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The Darkness Aug 2012
The pine floorboards, cover my work.

The pine floorboards, creak at the spot I ripped them up.

I didn't want to **** her,
But she made me insane,
In a fit of rage,
I put a hatchet Right through her ******* brain.

The pine floorboards, cover my work.

The pine floorboards, stained red at the spot I took her life.

Underneath the earth,
In a dark crawlspace,
That's where you'll find my love,
Sleeping oh so peacefully,
Underneath the pine floorboards.
Alexandra Emmett May 2014
You yell beneath the floorboards.
Pounding fists, cracked promises lie in
Casual bricks dropping like tears that
Never mattered.

You cry beneath the floorboards
Of little red schoolhouses, tired tire marks that show
They’re not coming back and
You’re not going home.

You riot beneath the floorboards!
You shout and scream and rant but they
Cannot hear you anymore.
The stores are closing like a trap door.

You die beneath the floorboards
A death that was not peaceful but panicked
Like an elevator that has stopped moving
Briefly and indefinitely, you are gone.

Now we crawl beneath the floorboards
Searching for pieces of you like receipts
Stashed away in a pocket of an old coat.
You remind us of whispers and walruses and things.

And someday when we find ourselves, fierce
And fleeting, underneath the floorboards,
You will remind us of our fading voices forever
Silenced, but never ignored.
Tom Leveille Nov 2014
here's how it happens
the morning after
you reach into the drawer
where the your t-shirts live
to find it austere
you'll shrug because
you're still drunk
& you can't remember
when last it was
that you had something wet
or how long it's been
since you made the floorboards blush
or why the carpet is upset
who wouldn't be
the contents to the upended ashtray
strewn around the apartment
resemble the aftermath
of the smallest war
to ever take place in norfolk
some midnight thief
must've made off with the lighter
because it isn't in
any of your favorite spots
maybe you chucked it
along with a hundred other things
that make noise when they land
in the neighbors yard
you won't remember putting
the refrigerator's belongings
in the bathtub
or scrawling a buzzard
on the bedroom door
but then again who would
you'll pretend it's spring again
before putting on your winter coat
to go out front with a cigarette
in your mouth
you'll hope for a passing stranger
to *** a light from
or drag yourself to the corner
with couch cushion change
to buy a new lighter
and on your way
you won't bother looking back
this is just another day
on eggshells for no reason
another november
choking on birthday candles
on your way home
you step over beer cans
the kind you fell in love with
and wonder who
had the last laugh last night
or if anyone said a word at all
it might've been another
moment of clarity
it might have been some idiot savant
any adjective that feels like home
anything that keeps you thirsty
Mikaila Sep 2018
The day you got your hair cut
I went to a lesbian bar after work.
It was 3
And I was tired
But I went straight there
Because I had to do something.
I knew it was a lost cause before I even got there.
The back of my neck was prickling with tension
With fear
Because I knew I was too late.
Somewhere in the depths of my soul
My free will was on a gurney,
Cold.
But I couldn’t help it-
I needed to feel like I had control,
So I went inside.
People were dancing.
None of them held themselves the way you do
Like a marble statue that has set down axe and shield and stepped off the plinth for a brief rest
(You will be returning to battle shortly-
After you fix your eyeliner.)

I did a shot
Because that’s what you do.
They were free- *** on the Beach.
I sat there,
Wondering why the fact that you named your cat Heathcliff as a child meant that I had to love you.

I decided that I needed something stronger in the way of alcohol.

A girl with soft brown eyes and long hair came up to me.
Her name was Tiffany.
She wasn’t clever like you
And her voice
Wasn’t low and rough like yours
But she told me I was pretty.
I already knew, but I thanked her.
I felt nothing.
She wasn’t interesting
Or funny
Or smart.
She was attractive- beautiful even, I suppose,
And maybe she was kind.
She bought me a drink,
And mistook my sadness for shyness.
As I answered her questions I was afraid your name would fall from my lips like a seed
Take root and grow up through the floorboards.
Nothing she said changed me, nothing I said back changed me,
And my thoughts kept snagging on you
Tearing and unraveling.
I needed you out of my head.
She was looking at me with big eyes
And I suppose they were compelling
But they weren’t yours-
Rimmed with black, hypnotic and stormy at times, sparkling with mischief at others,
Forever changing and forever captivating,
Windows to a soul I fiercely wish I knew-
They were just eyes, and maybe they were vulnerable
Or curious
Or sweet.
I kissed her so that I could stop looking into them
And not seeing you there.
Her lips tasted like nothing.
I closed my eyes and kissed her harder,
Hoping for a reason to forget you.

We were beautiful, I knew that.
I could feel eyes on us-
Two small, lovely women
Tangled on the dance floor under the lights
Fingers in each other’s hair-
We must have looked
Just like lovers.

I searched for a way out of my feelings for you.
I kissed her for a long time, until we were both gasping.
I found nothing.
In my frustration I pulled her head back,
Bit her lip
Pressed my fingers hard into the back of her neck
And I felt her lust
But not mine.
It was nice to be wanted
But not nice enough.
I wanted to hurt her for touching me
For not being you
So I pulled away
And kissed her cheek gently
My hands beneath her jaw.
“Wow,” she said.
I couldn’t look at her.
That tenderness wasn’t hers
But it didn’t matter.
I kissed her hands
In penance disguised as sweetness.
Suddenly all the anger was gone from me
And I felt desolate.

That night I walked home with my head buzzing.
I wasn’t drunk,
I was sober as hell
Head pounding with thoughts of you.
I hated it.
I hate it.
Somehow I fell into this feeling
And I’ve been fighting not to drown ever since.
When I look at you
I feel everything I wish I’d felt while I was kissing her
And more
That I sometimes wish I’d never feel again.
Sometimes I think you see it.
Sometimes I know I cover for it badly.
Sometimes, when you’re suddenly present
Like the sun has turned on just for me
And then distant later
Like the sea at night
I think you know I already love you.
Maybe you hate it like I hate it.
Maybe you worship it like I worship it.
Maybe you fear it
And I don’t blame you.
A storm presses out against my skin when I look at you
And I’m surprised no chaos seeps through.
My bones hum with it
My heartbeat reaching like thunder into my fingers.

I’ll probably never kiss you
And maybe that’s for the best
Because even being near you makes me feel like I’m falling from somewhere high up.
If I kissed you, I’d feel everything, I’m sure of it-
Everything there is to feel
And it would end me
And I would be grateful.

I wonder if you ever see that in my eyes.
That fear, that longing, that shame and joy.
A love and loathing so intense it scalds.
‘I can’t believe I’m here again,’
It pounds through my veins.
‘I can’t believe I love another person
Who is always looking elsewhere.’

Just know, if you ever discover how I feel
That I tried to **** it.
I looked at this beautiful feeling
A feeling you could pray before like an altar
A feeling you could whisper into like a temple- barefoot and cold with wonder- and hear your soul echo back,
I looked at the sacred piece of humanity that had suddenly risen in my heart like a hymn
And I tried to silence it-
I tried hard-
So that you would never have to fear it.

