chuckle,
Ironic like an abandoned amusement park-
A dying happy place.
People say that “the saddest people have the brightest eyes,”
And the most common compliment I get is
“*******- I love your eyes!”

I do not try to be obnoxious.
The words slip, and the volume cracks up,
And my mind continues running when I am standing still.
I am trying to figure out why I cannot catch my breath,
When I am not even moving.

I wish I could be normal,
I wish I wasn't so ****** up and broken
But you can’t just take a totaled car,
hand someone the keys and say,
"Take her for a spin!"
Because it will forever feel useless and it will not function.
Therefore, neither will I.

Writing helps in easing the plethora of trains speeding through my mind,
Trains of thought just chugging along,
But it only slows them down, if only for a while.

As an inexperienced conductor,
When someone asks me if I’m “BUSY,”
I can never answer them “no” honestly,

Because an artist has a busy mind.
Old, finally revised. Still unsure if I'm proud of it.
berry Jan 2014
this is a series of brief letters to the pieces of my body

dear body,
we don't always work together very well,
but i swear i am trying.

dear hands,
the callouses and crescent moons in your palms
will not be for nothing.

dear knuckles,
aren't you tired of painting yourselves black & blue
every time words fall short of the fire burning behind my sternum?

dear feet,
you know better than to follow roads that lead to dead ends.
there are better places for us to go.

dear eyes,
you have sunken so far into my skull
it shocks me you see anything at all anymore.
you're fixated on shades of gray
but i promise the world will regain its color soon.

dear knees,
stop crawling.
this broken glass is from his bottles.
get up. no more blood.

dear shoulders,
it was never your burden to carry. let it fall,
and try your hardest not to feel guilty.

dear neck,
his hands will never make a home here,
and you are worth more than one night of empty bruises.

dear spine,
stop waiting to be warmed by fingers
that would reach for another body if they could.

dear tears,
do not waste yourselves.

dear ears,
you have been filled with ghost songs for too long.
stop listening for things no one is saying -
it will make life much simpler.

dear mouth,
i know these secrets have been threatening to break my teeth
but please do not open your gates. i am not ready.

dear skin,
we have never been close friends.
i am sorry for the scars.
i am trying to learn how to be comfortable in you.

dear mind,
if i could wish you into an etch-a-sketch
and shake you clean of these bad memories i would.

dear heart,
i hope you can forgive me for being so careless.
i feel how tired you are. rest is on its way.  

dear body,
you will one day see a grave,
but it must not be by your own hands.

- m.f.
Nothing Nov 2013
You gave me
On my heart.
Spots that you roughed up enough
That they stayed permantently hardened
An instinct defense now.

Every time we would grow apart,
These callouses would disappear a little
I was stupid for letting these callouses
Become tender.
For letting my gaurd down so that
Every time you gave me that quick, sly grin
I would have to build those calouses up again.
I could either
Thank you,
For making me so strong,
Or despise you,
For making me so weak.
Nena Twedell Sep 2014
Mount Recovery
Recovery is described as a mountain
And here I am on my path to the top
Holes in my shoes bumps and bruises on my body
Blood staining the clothes I’m wearing
Not from rough terrain but from the abuse and pain I have put myself through
Callouses and scars each finding new homes on my body
Leaving held breathes on my skin
This is my recovery-
Not just from the drugs and alcohol…and from myself
On the path to the top of mount recovery
The path that seems to be traveled more and more today
Each step is a struggle as I strain to keep my balance
On what seems to be a narrow path
But filled with pain and self-discovery
A sense of wonder as I struggle to keep my balance
Amazed at myself that I haven’t fell yet.
As I look ahead I wonder if I will ever make it to the top
I continue to stumble forward
Sometimes to loosing direction
Step by step I rise in elevation
Growing callouses
Healing wounds
I stop to look up and admire the beauty of the life around
As the horizon is filled with oranges, blues, pinks and purples
As the sun sets on another day in Mount recovery.
Cullen Donohue Mar 2015
The small faced Korean
Paints orange nail polish
My girlfriend's feet
He wears plastic gloves that

Don't fit


He is missing half a
Finger on
His right hand.

Robb and I talk
Of the orange grove
He will inherit,

We make jokes
That cause the women
Rubbing our feet

To laugh and smile.

My feet begin to lose their
Hard earned callouses.

The soap they use smells
Like oranges.
The three of them

Walk over to a crock-***
To grab warm rocks
Robb asks if it's time

For chili

He had
not finished

His soup at lunchtime
As we talked of
Old stories
Some that left scars
And others

The soup grew cold
But the smiling
reminded me
It is springtime
Gwen Pimentel Feb 2016
My hands are rough
From doing bars
Doing pull ups
Putting chalk
Wearing grips
Constant contact with rough wood
My hands have to be rough for my sport

My hands are rough
A sign of what I've been through
Of how hard I work
Of how much I push myself
A sign of bravery and courage

My hands are rough
Blistered from holding on to people that have already cut me off
Scarred from trying to piece my broken heart together
Callouses from building on one sided relationships

My hands are rough
Something to be insecure about
Something I keep to myself
And I didn't really care
Until you

My hands are rough
And I've been worried
That no one would want to hold on to them
That they'd be hurt by my hands
That they aren't the hands they want to hold on to
And so I warm my own hands

My hands are rough
But you choose to hold on to them
Despite the blisters, cuts, and callouses
I know it might not be the pair of best hands in the world
And I'm sorry I can never give you those
But I have never felt safer and more secure
Than when your hands are interlocked with mine
thank you
blaise Nov 2018
my boy with fig leaves and lightning bugs
******* in his hair, he kneels with
crimson palms pressed to the unquiet dirt
and hums an abandoned melody.

my boy with sunbeams shining through his skin on the riverbank,
neatly coating the grass in thin white trails, woven into footprints like cotton twine, snaking their way across brown earth,
ankles slick with mud and the dead things that lay just underneath.

my boy with rosewater and stained glass ashes
feels me bless him with blackberries and the softest crush of words,
ice cubed, beneath my lips,
as he wipes the ichor from my chest with callouses
worn down gentle.

the light echoes from his skin
there are no symphonies nor sacraments,
only cicadas singing warmth to shivering willows.
2019 scholastic writing awards gold key winner
Nabs Dec 2015
By Nabs
Dear, My Past Self
I've always wanted to say a lot of things to you.
A lot of things that I would like you to change.
A lot of things I wished that you haven't done
(Like chanting hate to your self before you went to sleep).

But that is not the reason I am sending this letter.

We both know how the past cannot be changed, the same way we both know that girls will be girls and boys will be boys (which to say not at all, after all we are a firm believer that time travel and The Doctor exist).

I know that you are going through a lot of forked roads, right now.
Gnawing your lips and making it bleed, from worrying whether to choose right or left?
Afraid, not to take the wrong road but to take the road that you want, the third road that you've always thought off but haven't gathered enough courage to step to.
It's okay to be afraid of where will you get stranded in life. Being afraid doesn't make you weak.

But at the end we have to move forwards even if it will literally kills you to leave the breathtaking view behind.

At this point in your life, You will realize that the handful of people that you surround your self with are more of an aquantaince than friends. And you will lose some of the friends you have because of the directions you each choose to go. You will feel lonely and miserable.

A deceptive man called depression will lull you with the promise of kindred spirits and ask you to let him be your companion. You will accept this offer, not fully knowing the Concequences because Depression, in your neighborhood, is something that goes unacknowledged.

You will regret the decision of taking his hands
(He's a good friend of mine now, I know how to deal with his quirks and how to cope with him living in my home. He still ask me to join him in drowning, but I learned how to say no)

    There will also be a lot of people telling you that you are a freak. They will consider that being true to yourself is a sin and you will try to repent by torturing your self with soul leeching mask that will leave you identity in tattered remains (You will spent years trying to piece it back, taking new pieces and discarding old ones).

They will also paint names on your back, whispers lies and making a game on how much they can stab you in one day. (You always come home bleeding, but you covered it with 1000 watt smile and perfume to mask that fact that the wounds are rotting)

Do not try revenge, it will leave you with a guilt so heavy that the act it self would only taste like ashes and sour your heart. (I know how horrible that is, and I know you'll still do it because this letter isn't about changing the past)

Remember that you have an untapped core of titanium in your backbone.

I know you will spend some sleepless night thinking of ways to not wake up in the morning, how to keep dreaming, and letting the ghost take you away. I know how close you are to the temptation and how you almost bitten that forbidden fruit because you wonder if it taste like peace. I also know that you will deny yourself.

(Because that's the lesson that was taught to us since the beginning )

Society may tell you, to **** all the things that are different in you. The things that make you see a shade differently, the things that make your angle on the world askew, the thing that you were (and still is) proud of. You will ask why, and they will reply because you are not perfect.

Do not listen to them because a few months from now you'll learn that their reasons are poison and you had been fed spoiled milk all along.
(You'll get some stomach ache that will feel like butterfly wings, you will mistake it for infatuation. It's not. You'll learn that infatuations taste like sugar and the coffee that you'll grow to like)

At this point, You will also painstakingly build a shrine, made of ivory and desperation, for the one you mistaken as a saint (she's not but she's still one of the best things that happen to you). A shrine for a saint that you tried to be, a saint that was hailed from loneliness and envy.  

The shrine will be the invisible wall that you will simultaneously try to tear apart while build it everyday. You will always be the one who ask for forgiveness because you were a faithful believer who believe that you are a despicable sinner.

(You are as much as a sinner as she is a saint.)

The day that you look her in the eyes and burn the shrine, the wall will crumble and fall like the Berlin Wall. Both of you will become human ( Also you will find that she is easily bribed with pizza and you will find that you are different than her and that's ok).

You will also learn the taste of despair from the way the mother dove cannot understand that your screams are the way you say that you are breaking and you just want to quit breathing. Instead mother dove will translate it into screams of rebellion, and you were always the obedient daughter first, than you are a teenage girl.

(You will learn how to jab your scream into paper, and turn them into poems. You will truly make some bad ones at first. Don't worry I'll help you along the way)

One day, between where you are now and where I am now, the world will give you a present of awareness to the danger of smiling to strangers. You will cry in the hotel bathroom and try to scrub your skin until it bleeds, trying to feel clean but only managed to ***** the tub. The world and mother dove will tell you that its your fault and you were asking for it (You're not).

You will lose the ability to smile uncaringly.
(This is one of the things I wish we would have keep)

You will slowly watch the colors that you know fade from the world, leaving it a mottled grey. The same state that you are feeling now. You will paint lies and invent new colors to just make you believe that there is something worth living for. You will hate your self more and more for your new painting skills.

Don't hate your self, You are a survivor and you are still fighting (I know you wouldn't listen to this, that you would keep hating your self until you met some people who will be kind to you and help you hold up your forts from the monster inside your skin. Like I said this isn't that kind of letter).

I know that the day you smashed all your anger and hurt into the table that you sleep on, was the day where you first tried to draw red lines with sharp markers on yourself. It will be messy but you were addicted and soon all you can paint was release and the occasional victorian girl

(You will not draw boys because you despise the way that you cannot draw wide board shoulders, like the one you hate on your self but admire on your brothers because those shoulders look like they could carry the world unlike yours).