I failed. It lives.
It took root in me, and whenever I speak your name little harsh flowers push their way up through the concrete under my feet, sending cracks out like jagged spiderwebs.
They bloom like wounds.
They kiss the sky.
And, slowly,
They are crumbling this city to dust.
Title is a quote from Milton’s Paradise Lost, spoken by Lucifer.
LJ Chaplin Jul 2014
Verse One
Tie me down,
I'm scared of floating away,
Take the crown,
I'm tired of the game of swords we played,
Hold myself steady,
Soul is heavy,
I should have sounded the alarms
When the charm
Spilled from the heart in your hands

Chorus
I've torn down the walls in my home,
Won't build them up so I don't feel alone,
And you left me to clean up the tears you spilled,
Hide the mess and the shame of the time you killed,
Under the floorboards,
You were only bored.

Verse Two
Take my hand,
I'm too frightened to fall,
Beneath the sand,
To lose sight and sense of it all,
Step back slowly,
I'm so lonely,
I should have screamed when you struck
And I ran out of luck,
Yeah the glass was too **** full

Chorus
I've torn down the walls in my home,
Won't build them up so I don't feel alone,
And you left me to clean up the tears you spilled,
Hide the mess and the shame of the time you killed,
Under the floorboards,
You were only bored.

Bridge
I'm busy swimming through quicksand,
The pole balances in the palm of your hand,
Turn your back and walk away,
'Cause you were bored and I was your
Entertainment for the day

Chorus x2**
I've torn down the walls in my home,
Won't build them up so I don't feel alone,
And you left me to clean up the tears you spilled,
Hide the mess and the shame of the time you killed,
Under the floorboards,
You were only bored.
Kagami Nov 2013
Silent crackle, tingle,
The smell of a sticky must. Floating dust in
An abandoned attic, where the rats roam and the dead skeleton of a fish
Still lies in an empty bowl of moldy rocks and plastic plants.
Yet, despite the emptiness, a girl curls up in the corner, black
Running down her face as she weeps for the things she longs for most.
She looks out the *****, broken window at the cloudy sky and imagines it
Blue. The brightest of skies with only few hints of cirrus.
A blanket on the ground and the man she loves, nothing else in sight.
The expanse of green in her head is contrasted to the rotting floorboards she lays
On, dreaming. The steady beat of Boy in Static thrumming through her headset
As she struggles not to scream and jump, finishing the job on the window
From troubled teens years before. The sound reminds her of VHS tapes,
Press rewind, take a turn and start over. But she can't, when something has changed.
The boy she knew, looking down with his hood not up, but covering his face, shielding
Himself from her. She knew he had a ***** in his head, but she just looked away. He never answered anything she asked. He was unable.
But her heart still dropped, she smiled her best. An amazing actress, fooling everyone, makeup allergy keeping her eyes dry. She just read Huck Finn as though nothing was wrong.
Now she sits in her room, writing and shaking her head. This line is not right.
Her walls were full of color and poetry, but her mind kept wandering to that attic.

She was there again. Blankly staring at her star charm anklet. A simple blue ribbon.
And the throbbing of her heartbeat through that one spot on her thumb,
That pressure point that hurts more than anything. But one thing could be worse.
Being left. Just like the broken rocking horse in the corner and the baby's cradle
Lined with blue silk that was shoved into a box. That baby is probably dead. Just like all
Of the others who lived there, burned by the fire. Goose flesh raises, prickly
Hairs on her legs from a week of no shaving. Scratch. Scratch. Scratch. Bleed.
Change the song. Bleed Like Me. Perfect. She draws on the peeling walls, two hundred
Years of wallpaper and lead paint, chalk barely leaving a mark. She sketches a masterpiece.
A child that she wishes she could have. Impossibly too young, but still...
A daughter she could raise better than her mother raised her. A chance to do something right.
More than the mechanic life she has lead, empty and useless.
Confused and pathetic. Like the broken grandfather clock that ticks backwards.
Three, two, one.
Ding-****, ****-ding. Grandfather never taught me anything. He was not a wise man.
He was a fool. Knew too much and too little, no room to know what was right.
She let another raindrop escape and suddenly it began to pour. Lightning crashes as a glass
Slipper collides with the picture drawn of her dream. Thunder as she releases a
Bloodcurdling scream. "Why!?"
Why her? The pain in her back is unbearable. She slouches too much, and her eyes burn.
She is not Cinderella; her ball gown does not glitter.
Piano is her least favorite instrument, but it somehow gets to her. Small hammers
Striking her heart strings, low notes reminding her of his voice and the soft, feminine
Voices radiating, remind her of when she was young... Immortal. She has aged since then.
Too quickly. Her entire life has been a masquerade ball. Unskilled idiots dancing
Around her and stepping on her toes. Shouldering her in the stomach,
Breaking her ribs. Beats of music guide her skilled toes, swerve around falling raindrops that
Her own eyes emit. And she crashes through the floor of that dismal attic. Broken free,
But she is still trapped. The walls are charred down here.

But the walls are not painted black. They were once a mint color, green and cheerful, healthy.
Until a psychopath lit a match.
"I didn't mean to do it." It was all in her head. The house.
She set it aflame.

She sits in her room, writing and shaking her head. This line is not right.
Her walls were full of color and poetry. It isn't worth it to stare. Nothing will change.
She is still just a girl in a glass box, being stared at and judged. Trapped and ridiculed because her eyes bleed and bless the onlookers with bad luck. It's amazing the things
That people don't know. Drifting deeper into a pit of endless darkness. A candle won't
Live down here. No oxygen to let it breathe. But one lit self portrait hangs in the air.
Years ago, drawn in pencil. Symbolic, it wants to be erased. To die.
And the ******* the page is wearing a mask. The girl in the parchment is me.
Medium length hair and a tear painted, permanent. A Parasite. Capitalized for its meaning.

A demon is running through me, singeing
My tissues, blisters on the insides of my bones. Swelled up, show through
My skin. Waves on a shore. But I am not a beach. A ***** maybe...
Still, I hate it. The hate killed whatever flowers I had left planted in my mind.
Tainted me with the horrible visions of a tear streaked face of paper mâché.
She was the one in the attic. Her whole persona
Wilted and ashen, grey. A silent movie might mask it; the hurt, I mean.
The grey lines on the screen hiding the bags under her eyes and the redness of her nose,
Get rid of the twinkling shards of glass frozen on her cheek from crying in the dead of winter.
Slip up once, and everything goes to hell. Well, I must have slipped years before I was born.
Few smiles are left on this dismal timeline. And I shall use them wisely. But, for now,
I think I will just weep, sleep forever and hope that you don't give up on me and pull the plug.
I am still here somewhere, just dormant. Please wake me up. Get me out of this charred cabin,
This glass box. Pull me out of my warped sense of everything, teach me again what
Love feels like. I have forgotten amidst everything that I have felt and remembered.
There is no more room for things to be learned. Only for things to be repaired.
I will give you a hammer. Come inside and fix me; that ***** in your head couldn't have taken your knowledge away. You are the only one that knows.