You will lock your emotions tight, and learn how to hide from the world (It wouldn't last long, you have the universe inside you that is screaming to be shared to people. You haven't learned how to say no yet, unlike me)

You will learn that you are also an idiot, that karma exist and it bites you in the *** as a payback for all those tyranny. You will laugh your self until you're sobbing and fallen asleep. The next day you will bring a book to educate yourself to your school.

You will be turned into a mess of paint, anger, bitterness, and dramatic flair. The only one that will be left without blemish will be the mask (not the face beneath). The woodcutters will saw your legs of from you, and you will be left without the means to stand on the ground

But you still will crawl your miserable 90 kilogram mass of body to the next crossroad, and the next, and the next, and the next, like the stubborn mule you (we) are.

And you will came out of the personal purgatory, that the world gave you, with a brand new legs, soul liberally littered with scars, and a tuft wings on your back (Albeit still very tiny. It's okay, It's still growing).

You will learn to walk again with your new legs, the one that isn't smooth like baby skin but full with callouses from all the road walking.

You will learn that being full of flaws is ok, that not being beautiful is fine.

You will also learn that you are allergic to cats (You will deny this fact when you find out until you almost passed out because you couldn't breathe. But we will still cuddle with them because cats are the best)

You will meet new people, wonderful new people. The ones that you care so very much and the one that cares for you back. The ones that's just wonky like you. (You will love this guy and girl that I am close with, they're very kind and sappy like you are)

You will get to fall in love, like in the romance manga that you secretly love, and you will broke your own heart (I wanted to say for you to savor it more, but like I said this isn't that kind of letter).

You will be ok with it, and you'll gain the skills of cutting people from your life

You will learn that the world isn't kind to your gender, and you'll ask for equality ( the same way you're asking for a new set of paint, which is to say with a lot of care and thinking). You will learn that the world will always be a ******* but there will always be change.

(The world needs its balance)
You will learn that patience isn't really your virtue. But you will learn to grit your teeth and wait.

You will learn to love your self. Even at some point the hate still managed to rear its ugly head. You will learn to be proud of your self and yet still be kind.

And you will continue to write your own story, you will make mistakes and learn from them, you will make unexpected plot twist and pull your favorite cliche. You will learn that not all people like your story and that it's okay.

That is so very okay.

This letter isn't about telling you to change yourself.

It's my way of saying thank you.

Because darling, ****** well done (pun intended)
                                    Love, Your Future Self

P.S :
(This isn't the end, how about we meet up for tea later?)
This is a long piece, cause I was writting this when I was feeling very stumped.
Hope ya'll like it.
Phoebe Seraphine Jan 2015
A violent lullaby. A whole sucker. Even then, quiet.
Water is sororal. Waves squeezing out water. Water, water is a mouth. In its precision, it is so practical, there is no use for tongues or banks of teeth, exact like sea urchins in the mud.

Static. There, precisely that noise. Not at all a tick. Hear it tucked in the tide. Observe its shape, observe what it does to you.

Feel it all at the beach. Feel it in your sleep.

A slight brine, a wet resonance, trinkets of sand under callouses.

Still, aqueous static. The water is a python, a monster puzzle, a heavy choking, an oily fruit. Florida sinks beneath the waves.
bobby burns Jul 2013
i would hate to be built a brick wall
linear as immovable constants
and the wristwatch hands i fear

weave me around callouses
like a spring, double helix,
and i will shrug in content

nucleotides formed of consciousness
hydrogen and karmic bonds together
jacob's ladder extending to liberation

and sincerity for all the moments
i was missing from the jigsaw tangle
of pillows and down and sprawl
david badgerow Jan 2017
when we found him barefoot in mid-july
he was standing on a four-day drunk
tap-dancing in shoe-horn colored chinos
rolled up to his cyclist's calves on the
sun-punched hood of an '04 nissan altima
with shot-out windows salt
in his skin hair & eyelashes
silver bubbling spittle clung
at the corners of his mouth
sparkling dry in the sun-heat

he laughed & said she had a mouth
like a grizzly bear or cheese grater
she was thin-shouldered dressed
in a curtain-and-couch-cushion ensemble
had yellow button callouses on her palms
& lacked the instinctive manipulative prowess
other girls her age possessed
the whole performance only lasted
7 minutes huddled in a bedroom closet
in a blathering forest of unkind giggles
he still has acid flashbacks watching
cutthroat kitchen because she had
alton brown's teeth & tonsils like spun glass

that night he was a heathen
on a mountian made of mandolin
stiff yearbook spines & shoeboxes
full of faded polaroid mementos
he was tank-topped but still sweating
as he stumbled & stood
on black stilettos & soiled blue
cork-soled wedges like
sharp rocks dancing underfoot
dodging the mothball heat-trap
of cotton blend blouses
& corduroy coats overhead

joy division warbled slimy through
the white wooden slats of the closet's pocket door
as she knelt demurely &
took it between her thumb & finger
brought it up to thin lips pursed
above cleft chin & ****** it in
like a big thick j-bird
but she never exhaled the expectant
white plume of smoke he said
when she grabbed ***** as they
swung like pendula below his navel
he almost pulled out a swath
of her honeynut hair
his injured impatient breath
cracked like thunder
in the cashmere sky
above her undulating head

when the mighty chasm fountain exploded
she said he was the flavor of a blue sky burning
her throat sounded shallow & grunty
as she spat him out into a pair
of her favorite aunt's imitation
jimmy choo pumps &
enjoyed a brief nosebleed

when it was over finally he forced a sympathetic
fistful of tramadol down his saharan throat
& tried to stay hidden under the tarpaulin
in the moving blackness wandering alone
through the waning moon's ceaseless maze
behind the perfumed aphasia that kept him high
biting the brittle tassel of a graduation cap
like an adolescent ocelot
feeling like fleeing

& when i asked him
i said well these experiences probably
helped you build some character right

he laughed & assured me of the
isolated nature of this watercolor
snapshot event & said
one day david

he said maybe one day you'll
learn to not measure your self worth
against the traumatic mouth mistakes
your pants have made
Nabs Dec 2015
By: Nabs

    When I was little, my mother often gave me flowers.

She would make me a crown of Primroses that smells like the day my father left us.
I would smile and dance a little twirl that had her smiling fondly. Her little princess, Said she couldn't live with out me.
I believed her.

Right before my mother decided to stop breathing, she gave me a bouquet of Lily of the valley.

I never knew that apology was poisonous.

    The day I turned fifteen, my grandmother gave me a book on flowers, It was written with green ink and bound in human skin. Said that It was family heirloom. Said that the universe needed someone who understand Hana. Said that I was born to understand only them and to remember that flowers are ephemeral.

I cradled the book, feeling as if the world was spinning. Opening it feels like coming home after a long time of drowning.

By the time I realized, a bush of Basil and beds of Petunias were growing in my home like ****. The color should have been red instead of purple.

      I met you when you were giving a bundle of daisy to a boy.
The boy scoffed and slapped the daisies to the ground. It's petal were falling apart just as blue and black blooms like an eager bud on you. Your body were taut as a string but your face was smiling, the kind of smile I couldn't decipher the meaning.

I picked the daisies up and asked if i could keep it.  You said only if I gave you my name.

You were wreathed with White Hyacinth and Pine leaves. It suits you.

    You told me one day, after you gave me a Bleeding Heart, that I needed to learn more than the languages that flower speak. That I needed to learn human.
I asked to you why do you say that?
You looked at me, with a little smile and a soft look on your face. Told me that I was too oblivious, I was more flower than human. I frowned and said," That hurts".
You laughter was much more sweeter than any Honeysuckle.

Though I still didnt understand your laughter nor the bleeding heart.

    The sight of our hands lacing together, looks much more delicate than Queen Anne laces. It made me aware of the dips of your lips, how warm your callouses hands were and the way you sometimes darts to sneak a glance at me with warmth in your eyes when you thought I wasn't looking.
I would feel my heart thumping loudly and I would disentangle our hands, trying to hide the tremors in my hands. You would pursed your lips and cracked a joke.

The next day I received a bouquet of Lilacs and red Peonies. It was too beautiful and I was already withering.

    You often asked If I was ok. I said I was. You would go rigid at that and started to pull down all the blinds to your soul. But that day when I answered I was ok, you gave me an Orange mock.
Said that I can trust you. You left with out meeting my eyes.

That night, I left a single Aster on your window sill. Hoping I did the right thing.

    The thing was, I was scared. Not of you, no never of you. That I swear on White Lilies and Myrtles that we bound ourself to.
It's just, every time I'm with you I want to bare my self naked. To let you see how the parasites are growing inside me, withering me as it did my mother. My grandmother would say that it is our legacy we cannot escape. To grow and bloom then wither ourself after the peak.

My Grandmother was a Sakura tree, My Mother an Ajisai, and I was a Tsubaki.

My mother was supposed to lived longer than me. But Hydrangeas needed their rain or they'll wither away.

    You told me once, that I remind you of Wisterias. Always enduring even after the cruelest storm. I grimaced and whacked you on the back. Said that you were an idiot for thinking that. You laughed again and tickled me until I asked for mercy.

I feel less Tsubaki and more human with you.

    I never let you go to my home because I could not bear the thoughts of you seeing the lawn strewn Marigolds, the grief that latched itself to the soil.
How the yards was filled with weeds and plants that was tangling them self to choke each other. How the walls was bare and the furniture was only enough to survive. The only thing that was lending colors to my home were the branches of Plum Blossom and bouquet of Lilacs and Peonies that seems to not wither away.

This home would not hold further.

    I gave you Blue Carnations the night when vines were choking my lungs, making it hard for me to breathe.

You said they were beautiful, and smiled a serene smile. I wanted to kiss you so bad, but I was leaking clear salty sap, that was rolling down my cheeks. I told you all about Hana and all about my family. How bare my home is and how you are my Iris, my good news, my good tidings.

You hugged me, not minding the sap that's staining your shirt. I didn't see the Red Camellia you were tucking in my hair.

  The day when I almost gave you Red Daisies and Lungwort was the day I found out that you had severe allergy to flowers.
That breathing their pollen would shorten your life as the breath you took became a privilege that you were slowly losing.
I asked, "why would you endanger yourself like that?".
"I love flowers, that's all", you said with an uncaring shrug.
The thoughts of you withering away, made me nauseous.

I went home throwing away the Daisies and Lungwort, Burning down the marigolds and Petunias.

The only thing was left were Hana and the bouquet of Lilacs and Red Peonies.

  I never get to told you that my roots was withering.

  When you found me lying on my home, covered with Primroses, Camellias, and Blood Red Poppies, I know that you knew. In your hand were Peach Blossoms and they were so very beautiful.
You cradled me close to your chest. Whispering that I will be okay, that It's unfair for me to do this to him.
"I know", I rasped. My voice was barely working and Black-Red sap was steadily tricking from the corner of my lips.

  When I saw my mother walking down to me, carrying a basket full of Sweet Peas, Volkamenia, and Yarrows, I understand what your smile meant the first we met.