Use this never ending lightning and bring your bride to life.
Lora Lee Sep 2016
All strung
out
       on
sadness,
empty shells
of needles
      that injected
the next defense
      to keep me going
splayed upon
the coldness
            of metal
somewhere in a place
lower than
the floorboards
of the nether regions
of a private hell,
where no one sees
      the truth behind
the doors of
           beaten swords
of silken pictures
in frothy shades
of effervescent green
a smiling happy family
in which the
sounds of drowning
can only be
             vaguely heard
a faded gurgle
       in an ocean of sighs

Somewhere, there,
the pain in my veins
spreads like
a self-administered
                       drug
only it's not
my prescription, at all
just a parody
from the very
    sick doctor
who shares
          this house,
meant to
be a home
one who thinks
he knows it all
but knows nothing

In this dreamlike weaving
of staring blankly
into alternative spaces
when all is so heavy
that even breathing is a task
I suddenly remember
   who the **** I am
and push my gaze through
the ceiling cracks
to look up at
         the stars,
receiving their
            shadows
           of light
      like a blessing
   upon my
   nettle-stung
    tongue
and
       rise
Thank you so much for all of your wonderful support! Your comments and responses touched my heart all day long and I felt all the spirit-hugs. I am sending those hugs right back to each and every one of you! <3 <3 ~ Lora


Words may not be fists
but they can still destroy
Nebuleiii Mar 2013
To my innocence, naivety, and viridity
Childish ways, high school days.
A mere three weeks, I say good bye
With a cry, a tear, a sigh.

To blue slacks, and a polo
Black shoes and white socks
To my pink skirt, and white blouse,
Pleated, soon to be folded.

To the OHS rooms of our first and second years:
The broken windows, and tantrum-kicked chairs,
The broom box behind the spider webbed chalkboard,
Messages on the wall hand printed in red and green.

The broken doorknobs, and broken floorboards,
Carved armchairs, and eaten chalks,
Missing brooms and dustpans and garbage cans and rugs
That show up in who knows where
Stolen by jani- we know who.

The witnesses and victims
To our random laughter (from some Chinese-looking girl’s corny joke).
Our random tears.
Our not so random learnings.
The pillars of our memories.

To the PF rooms of our third year:
The storage room turned gigantic garbage can and dressing room (maybe because ours keep being stolen)
The exploding socket causing sparks to fly (and us to fly away from it), and
The amazing “alambre” lock; who knows who installed (as if that could keep us away).
The earthquake resistant rooms would be missed.

To the New High School Building of our last years:
The kicked door (not our fault!), and cancerous blinds (like hairs falling after chemo),
The jigsaw floor (not sure if better than broken floorboards),
The “Halayan 2012”, and
The mind-boggling “no key needed” lockers.


The UTMT with its fair share of mango sentences,
The old guidance office now turned “tambayan”, and
The Computer lab with its fragile yellow chairs and bruised bums.

To Ibong Adarna plays, and the half cooked uncooked Teriyaki,
Generation X (and Generation NOW! and Generation Facebook),
Jai ** dances, and cheerleading,
Kalagon Kamo Namon,
And Mickey Mickey Mouse Kabit-bintana memories.

To the NikJep Tandem,
Kanlaon Boys Behind the Flowers,
D.H.A.I.N.G. (not sure if they remember this),
Fred vs Gino version
And DewBheRhieTart.

Keep the volcanoes of memories burning.

To blue paint, and blue shirts,
And Geometry teaching us
“There are a lot of solutions to a problem.
We just have to find one that suits us.”

To saying “***”,
And cooking imbutido.
And wearing (for some designing) reduced,
Reused, recycled clothing.
And dissecting.
And parrot-Filipino teachers (she gave me P30 for load though).

Keep the river of rumination flowing.

To being scared of one whole sheet of paper,
Two becoming one,
Party rocking to make up for the tears,
And knowing we should have won.

To the hand sanitizer girls,
The Cream-o-holics,
The Canterbury Crusaders,
The Valenciana eaters.

May our tree of friendship continue growing.

To our winnings!

The glow in the dark madness,
The Lakan at Mutya clutch-heart-moments,
The Sports Fest *******,
Basketball girls’ coronation!

To the fieldtrips and failed trips,
To air conditioned crammings,
And space and time bending
To comparing notes (and sometimes other things)
Copying notes, sometimes photocopying
(Not Xeroxing)
Sharing words, phrases, sentences
And giving pictures (via Bluetooth).

May you keep walking on the right direction,

To the expectations achived,
Broken, overtaken.
All the skepticism,
Constructive criticism.

All of it.

The in-your-face-we-did-it-baby-
We-are-awesome-you-can’t-bring-us-do­wn-
Coz-we-rise-back-up-attitude.

To Arielle
And Mhae

To Amica
Marie
Narzcisa
Cyan
Fred
Theo
Alvinson
Anthony
Faith
Karmil­la
Matt
Jeffson
Lourince

To Carolyn

To Makayla

To the thirty-five castaways in this room
The thirty-five castaways who struggled
The thirty-five castaways who persevered
The thirty-five castaways who fought, cried, made up, laughed, shared, gave, back-stabbed, and front-stabbed, celebrated, suffered, passed
Thirty-five
Thirty-five castaways who loved,
Thirty-five

Thirty-five castaways who made it, who did it.

To Nikki
Hazel
Alyssa
Gef
Veni
Alex
Jaykee
Bernard
Myra
Vince
Chanta­lle
Josen
Jerian
Shaira
J
Uriah
Ihra
Renz
Bless
Steffany
Angel
Fl­orey
Bernadine
Antonette
Rency
Owen
Majah
Gino
Marcelo
Ney
Keith
­Joselle
And Jessa,

We did it guys.
We really did.
TO MY CLASSMATES (IV-ILAWOD)
So many private jokes and inside thoughts. So many.
“I may be grown up but I’m only seventeen.”
The faded blue chairs were in rows, as could be expected. The building was old and the air was littered with dust; just like you would expect. The light shimmied through the draperies and tapestries and slithered across the floor in tiny slits that cut the room into pieces. The dark worn floors boasted years of scuffs and scratches. They were no longer mahogany for they were nearly black with age and dirt. The whole place was frozen in time. Even the air was reminiscent of years gone by. When you walked in you could expect to find memories nestled in corners or peeping out from one of the many books strewn around. The place breathed nostalgic fumes. Some might have called it “stale,” but many others would prefer to call it “alluring” or “curious.”

This was not her case. The door ****** the life out of the place as it slammed shut. The reverberations could be felt throughout the entire structure. Her anger fueled her along at a violent pace, sending chills up the drapes and swirling the dust into tornadoes of chaos. The floorboards rumbled and squealed in sheer terror under her feet. If you were here you would likely have tread softly and listened carefully just because you hoped the place was talking to you. But since this is her story and not yours, that is not the case.
She threw her body into the nearest chair and the force almost sent her backwards. The girl and the chair hung in time for a single moment, teetering on the edge of balance, but nothing happened. She kicked her feet up on to the chair in front of her out of utter disrespect.

Each breath that she blew carried venomous thought. Every air molecule expelled from her nose was laced with despise until it fell to the floor, devoid of life. You could feel the place shuddering with every breath. Or maybe she was shuddering. But it wasn’t important.
The girl let one lonesome anguished tear roll off her face, but since she was too strong for crying, she ****** her body out of the chair with every ounce of hatred she had inside. In one swift motion she swathed her face with her shirt to obscure and erase the tear. She stood there, filtering the air through her shirt, refusing to acknowledge everything the place had to offer. She dropped the weight of her head into her palms and bit her lip against the pain. She pulled her face back only to check the shirt. She knew it would be stained. She knew because every other time before it had been stained. She listened for a moment before she glided across the floor toward the nearest window.
When she finally came to a moment of rest, the place sighed in relief. The dust rested and the floorboards managed to quiet themselves. The drapes relaxed and everything paused again, settling back into a time of long ago. The place embraced her like the wind embraces a leaf. It helped her along gently as she was carried away.

Not wanting to be discovered, and not wanting to overstay her welcome, the girl carefully hid her soul behind the heaviest drape and emptily marched towards the door. She traced her finger along the scorch marks that marred the wood. The scars ran deep, evidencing a strong fire that had ravaged the place years before. The door oozed sympathy as the young girl shared her pain. Her heartbeat pounded out her sadness and resounded through the door and back to her. She clutched the **** in her hand and pushed it open. She slid through to the outside. She did not look over her shoulder. She did not carry a glimpse of hope within her. The flame in her heart was extinguished with the closing click of the door. She was outside. She watched as the place got smaller as she walked away.

His name was Devlin. “Dev” for short. It could’ve been “Devil.” It should have been “Devil.” He was the one who called the shots. This was his game; his rules. She was just a player who could be benched at any minute; suspended from the league in the blink of an eye. He knew the world. He had been learning it for years. As if the world was something that could be learned; that could be acquired. He missed the most important lesson for he never learned how to love. He had mastered affection and words spilled off his lips like honey. But love was not yet something he had come to possess.

Regardless of his material possessions, Dev knew he was missing something. He didn’t know what it was or how it could be acquired, or if it could be acquired. He only knew that the gaping black hole inside him was consuming him. There was no fulfilling this insatiable hunger. There seemed to be no solution. Only temporary fixes could easy the longing but with every dose the hole grew deeper.

           She too, knew that beneath his smile there was blackness. Not emptiness. Just blackness. There was no value, no gradation. No. There was nothing to hold on to, nothing to hope for. She would have enough black to cover the entire world if she had wanted to paint. But she was honestly looking to survive.


                Time had gone by, but only by the measure of light. Time had not elapsed to heal her wounds. She had covered miles on the feet of one thought. She had traversed only into one idea during her journey and yet she had already reached her destination. It was easy to fall to your subconscious when your body was tattered. When she stepped through the threshold she almost imagined the place. But she stopped herself because she didn’t want to take the chance of contaminating it.

                Her eyes were closing and the soft carpet looking appealing in all its graying and deterioration. The couch and bed looked inviting but that was suicide. She was fighting the urge. She had too. She had tried to purge her mind but one insignificant monstrous thought plagued her. “Don’t go to sleep until I get back.” Her eyes lingered closed for a moment. How beautiful and welcoming this blackness was. It was gentle and comforting. Her eyes jumped open. How long had they been closed? Surely no more than a few minutes. Fate laughed in her face once again. “I told you: Don’t get to sleep until I get back.”
                The first one was the most painful. Even though her eyes were blurred from pain she could still see the look in his eyes. She had to look. The simple thought of closing her eyes would earn her several more. She clutched the threadbare carpet with all the dignity she could muster and stood like a soldier before a firing squad. Every wince squeezed the tears in her eyes closer and closer to escape, but she held on through the miserable pain. It wasn’t even his hands that hurt anymore. No, it was the iron, or the bat, or even the brick that hurt. When it was his hands, he sympathized with the contortions of her body. He felt her pain. When it was some other object, there was distance between them. Six, five, four, three, two… She could time the blows. When he wasn’t so angry they came faster, just to put the girl in her place. When he was enraged, they came slower. Each hit was followed by an explanation or justification. “You have to learn the hard way.” or “How dare you get blood on your clothes?” The indignation in his voice made her sick. “Don’t look at me like that!” “I love you.” Over time she had learned to smile over time. To lessen the pain.

                …Her face was burning. Every fiber in her body wrenched with pain. Every breath brought tears to her eyes. The shaking was uncontrollable. She never should
have fallen asleep…

                You see on the inside he was just a child who never knew love. But that was her job. To love him. He was one of those “monsters,” or rather a vortex, something to be awed and feared. A display of powerful destruction. But that was the point. He was ******* up everything good while furthering his own self-destruction. He would eventually collapse in on himself. It was inevitable. It was not a matter of time. It was not some probability that fate would determine. It was not plausible to think, no matter what length of time you were thinking for, that time could, and would, heal all wounds. This was not something that would fade into the background and blend into a dull gray. This was not something that could be fixed by a miracle of God. There was no twelve step program with guaranteed results. The only thing that could happen was the elimination of time. If this happened, then there could be change.  


                She had figured it out some time ago. A long while back before she knew the place. The only answer was destruction. You might even call it ******. But since it involved no bloodshed or munitions or hatred, it seemed to be a good idea. Even the victim was ultimately willing to go through with it. The only factor stopping the girl was love. Her love for him. She did love him. She truly and justly loved him. She loved everything about him. She loved him for chaos and instability. The only solution was to destroy time. Without time, there is no way to measure. There is no structure. There are no rules. The only structure is what you make in your mind. That was the easiest way to escape, the easiest way to ignore the pain, to ignore the love.        


                  However much she thought about it, she never thought about it enough. The hours she spent on the floor in utter stillness were useless. When her breath was shallow enough, she nearly died. Her shirt was stained with blood. It was severed from her hip to her elbow. Her face was swollen purple and blue. Four of her ribs were shattered. Her left ankle was swollen. Her eyes were sealed shut by dried tears. Her lips were pale and chapped. She could not breathe out of her nose. It was filled with blood. Her pants were a rolled in a crumpled ****** mess several feet away from her. Her legs were patched with bruises. Her fingernails had blood under them.


This was love.


Eventually. Not relative to time. Not relative to the beating, but relative to her. She crawled over to her pants and began to restore her dignity until a foot crashed down upon her hand, jarring her body into a fetal position on the floor. She forced her eyes to stare at her hand turning from pink to white to purple. She hung her head in shame and hoped for mercy or forgiveness. The crushing weight of the foot began to ease the slightest bit. “You didn’t learn. You never do.” She stood perfectly still, waiting. The foot lifted. He pulled her to her feet and bestowed a kiss upon her forehead. “That’s why I am here: To teach you.” He took the crumpled pants from the floor and removed her bloodied shirt. Then with **** of his head he motioned to the floor. “You will learn the meaning of humble today.” She lay back down and tried to glean warmth from the carpet. She was cold. Desperately cold.
Josh Nov 2017
Neatly coating the floor in thin white trails, woven into floorboards like cotton twine, sunbeams snake their way across hardwood.

Books scream to be read & my yellowed pages ache to detail my experience as a widowed reader of time.

Magazines pile, while my simple hands grow a day older.

Heat on my neck.

The driver of time exhales grandiose,
tells me to travel while I'm young,
visit regions on this globe that grow green with age,
listen to honest trumpets before I gray,
wade in pools of clear urgency.