It was Red Camellias, Love and acceptence
Thank you for reading this long poem.
This is a tribute for flowers.
Hope you guys enjoy it.
sweet ridicule Jun 2015
breathing down my neck
smelling like axe and testosterone
a mixture of callouses on my
baby doll hands
and the sun's reflections through dusty windows
on a winter day
I know that my actions are erroneous
stained with reluctance
the windows in my old church
scream at me for the reluctance

I stopped believing in god when I realized it spells dog backwards.  or was it when I was 13 and realized I would make 75 cents to every dollar.

my unfounded reasoning for running
substantiated only by my astrological sign which I reluctantly believe on days where I need a hiatus from the dirt in between my toes

it plays hard to get

but astrology spells dog backwards too
I should've said yes to the axe smelling boy
live and learn
Chris Voss Oct 2013
Dig your teeth from out of the street.
Stumble back to your feet, boy, you aint finished yet.*

The more we fall, the harder these callouses grow from crawling on all fours across coarse, crumbling asphalt; sprawled out like spider legs. Desperate to seem larger than life deemed fit. And we fall so hard. You can tell by the fine collection of scars forming constellations across our elbows and knees as if to say, "Look, we bleed so much like sky, why wouldn’t we believe that we could defy gravity?" Yet, come Sunday, we’re always convinced that flying will come naturally so, naturally, we fall again from the tops of tall buildings.

The harder we fall, the greater the impression we make upon the Earth. That’s the ****** Tunes lesson we are hellbent to learn as children from Saturday morning cartoons, and even here, with the wind rushing past our ears, we question how Wiley Coyote could ever be so ******* stubborn.
But these days a friend teaches me my grown-up, penny pinching lessons with wishing well thoughts about how I should slow down. He says, “you’re a snail with Nascar aspirations--obsessed with the novelty of speed, ignoring how your anatomy isn’t meant to move so quickly.” He says, “Everyone knows you’re a sucker for a pretty face and a sundress.” And I know I’m just being defensive, but his advice strikes me as off-putting as an Ed Hardy t-shirt when it dawns on me that he wears his knowledge like a bad fashion statement but did he ever even know what the rhythm in my pace meant? I’m not the kind to stand still and see where the train stops, I’m a freight-hopper without a destination. When excited, I speak faster like some love-child of candlestick and dynamite: Ignited. Spitting sparks from both burning ends. I know I’m primed for disaster, but I’d rather shatter and burst open than fracture and spend every morning after holding those cracks together; believing that a little glue is sufficient to convince the next bargain bin buyer to cradle me that I’m not broken.

Let me rather be particle matter. Let me be braille for the breeze. I have no doubt that day will come eventually. But not today. Today, I find Grace in reanimation, and if they say Grace is the face of God,  then I’ll practice my best Christ impression and rise again from this human shaped crater like the world’s least intimidating zombie apocalypse.  I’ll bless my eyes blind with crosses tilted off-kilter like dead cartoons do because on Saturday mornings they’re always reborn with ACME epiphanies sprouted like assembly line angel wings and I imagine, come Sunday, they’ve somehow mastered the art of flying. Or falling.
I, more often than not, confuse the two, but I think that's just something we humans seem to do.
Amber Grey Jul 2013
The summer I interned in New York, I fell in love with someone I'd only seen from a balcony window.

I'd fallen in love with strangers before, on buses and in lines, watching their shoulders straighten and their faces grimace in half-sunlight. I fell in love with these people the way you could fall in love with a poem, finding personality in the way that their eyes flicker nervously from left to right, tiny instances where their stanzas throw you into a daze. But this time was different. For once, I wished to know a stranger without the brim of my sunglasses, for once I felt something when I knew I'd never see him again.

His apartment was cluttered, bottles of water and the empty cans of energy drinks piled in a corner where a conscious person would have fit them in a bin. There were clothes on the floor, and although I knew his high rise box was laid out just as mine, he must have used the expected closet space for something else - his clothes were everywhere, crumpled in heaps on the floor that were too erratically placed to not have some sort of lingering system. Posters of people were taped to the wall, covering the matte eggshell white, edges falling occasionally to show signs that he wouldn’t always live there. I hoped that if he ever owned a home, that those staring portraits would be stapled or pasted thick to his walls, just because he would be the sort of person who wouldn’t change his mind about what he liked or what he wanted.

I would watch him from the same eggshell white room of mine, with nothing on the walls and not a scrap of anything on the floor. From my blow up mattress to my suitcase of clothes, kitchen stocked of single servings and a solitary set of dishware. I had no curtains and no carpets, no television or pictures of friends huddled in an unexpected embrace. For all anyone knew, I could have been squatting. I would look out at him from the window spanning the entire north facing wall, aware that if he ever looked out, if his eyes ever darted south, he would see me cross legged on the tiled marble floor, hovering over an overheated laptop and cardboard coffee.

I would get home at seven forty-five, shower in the New York water that tasted like dust and gin, and towel off, walking to the balcony. He, just like I, had a long, narrow balcony spanning about four feet on the right edge of his loft, and I would lean on the edge of the concrete slab, smelling the foul city air, taxi music floating from the lumpy yellow marsh below. That was when he would unlock his door suddenly, sometime between eight and eight-ten. He would step with his entire body and move into his crowded room and stand still for a moment, as if to collect himself; restrain from tearing faces off the walls and pummeling fabric into the floor. Sometimes he'd shut the door closed with a twitch of his foot, untying the half apron around his waist with one hand and pulling the red tie strapped flat onto a black dress shirt loose with the other. Once, he did all that in succession and proceeded to slide against the shut door until he hit the ground, falling into himself like a dropped jack's ladder and rubbing his fingers from his jawline to his eyes, up into his hair and back over.

But most of the time, he would just force off his shoes, never untying the laces, and move to the balcony just as I did. He would go out to the balcony too, but he would always keep going, moving to sit on the edge of the short wall, socked feet dangling over the city. His legs would be splayed wide, hands placed right in front of him, flat on the ledge. He would look down at the golden sea below, and when he was done with it, spit a flickering cigarette into the glittering bank.