He said:

"Find a walking stick out beyond the ether
laugh with veracity, poking fun at Saturn & the Stars."
What will the future hold? Only Time will tell.
ottaross Dec 2013
Time passing -
Is not the tick, tick, tick, of the movies.
It is a barely audible, high-pitched ringing in your ears.
It is the low thrum of a distant compressor somewhere.
It is the sound of the long shadows brushing against the wall.

Time passing -
It is the fabric rustle of changing your position in a chair.
A cat padding along the oak floorboards of the hallway.
An electric cube powering a computer.
The sizzle of speakers turned on with nothing playing.

Time passing -
I hear it from a silent telephone,
From the idle doorknob and hinges.
From wooden steps leading to my front door.

Time passing -
It is all of this,
And nothing.
So much nothing.
madison curran Feb 2015
there's a house at the
corner of misery boulevard,
and heartbreak avenue,
that i call home.
& i can't count on my left hand
how many times,
those sand tinted rooms
with decaying light bulbs
have overheard
through paper walls,
the sound of that rose coloured capsule
embracing the floor,
only to find itself in pieces.
my mother always
hid that in a cage,
locked tight.
never did that stop my father
from finding the key,
she always slipped under the door mat.
like she wanted him to find it.
and you could hear it shatter,
into glass fragments,
that she was always left to clean up
by herself.
because he never stayed
to watch her pick up the pieces,
he didn't want to cut his life line
on her fragmented heart.
- or the time when my mother,
stained my ear drums,
and sold residence to a ghost
who now haunts the walls of my mind,
with words,
she'll claim her tongue never dismissed.
but ten years later,
and i still think i'm that painting,
in monochromatic shades,
that no one ever bothers
to glance at.
when they're gliding
down a vacant hallway.
more empty than the emotion
in this house.
but i still call it home,
because the walls have been
infected with sadness,
because there aren't enough vitamins,
to cure all this sickness,
released through
hatred hymns.
but those melancholy rhythms,
can't compete with the
floorboards that still sing me to sleep,
or the elation that fills
my lungs when i breathe,
because this house
still smells like mourning
the old flames,
from vanilla candle wicks
my ninth birthday knew so well.
& yes, there is no place
that sends fragile shivers
down my spine
when crossing the paths
of gloomy road,
and loathing crescent
but this is home,
this house is just like the cerulean tide,
because it always finds a way to
pull me back to shore.
& then i met you,
promenading down
hope street,
making empty prayers
to god
with a dry tongue and
waterlogged eyes.
another dawn spent
searching for the light -
in coffee shop windows
or even the stars.
something -
to guide me home.
and you taught me that
home isn't always a place,
you can find on a map.
sometimes,
it's two eyes and a heart beat.
it's love entangled words,
uttered through a pair of crimson lips.
& you showed me,
that ruby tinted vases,
look best when
they're not placed on shelves,
but rather granted as gifts,
sealed in envelopes,
with kisses painted
in scarlet lipstick.
& ghosts can be put to sleep,
by a lullaby,
you whispered in my ear
seven times a day.
i love you
has a ring to it,
but it's been six months and
that ghost sold his house,
to a boy who
told me i'm a composition
of colours.
that an artist painted me
in gold, because he sees it in
my eyes when i smile.
- i swear to god,
four walls and a front door,
build a house,
you'll always turn to
when the sky's crying, or when
you tear your jeans
on the wire fence
down the road.
and that boy
who is a composition of wonder,
possesses no door,
and the only window,
is the amber iris
that feels like the ocean
when he looks at me.
because,
he's just like the tide.
& i can still smell vanilla every time
i kiss him.
every single time.
Kiernan Norman Jan 2015
I picture them in a balmy hallway,
far-corner huddled; quietly, urgently
comparing their notes on ways I have loved.

They'll laugh at lame jokes and avoid eye contact,
each surprised by their own awkwardness.
One of them will quip the term
'eskimo brother'
and immediately wish he hadn't.
The rest will kindly ignore it.
The moment will pass.

They will slowly shed their discomfort.
They will remove their coats.
Sweat will bloom at collars
and trace knotty bumps of spine before
pooling into the space between
boxers and belt.

They won't openly discuss the
strange comradery
that accompanies the lazy river evenings spent drifting down the same mind-
but the tension pulling across
each of their jaws
will announce loud and clear
how frustrating it has
been to be cropped,
tucked in, paper fortune teller folded
and wrapped up into someone else’s idea of poetry.


Casually
then all at once,
they will get started.
Printed pages will uncoil from backpacks,
phones will emerge from pockets
and fingers slightly shaking
will chase the letters
of my name through search engines.

My sticky poems will fan out across floorboards.
They will lower their bodies carefully, not quite kneeling,
(and without mention of the bad knees they happen to share.)
They'll hover above each piece of evidence
and their eyes will crash along titles and memories-
they'll read with raised
eyebrows and pretend as if
they don't already know
each poem, each quick dig, by heart.

When they start claiming
and denying pieces
they will do so lightly
and without judgment.
'This piece is about you and the dry, delicate
tissue-shell of skin
she held out for you after you told
her to shed.
But this piece- this piece is about me
and the messy ointment
that ruined her clothes and
stained her blankets.
A doctor instructed she
apply the ointment to her hands
twice a day to treat
the burns my silence left
across her arms and throat.'

They will share a bit of rage,
A bit of regret.
A bit of shame, perhaps.
They will either miss me intensely
or not at all.
They will either own up
to the poems they begat
or begin refuting.
They don’t want any of
this chilly weight on their soul.
I understand.

They didn’t sign up for this, I know that.
They didn’t set out to rock me,
nor to dig down deep and get to my China.
I was happy to share, to whisper and recite blurry
morning confessions and epiphanies.
I was right behind them running toward the sand dunes,
waving a shovel and pail.
But I can’t feel bad either.
You all must have known:

If you happen to fall for a girl
who writes you must realize
that every smile you put on her face,
every stray hair you’ve pushed back from her eyes,
and quick habit she starts to crave
is fair game.

If a girl who writes happens to fall for you too--
forget it.
You will find echoes of the way your souls fit and fought
together until she has nothing left to feel on the subject;
(and you must be well aware
she's tidal, her feelings are icecaps,
they are melting but will trickle fresh
and renewed for centuries to come.)
Mel Harcum Jan 2015
My parents gave me a pink childhood framed with lace and luxury--
but a black stain has spread there, deep as the amount of time
I’ve spent thinking about what people are capable of, and how they can stand
hanging a mirror in every bathroom, because water cannot clean people
of the lie they told their brother or the betrayal inflicted against their friend,
some wrongs of which may never be realized, but will always remain
in the form of a new freckle on my left cheek or shadow beneath my eye.
And I am sorry, because I should have sooner heeded my mother’s words
when she told me I was the moral compass grounding you stonedust streets.

Your childhood resembled a light bulb broken before it tasted electricity,
no one taught you North from South and how different the terrain may become
when you find yourself in the mountains with only sandals on your feet.
I had been that for you, and you told me as much every weekend we spent
riding in the bed of my father’s pickup truck and shouting against wind-gusts
that threatened to carry our voices away from one another--

I have sinced learned there are many ways to **** a person.
I killed you when I stole your sense of direction like floorboards from beneath
your cracked and bleeding feet, and allowed you to fall--who knows how far--
landing in a pile of skin-biting needles and leftover sediment,
the very bottom of brown-glass bottles strewn across the floor.
Staying would have saved you, I’m sure, and I’ll never forget that I turned away
out of fear, cowardice, because I hated the sight of your skin-and-bone crowd,
friends in name but not in heart, and left you lost among them,
And you who knew no better remained, your humanity
expelled with each smoke-laden breath and then evaporating, nonextant.
Nothing Much Feb 2015
He lives in a cold and empty house
Where lightbulbs hang from silver chains
And lonely ghosts live within
The cracking, creaking wooden walls

He leaves out his favorite books for them
And listens to footsteps beneath the floorboards
He plays piano,
a reclusive recital for empty rooms
And they keep each other's soft-spoken secrets
Okay so I really don't feel like this is finished I don't know why I'm so hot to post it? I'll probably revise it later.
Lysander Gray Oct 2012
Her mouth glittered agape
With sacred promise,
Like a box of unused
Engagement invites
Christening invites
Birthday invites
Still in the wrapper
For sale at a
Lifeline.

When you’d rather live
In a car
Than the zombie stance
Of a modern house,
Clean and soulless
With a hermetically sealed lawn,
Winter pageantry draws to a close
With bogan’s shooting-
Pearly eyed paupers
With constellations in their gaze.
With eyes full of hope and stars
That burnt bright and fade for
Flickering lens light.

Their voices murmur soft
Through catacomb
And underbrush
As only the ephemeral things are whispered of –
Dreams.
The addicts of ideals
The junkies of hope
The drinkers of despair
Have tiger soft tongues.

They lap and feast gladly,
From broken vessels
Chipped with hazardous teeth
That seek to fill their
Ermine mouths with the ******
Draught
Of truth.
Stumbling through wine-hour
They swarm, with tongues ******
And all constellations burnt out.

The hyacinth rides wild
Upon her shoulder,
Writhes in the silver brunt
Of moonlight,
Writhes in the stillness of dead perfume.

Marching to the beat
Of my enemies drum,
My hands inside my pockets.

Little bluebirds spun from dream
Sit on the holy perch,
A branch in all innocent minds.

The redeemed and patient
Make a subtle art from
Long distance perversions.

Similarly as we chase ghosts over Daffodils.

Fields of winter
under lunar glow
sway without us.

Long distance love
lingers with loose lust
along Regret street.

I hung it next to the memory
Of childhood cooking and Indian summers
Without further thought.

It slipped into the novel that took the form
Of an old coat, slipping into the lined pocket
It sank with a sigh.
Satisfied with itself.

Bombarded by the pounding
Dead eyed stare of ***** goddesses,
Broken by the undisputed angelic
And unglued ones,
All moon faced
All hopelessly optimistic
All lawfully rebellious
With green serenity
We pasted our dreams
On a wall so real it shone gossamer.
He counted the imperfections in the glass
With mind hesitation
As the whole world went black,
In a sea of much deserved discontent,
Wishing for the soft.

A moment of pure luck?
Jesus was an astronaut
Smoking Zen by the fire.

Suicidal angst
never had you in sonnets?
What a ******' shame.

Our life is but a song
We never hear.

I chipped away at the excesses
of my baroque person,
each strike took a
Railing
mounting
wall
decoration
desire
demand
exclamation
from the battlements.
All left now, a hill.

I paid for my banquet
with a sip of loneliness
and left behind the question
that asked all quiet poets
the meaning of love,
that asked all quiet poets
to answer with a villanelle
shouted from every
distant peak.

They sent the troopers
to greet me instead,
and my library was put in shackles,
and I kissed their ***** feet.

I answered that I carved this mountain
from the baroque bedrock
upon which they laid their city.
They smiled and asked about the aqueducts.
I wept and spoke of kitchenettes.

A meal provided
on a lead cast plate
my jailor asked about freedom
I answered with defeat.

There were two atoms
One questioned the meaning of existence
The other the existence of meaning.
             -Regardless they looked the same.

An apple on a branch,I took
The same way history takes a footnote.

The same way cashiers are all doctorates.
The same way trains find the station.
The same way you sing like a bird (and I like a cow).
The same way we never really wish to be writers.
The same way our final friend is made of pine.
The same way all streets lead to nowhere.
The same way all jobs **** society.
The same way we always lie to our children.
The same way a man loves a woman.
The opposite way we ****.
The opposite way we make love.
The way that I know a man who’s totem animal is a worker ant and he is unemployed by choice.
The same way we take old memories and turn them into fashion.
The very same way all sacred things become profane and all profanity becomes sacred in the eyes of many.

Dying relic of the Optimistic Seventies,
A new coat of paint for the old irony
     -slap dashed with obscurity.
Although I wear the costume of my enemy,
I will write the exaltation in blue smoke
As **** by an unsuspecting victim
Occurs in the dark.

The face of another love stares down at me.
I smile.
Yet I know it is not her.
I weep.
A sudden method sparks revival.

Jackie Pleasure wore a gray smile,
The anthem of a lost generation:
‘Happiness is lost in smiling.’

You are dead to me,
the boatman calls
I will not taste of your amber lips
I will not taste.

The welfare of all never hinged on darkness as we fear the fall,
A multitude of angels sang their songs
And never learnt to say goodbye
Or cast a long distance eye
Over half spent desire.

Drawn out caricatures,
Paraded intoxication
Flirt with our mistress death
And have her pick up the tab.
She pays with silent music.

The ***, we learn, is a bridge
Between all words and waltz’s,
Our Light Brigade to conquer art.

In the twilight of this, our mansioned night
Let us ring out true with indulgence,
Excess, abandon and the call of ‘yes’
Kali rang on the wire of a golden telephone.
Her name
“Kali, Kali…”
Like a quarrelsome minotaur
Flew through the waves of silk ideal
And strangled the babe
With cool breath.

There was ice (oh yes!) and fire and song.
With our candles burnt down to the ash of all streets
We walk then. We walk.
All life is but a song.

The ghosts of all forgotten stamps
Now echo on the wind of speech.
On High! Oh speak!
Of songs sung but never danced
With our broken dream.
When starlight meets the dust, and
Shadow eats the snow,
All our stories are satin sheer
And all our wants are gone.
We watch the memories march, until
They find a sliver of chrome that showed that place
Where all piano’s live and breathe.
My father in the wishing well,
My mother played trapeze.
My sister never saw the light,
My brother never born.
That was that,
Where stars meet dust
And floorboards sing off key.
Over the course of several months, I carried a small notebook in which I kept random musings and poetic snippets that came to me. This is the compilation of that.
sara Dec 2018
I think the world is ending
and I really wish I didn’t.
There’s a rat under the floorboards
and a knife inside the kitchen,
and in the alley by the bins
a man there ******.

The streets all smell of *****,
and ******* indecision
has us riddled
in the middle
of our end and our beginning.