He would also smoke when he woke up. He got up at six, like clockwork, and would stumble back out into the smogged pilot's seat in a plaid bathrobe, hazy faced and staring down. I don’t think he was ever late. He would get dressed slowly and fix himself in the mirror for a good half hour at the left of his room, until finally turning around just to watch the door for a moment. Sometimes I could swear that he watched for so long that he must have thought it would up and race away.

He slept with the lights on. He never came home late. He didn’t go out at night, never blundered in at two in the morning with a lithe model girl, long hair framing icicle eyes. On weekends he would sleep all day, rising every few hours to go back on the edge of his balcony and smoke. He would stare at the faces on his walls, the callouses on his palms, the murmur below; but never, ever at the empty loft across the way, dotted with a blue plastic bed and a speck of a person.

I left New York in September, on a red eye flight vastly cheaper than the rest. I put my toothbrush and toothpaste into the front pocket of my luggage, squeezed the air out of my mattress, and left. I hadn't left a trace in that home of mine, and it didn’t leave any on me either. When I left New York, I felt nothing. It was almost like I had never set foot in the city, forgetting to socialize with the locals the way someone could leave their hat at a bar.

I never knew if the man across the canyon hated coming home to a loft like I did. I wondered if it bothered him too, the lack of walls or rooms to compartmentalize the space. I wondered if he didn’t like to eat at home, if he felt sick when he watched the sunrise. I wondered if when he looked at the tidepooled city, if he also saw salvation. If he wondered every day from eight to eight-ten about what a dangly thing of a human would seem like to the loft across if it was spit from the edge of a narrow, four foot balcony.
A bit long, I suppose. Thought I'd post some prose.
trf Jul 2018
sleeping tears awoke to crimson crust & apple red veins,
eyes peering through the dizzying fog to find a faucet
& drizzle rain like nectar down the peach pit's core,
along rugged edges & oval pores,

imperfect patterns & lightning blinks
remind the second sadness to cry once again.

My swipe of crust is rusting
like a smoker's yellowing finger tips gathering paint on callouses
& cracked lips

mirrored reflections shadow gaze,
squinting to locate bronze crow's feet of a man, mid thirties,
lying for what-to die
dying to wait-for what
I wrote this poem on the back of my most recent 36x48 painting. Abstract-fully Delicious, yet sad and viscous
kk Aug 2018
A pencil is of dreams,
the Sandman sings sweetly on graphite.
Unlearn your rules,
unleash your light.
Dance on rhythms of pentameter
and sing melodies that twinkle
on the tip of your tongue,
alliterative opera and assonance
played among the bass that is literature.
Sometimes you must ignore the pain
in your hands,
let callouses build and relish
in blood filling your blisters.
Pain here means progress.
Sweep agony away for the sake of day then sink into the ink of night.
Float on clouds of fantasy and write.
Claire Waters May 2012
“It was so quiet, one of the killers would later say, you could almost hear the sound of ice rattling in cocktail shakers in the homes way down the canyon.”

William Garretson was the gardener of 10050 Cielo Drive, in Los Angeles, a summer house rented by Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate. He lived in the guest house on the property. On August 9th, 1969, members of the Manson family visited the residence and brutally murdered all the inhabitants, as well as Garretson’s friend Steve Parent. Garretson claims he had no knowledge of the murders that night. He is the only survivor of the Tate Murders.

your screams sounded
like fiberglass breaking
an almost impossible noise
like a hemorrhage at midnight
i was walking through the garden
and i swear
i heard the neat click
when he severed the phone line
if only i had known

i have thought up one hundred scenarios
in which i saved your life
but there is only one
when i don't
and every night i try to justify this reality
because i could have sworn
the sound of their boots
on the steel fence
was the telephone

when they saw the headlights
swerve over the lawn
steve was as good as dead
shattered like a lightbulb
under pressure
four shots pressed into his forehead
a candid bullet kissed him faceless
his absence was
a tell tale piquancy of slaughter
i lay in bed that night
and turned my face to the wall
when i heard the screams

tell me i reek coward
say the raw red skin of my knuckles
shaved away from the foundation of my raised veins
as i sat through another police interrogation
are nothing compared to the red poppy
that blossomed in the center of his chest
call me callous
but i will never forgive myself
for trimming the flowers
that sat innocent on the coffee table
in the middle of a mass grave
all i can say is
i was just the gardener

i found her
blooming on the living room floor
the baby cut
weeping from her umbilical cord
still attached to mother and father
by a rope traveling from neck to neck
thorny slices of fetal skin
peppering the carpet
blood sprays still wet
were soaking into the wooden door
sadism comes in many
limp limbed contortions
but only one color
and i saw *HIS
carved in the cavity
of her stomach
i swear to god
i wish i could say
i didn't see it coming

i found the severed tendons
of his fingers
suspended in the eerie light
of the swimming pool
pruned like overripe plums
the remnants of his face
scattered across the driveway
like taraxacum seeds
their bodies all
hanging like wilted stems
broken xylems hinged to sepals
by threads of sap
running down uprooted ligaments
there is not enough therapy in this world
to cure the silence in the garden
upon the aftermath of execution

the shapes of murders' footprints
left raised beds in my shoulder blades
manure smeared ***** across my lips
every flower i have ever planted since
has languished in the smell of your corpses
melded into the callouses
of my finger tips
i am just the gardener
and i am all broken anthers
petals shriveled, toxic
call me a survivor
but there is blood inside my filaments
Emilie Aug 2016
sometimes it sticks with us
stays in our bones when we try to walk
and the minefield of obligation becomes longer and wider
sometimes we feel it in our hands
packing our sentiments into boxes
and time assumes all forms of evil
when there’s too much,
then quietly, suddenly,
there’s not enough
Mel Harcum Apr 2015
I have two bruises on my shoulders
blue as the oceans and marbled white,
storm-foam spilling from my head
and eyes.
That’s not your responsibility--
but what else could it have been
when I knelt silent, scrubbing, palms
red as my sister’s sticky wrists, clorox
wipes balled and piled in the corner?
I am not
steel-skinned, some mechanical being
mistaken for a human with her eyelids
torn from her face, blindless to trauma
and the callouses it leaves behind.
And yet
the oceans on my shoulders blow salt
healing the wounds to smooth, pink scars,
reminders in every mirrored surface:
I am still standing.
Misnomer Dec 2011
Sometimes saltwater taffy
stretches me and gestures
in sticky state, beckoning
each slip of sand beneath
my callouses of callouses.