In the town a politician
with a jet black tongue
licks the seal on our decisions
without every truly listening
to anyone.
well done, Britain x
April May 2014
in the silence
our thoughts are the loudest
they're the creaks of the floorboards
letting us know
we are not alone
whether the voices are good or bad
the silence really will never invade our minds
Raj Arumugam Mar 2012
1
He'd love her
and then the coldness
of marriage took love
away from him
and the coldness turned into suspicion
and then into an obsession:
and she was an inconvenience

he murdered her a Friday
night
suffocated her with her pillows
it was easy;
like Othello did
but she was no Desdemona;
and he heard her whisper with her last breath:
"I'll have your eyes"
he cut her up in manageable parts,
and buried her below the floorboards
in the study

2
It is a year later
and he is at the computer
and far below lies parts of his wife
but now his wife is smiling
she's on screen
smiling like a Greek Goddess
and he sits transfixed
and she says:
"You are Oedipus, darling -
I will have your eyes"

She is smiling
He is willing
Beside the printer are paperclips
He undoes two
She beckons; she smiles
and she whispers
that same deathbed whisper:
"I'll have your eyes"
And he is Oedipus
Just paperclips will do
He gouges one eye out
And he gouges the other too
It is easy


She lies deep below
below the floorboards;
She need whisper no longer
And he is become Oedipus,
eyes gouged,
blind like the Greek Homer
'Tell me I'm not in a dream. Or one of my trances.' She uttered the two sentences between gasps and seem-to-be quickening pulses. In midair, the tension between them kept growing intensely, trying desperately to meet its peak every second, before finally disappearing into the sightless distance above it. 'You're not,' the man said, his voice distant even when his face was only a few inches from hers, and cupped his free hands around her chin to calm her pale face. Her cheeks were warm in his palms, as if being burnt by hundreds of heaps of dying, yet ravenous flames. She closed her eyes, recording the touch of his perfect skin that seemed able to charm her endlessly since the first time she had fixed her gaze on his shimmering features. The angelic voice which accompanied it woke her a few seconds later. 'And even if you are,' he traced his soothing fingers along the reddening skin of her cheeks, 'I'll bring you back to life. Which is here.' He emphasised the last two words with a smile, a heartbreaking, infuriating smile - because of its astounding beauty, before tenderly touching his cherrylike lips to hers, making her start to tremble uncontrollably in deep confusion. She was, again, in the middle of these steep rocks without any aid to support her unstable weight, meanwhile the air over their heads began to twirl in circles, the weather around them getting pink and turning red in five seconds' time. She was lost. In someone else's magical world, with a rendition of one of The Beatles' hit singles from the 1900s or 1950s - she could not exactly recall which period of years it came from - playing smoothly in the CD player in the languid atmosphere of the living room behind them.
After a moment of enjoyment the kiss brought them he pulled back, before slamming his left hand into the tiny depth of his shirt pocket and taking a silver locket out of it. He threw a confident smile at her, and in one blink of his eye, the room fell dark. Petrified yet washed out by the sudden darkness among them, the girl let out a heart-rending shriek, which was followed by her heaving her body onto him, making his head hit the floorboards and the long necklace break in half. In seconds, blood-red light began to shuffle out of the center of the torn necklace, mingling with the air outside its shell and sending the woman into gradually-coming unconsciousness. She could now only see shadows, muttering and brimming all over the weather around her, and had not the strength to stand up apart from lying helplessly on the feathered carpet beneath. Before her, she saw how he started to rise and reveal his claws, and fangs, and bright red eyes above her. He laughed mercilessly. Instantly, she covered her sweating face with her hands - which now felt too shaky and she hated it, she loathed it very much - and brought out a despondent, lamented sound of cry. Her evil lover, at the same time, continued to soak up as much energy as possible from the change of circumstance.
'Again, I successfully, harmlessly tricked you,' he whispered this to her right ear. Around them, the horrendous wind potter faster and faster meanwhile their invincibly powered circles got bigger. 'You should thank me for that.'
'Th... Thank you for what?' She abruptly gathered her courage to confront him. If this meant that the end of my life was approaching, I would be ready, she thought silently.
'For letting me bound my ways into your life again, Em,' his angelic voice replied, and before she realised what was coming next, she wailed with all of her might when she laid her eyes on his real monstrous, vampiric face before her.
'I am indeed sorry to say that you - a clever and sanguine girl like you - was granted the chance to relish your life only momentarily,' he cleared his throat. 'You have always known that you could not outrun us at the end..., and so have your family.'
'No,' she mumbled, and drifted her gaze to his face - his now burning face. 'NO!'
'No,' he mockingly repeated her words, 'or YES, my dear?'
'Don't call me using that 'D' word, beast,' she put her best effort to yell at the top of her lungs, ''cos I am not your dear, and prefer death to becoming one of you!'
With those last few words, she scrambled to her feet, and stood up in just two swift movements. In her both hands, which he did not know were protected by the two stashes of garlic and one wooden cross in her dress pockets, were two shiny swords with special blades carved onto their two edges which were designated to **** vampires. Get rid of them. And their malicious world of beasts.
She stepped forward, and new powers began to regenerate inside her - despite the cries she felt start to roll into her heart, upon knowing that her beloved Joe had died. Joe had been deceased now. He was lifeless, and no longer able to help her here. She should never have ditched him. It dawned on her now, when everything was already too late to fix up. But she knew that she should never give up. Javier and his vampire family might have tasted every single drop of her other family members - and the rest of Ludirus town's residents - including her Joe, before she idiotically kicked him out for this pathetic, heartless beast who wore a disguise to displace him. She stretch the first sword - the one in her right hand - out to him. He took a step back, his eyes remained focused on her.
'You won't hurt me,' he pretended to be in pain, and in one and a half seconds, he transformed into the figure of the innocuous, blue-eyed prince once more.
'I won't be deceived by your looks, pig,' spat her, meanwhile her brain rummaged through a thousand ways to stick the two swords into his chest. That was, in fact, the only way to **** him. To drain his evil life out of him.
'You were, once,' he laughed, the sound of his devious laughter echoed in the very room, and later left it in such dread and wariness.
'Not anymore,' she bravely took a step forward and, without any further doubt, without caring about her being imprisoned for the rest of her life before getting her blood dried by the fangs of Javier's two older brothers, she stabbed the swords into his chest with all the energy she had left. And the effects sprayed out by the action were beyond any of her expectations. Thousands of blood droplets poured out of his body and onto the floor beneath her, flooding the entire living room and finally the streets outside the building until no litter, little scraps of food, and wheels of vehicles were seen anywhere in sight. Surprisingly, these endless streams of blood did not cause any floods, and rapidly soaked through every single layer of soil the earth had on its surface. The blood that had been consumed out of the poor people of Ludirus, the rural village in South Ireland, famous for its cruel killing rampage for several thousand years, where a group of aristocratic vampire ruled the lives of humans and their own species. But now, there would be no more of them. No more of their horrible treatments. No more of their sneaking-up-on-humans tricks they secretly did at night - to savour human blood, which was lawfully removed from the protecting-human law renewed every year. It was all a lie. Yeah, a lie. A lie that allowed Javier's family to approach Lucinda's family members to be victims in their lifelong killing spree. But now, there would be no more vampires, thought Lucinda as she kissed her holy cross and sets of garlic affectionately. There would be no more blood sacrificed to fend for those beasts' hunger, even though it meant for her to live alone. Live on her own, as she no longer had anyone around her to turn to. To soak up her tears when she was scared away by the bunch of vampire kids on the way home from school. To calm her with her melodious chords at the piano. Mother. To serve her the best spaghetti in the world as a reward for her outstanding grades at school. Sister Sheila. To rub her back and put her to bed at night - at the age of sixteen! Father. Luce's tears just would not stop while she kept counting her memories, as every single shadows of her deceased beloved came back to her. And finally, the sight of her Joe lying his tired head on her lap, and reading out loud to her his newest poem he composed at the office for her. All were gone. Dissolved into the ravenous sea of blood in the guts of those psychotic, simpering, abusive monsters.
But she was satisfied. She felt, somehow, proud of her heroic, or at least, brave actions. She had taken control of her fear, and that was one of the most important characteristics a woman should have to succeed in this cruel world, her father had once said. Now she could prove to them all that she was a newly reborn person, and was no longer the old Lucinda. Lucinda Hale who had always been the 'tail' of her sister while they were six and four, and the little, spoilt daughter of Jim and Aileen Hale who could not hold a plate properly in every banquet their family was invited to. Luce knew that she was now completely a stranger to her family. She squinted her eyes shut, trying to imagine how nice it would be to show off her new self to her late family if only they were all alive with healthy pink cheeks now. In her own peace and this momentary solitude, she found herself sinking onto the floating warmth of blood, but strangely, she did not fall. She did not plunge into the limitless red colour underneath, and remained flowing above it while her tears started to crawl out of her eyes. She did not know, and did not want to know how long this remained until she eventually felt the rough surface of the bearskin carpet again. She woke up with a dizzy head and quickly threw a hasty look around her living room. The prince, beastly Javier had vanished. Oh, there are his remnants, she thought and unconsciously, chuckled quietly to herself when she came to take hold of several white, lifeless bones laid in front of her. Then suddenly she understood what had just happened. The legend in that book she had borrowed from the library transported the knowledge back into her mind. All the members of Javier's family had been crushed now. They were dead. Her sacred tears, which came to mix with the blood flood, became the cure for all the people who had been ****** by the vicious vampires in town. They were now freed, and reawarded, although still mortal, but yet a very rare, elusive, privileged chance to be alive once again and start their lives all over again. They must not be far from her now, thought her. Without any further wait, she raced out of the room, and wormed her way onto the street.
And here they were. The streets of Ludirus were no longer deserted. Traditional markets with a thousand-metre long series of antiques roamed them, occupying every single tiny space provided to place racks containing jewels, valuables, and gold pots. There were also shelves of books about cookery, traditional healing potions, sports, literature, and anything else someone ever wanted to buy. And then she spotted a book with a bright yellow cover, entitled 'Love Poems: From 1900 to the Present, by Joe Grogan.' Her breath seemed to stop at that time and suddenly, before she even got the opportunity to touch the cover of the copy in front of her, two warm arms wrapped her waists and turned her body around to face the owner. Once again, she was at a terrible loss for words. 'Joe,' she mumbled.
'I am,' the writer nodded solemnly. And just like the evil Prince Javier had done before, he pulled out a beautiful silver box and opened it. Inside, two rings shined beautifully before their eyes, radiating a smile as bright as the one seen on others' faces among them. A smile that celebrated the comeback of their long-lost independence. Before she knew it, Joe knelt before her, and presented the ring upwards onto her.
'What would you like to do first, Madam? Marry me, or buy my book?' He grinned and held both her hands. Before she could answer him, he inserted her left ring finger into the perfectly made ring, and helped her right hand fasten his own ring onto his finger. She lifted him up and wrapped her hands around his neck.
'Do you have time for both, Sir?' She rubbed his smooth cheeks and kiss them before looking deeply into his hazel eyes.
'Absolutely,' he answered firmly, and scooped her whole weight into his arms and spinned her around. Luce could no longer say anything when a sudden wave of happiness washed all over her, and became even at a more unfathomable loss of words when she caught the sight of her beloved father, mother, and her sister, all alive, start approaching to deliver their congratulations. Here we are, she thought with a satisfied feeling. We were, are, and will always be meant to be together.
Tomh Mar 2013
I used to live in the real world.
I used to live in a happy place, a place where things were easy.
People mistake that for childhood,
I recognize it as simplicity.
I remember a name barely being spoken.
Hardly croaked. Callus.
The sound of a wretch who maybe had too much to drink the night before.
Or maybe she'd just been crying all day.
She told me that my house was broken.
I remember the wretched look,
The tears being held,
A face pale as the walls I grew up with.
They now would never stand again.
I remember the words,
"How are you taking this so well?"
I didn't have an answer. I didn't even have a reaction.
Always them, always slaved.
Never fear, never broken, never even stand.
Maybe I grew up too fast.
Maybe I didn't grow up at all.
But now I'm here.
Wherever this is.
I don't like it but I call it home.
I'm weak, dearest.
I wish I could tell you otherwise.
I'm not broken, I'm fragile.
I'm not crystal, but I'm clear.
I'm not dead but everyone is dying,
And all I can say is that these floorboards don't creak.
Needs some work, but here's a draft of "These Floorboards Don't Creak."