The grandiose sweep of droplets
collect as an exhibition, mirrored
facets of mischievous personas,
each angled at the brighter side.

I wonder if the sun tilts its beams
in further reconsideration
when she stares at the trailing water.

Must you perceive me in
that way?

Are my tendrils trembling
with a locked spring of green sea foam--


She skipped her duty today,
a blush of gray flocked
larger than last night's geese.
VESebestyen Jan 2011
i dont see
i dont feel
i dont taste anymore.

my eyes once untainted are
now swollen scabbed
by the cataracts
of love.

where once a delicate fawn
or a heart
there is nothing

but the spiders
and snakes beneath
earths life.
beneath the burning
forest fires and waterfall
valleys of love-
there, i lie.

immune to everything
because i
can not

my finger tips once
danced the samba
of laughter and
ballet of courtship
among my lovers finest piece-
now numb to
it all by the callouses grown
by passion.

"i do not sense like before, skin"
what once was so nimble and fiery
now hums
and sighs-
sighs and settles

my tongue does not taste the savory
delicacies it once

my teeth do not sink into the fruit
and splatter the juice
licked up by my tongue.

no i do not taste with this
desert sandpaper trap,
dull of flavor in my mouth
callouses of passion on my finger tips

cataracts of love in my eyes.
Sarina Feb 2013
Men grow on my fingers
and I assault them when I write
until each becomes impotent,
I will never let anyone hurt me.

Their pulses stutter and echo
as if I keep them in a barn
but they’re hard under my skin,
their erections like callouses.

Some get restless and none cry
because they know I watch:
I am not here to be present, I
am not here to let people inside.
Leah Rae Nov 2012
I Guess She Must Have Been Starving.**
Wasn't Well Fed Enough To Keep Her Skin And Bones, Her Silk And Gold, More Than Just Skin And Bones.

Momma Said She Was Hungry For Heart Ache.
It Was The Echo Of Her Own Voice, The Empty Callouses On Her Palms And The Way She Had Written Hell Bent Across Her Knuckles, Loved By So Many She Was Worn Out, Worn Down, Like On Old Pair Of Shoes.

She Cleaned Her Plate Every Night, Her Mouth Full Of More Teeth Than Her Jaw Could Hold.
She Told Me, After Supper, She'd Find Palm Prints That Match Her Own, But She Was Always Too Tired To Go Out Looking

There Were Street Corners, And Fish Nets, She Told Me That Were Meant For Catching Men, She Always Wore Her Skin Too Tightly, Like It Didn't Fit Her Right, Like It Had Been Handed Down To Her, From An Older Sister With Broader Shoulders, And A Thousand Watt Smile, That Her Teeth Could Never Generate.

She Told Me She Had Tasted So Many Flavors.

Said That Her Tongue Could Contort, To The Taste Of Memory. The Lavender Eyelashes Who Kept Saying Sorry, The Butterscotch Fingertips That Wouldn't Look Her In The Eyes, The Honeycomb Heart Break Whose Lips Felt Like Regret, The Cherry **** Knuckles Who Painted Her Flesh Purple Under His Palms, The Cotton Candy Wrists Who Wouldn't Stop Swearing, The Elderberry Shoulder Blades That Were Always Shaking.

I Think They Called Her Man Eater.

Capable Of Unhinging Her Jaw Like A Python, Swallowing Her Subjects Whole, It Wasn't That She Was So Hungry, It Was That She Had To.

I Think Someone Printed Prey Across Her Hip Bones, Made Her Feel Like Where Ever She Was Going, She Had To Run To, Eyes Too Big, Too Bright, Too Empty For The Planes Of Her Face, She Was Use To Being Hollow, Her Stomach, Wound Tight Around What Was Left Of Her Insides.

She Had Regurgitated Every Ounce Of Herself Back Up To Them, Stripped Down, Every Layer Of Her Skin, Until She Was Naked. Bare Like The Back She Had Carried Me On.

Her Bedroom Didn't Have A Lock On The Door. I Could Find Her Bent Over Porcelain Coffins, Emptying Out The Fill She Had Eaten That Night.

Said It Never Tasted As Good The Second Time Around.

I'd Hold Her Hair, With Small Hands That We're Always Grabbing Things They Shouldn’t, And Listen To Her Body Betray Her.

She Was Cellophane And Cheap Lip Gloss, Born Screaming, Ravenous For Rejected Remembrance, I Was Always Trying To Be Enough For Her, Shoving Home Cooked Meals Under The Bathroom Door, Said Soul Food Could Save Her, Said Sunlight Could Unshackle Her, But The Lines Of Her Body, The Road Maps Behind Her Eyelids, Said She Needed More Then Empty Calories, More Than The Taste Of Her Own Sweat.

Love Wasn't A Flavor Anyone Had Ever Fed Her.

All She Knew Was An Appetizer Of Angry Words, A Dessert Of Bad Goodbyes.

In The Morning, She'd Hold The Small Hands That Were Always Grabbing Things They Shouldn't, And Tell Me “Baby Doll.”

“A Girl Has To Eat.”
Leah Perry May 2016
I look down at my feet,
toes adorned with chipped nail varnish,
a pitiful plaster clinging to the sole,
and I grimace at the
purple marks, reddening blisters,
cicatrices of stories long forgotten.
The ***** of my feet are thin and worn,
my heels rubbed raw from
shoes I have loved and shoes I have detested,
faded scars from childhood accidents.
I have aged hating my feet,
the discoloured skin, dotted with odious callouses,
my throbbing, wrinkled soles.

They have grown with me,
from tiny clumps unrecognisable as a foetus,
to wide, long size 7s.
My toes are misshapen, twisting this way and that,
freckled with sun kisses from foreign countries.
They’ve been battered and bruised
victims of my hurtling abuse and mortal neglect.
I have punished them
with verruca socks and freezing ointments,
pin ******, small shoes, razor blades, nail clippers and
not once
have I nurtured them, soaked them with praise.

These feet have walked me up mountains,
aided me in athletic championships,
withstood six inch heels on weekends,
ran me through marathons,
enduring my never-ending physical torment and though
they may buckle,
with weeping blisters and aching pains,
dry skin, broken bones and sprained ankles,
they will recover,
rebuilding the scabrous skin.
Regardless of how unstable my life may become in later years,
whether I am stranded on a deserted island,
or walking the ***** streets of the city, no room to call my own,
my feet will always,
undoubtedly, lead me to safety.
And when I am old
and withered, an exhausted heap of human life,
with my last dying breath,
I will thank my durable, reliable feet.
vail joven May 2014
do you remember calling me up in the middle of the night asking me to help you find your childhood and how i would run to your house and how we would race to the playground where you would sit on the swing while i pushed you so hard that you would scream and laugh and exclaim about how heaven was in this very place

do you remember my weak lungs trying hard not to give up and my fragile arms growing tired and my hands with callouses and how i got tired after pushing you a hundred times

do you remember asking me why i kept pushing you when i felt so weak and tired and sleepy

and i told you that i kept pushing because the definition of my happiness was seeing you four feet up in the ground with your cheeks stretched and your teeth and gums exposed in the grandest laugh and that the feeling of my heart beating quickly was the greatest feeling of all

and do you remember when you asked me a week ago why i still stayed with you when you felt that everything was getting tiresome for me?

it's because i want to see your smile and your hands holding tight and because you are that ******* the swing and i would push you until you find your childhood or even if you never find it at all
mygreatestescape Feb 2019
In the summers when you were a boy,
you would take a mattress to the roof,
you would wake to the stirring of
leaves, the blue hydrangeas, cashmire
persimmon sunsets,
when you were a child your mother
would take you, her callouses running
like rivers over your skin,
her green eyes on fire,
don’t you remember?
It’s the same spot they buried your father

remember, the narrow lanes
where you could see dust gather
underneath bare feet,
people from the east in
their white cars;
in Belsen where
you could find god in a *******
and in Eurasia where we
steal like clever thieves,

in the night when the lights shone
for you, how you would hold your head
as the ache deepens within your skull,
maybe there is more to life than just the physical?

The moon is in Taurus,
you lie awake next to your mother
and you count the lines on her face,
in her aging you find your history,
in the filth there is always beauty

the world starts to erupt,
there are people whose voices like
molten cause revolution

this is the part you do remember,
the bombing, the deaths, the bodies.

you remember how faces of your neighbour, of mothers with their children
like apparitions of Venus,
can be glimpsed peaking out with their
azure eyes dying underneath
pillars and railing and soot,

you learn how to turn gas into midnight fog,
how you can turn empty shells into rocket ships that take you back to your mother,

you learn how bomb craters can become home and house warm bodies,
How clothes can rip like paper
when you are searching along shorelines
for home,

you realize no one wants you,
not you - but the idea of you,
the idea of who you could be

They have not seen the way your hands
shook when the sun caressed the parched
skin of your mother’s body,

now, you’re eyes close in prayer
your cheeks brushed with the godly red
of childhood,

but you do not know, child, that the
world does not work on prayer,
and has the ocean ever listented to the drop?

You forget how many centuries deep the ocean is,

but for you I pray,

I turn to God to atoms, to energy and divinity,

that the waters
their sails masting half way,
and you capsizing in hope,

I pray the ocean knows

I pray.
been a while.
Alyanne Cooper Jun 2014
Rough tactile callouses.
Jointed mischief collaborators.
Twisted knuckly punishers.
Wrinkled hills and valleys.
Capability embodied.
Sensuality expressed.
Love experienced.
Life recorded.
Dancing Phalanges.
Gigi Tiji Nov 2014
blistering sunsets
burn my skin

I watch the ball of love
get further from me,
falling a w a y

It was always out of reach,
but I could feel it's warmth
as long as it was in sight,
but, no longer

It forms rivers from dry wells.

In it's absence,
it has them brimming,
now overflowing, down
channels of skinclay

they run deeper,
than the roots of
the tallest trees,
falling slower, than
the softest cries,

rocky river ways
froth from the mouth,
splashing and bubbling
in maniacal sadness -

silent white water rapids.

Tussled and unkempt,
shriveled livers beg for mercy,
hidden behind layers of rotting drywall

a rusty sledgehammer.


rip me from the rafters,
frayed ropes laughing at death.
I am still breathing,
fiberglass and sawdust.

Insulate me.
raw skin
learn, blister
callous, learn
tough skin
my hands will be full
of callouses,

with wrinkles,
like ripples
in time.

The skin
will flake and dry,
and I
will give thanks
as I sleep.

I don't know my ideal future, but I hope it will be judged by these simplest of variables.

— The End —