I remember from my house when I was a kid that the floorboards in my room never made a sound when you walked on them. The floorboards and the pale walls are both part of the house, which got torn down not long after I moved out.
Steven Y Burris Oct 2012
To whom it may concern,

     I am alone.  Although it may never quite seem that way, both night and day I am confined to solitude.  These past six years hitherto have been filled with nothing more than the fictional characters in my texts and the short pleasantries granted in passing by dismal men, women, and even children that occupy my days.  Each morning, as the dawn breaks, I wake up disgusted with myself in that same manner which sundry men and women have.  It is not the loneliness, however, that disgusts me.  No, I do believe I have grown quite fond of the residual silence.  Instead, I believe it to be the dull monotony of my routine that has left me truly disturbed.  The days have begun to fade in with each other, along with the nights---especially the nights.  I cannot say, for instance, whether or not it was last evening or that of a day three months afore that I was seated at my desk, much like I am now, finishing the latest draft of a poem in my journal.  Nor could I tell you the present date, although the heat of the day, still trapped in the rafters, is so persistent that I am obliged to say it must be one of those blue summer nights when children run, squealing, through the streets, like plump pigs to the trough.  I have become somewhat of a hermit, secluded in my small, run-down apartment above my bodega.  My mind has grown as wild as the violet petunias, bridging the gap over the narrow, brick walk which separates my garden--- as the myriad of dandelions that have invaded the surrounding lawn.
     Throughout the day I work the till in my shop, observing the assorted physiognomies that populate the three small isles.  As they walk up and down, deciding what they most desire, I, too, contemplate to myself, deciding the few whom I might admire should I get the chance.  I often attempt to strike up conversations with my customers, much to their dismay.  I comment on the weather, the soccer scores from a recent game, or perhaps a story from the local section of the Post & Courier, only to receive terse responses and short payments.  However, I never let these failed attempts at congenial conversation discourage me.  Day after day, I persist.
     The nights are easier.  Although I do not attend the boisterous bars spread out amongst the small restaurants and boutiques that line the narrow city streets as I once did, I often drink.  Seated alone, armed with a liter of Ri, two glasses, one with small cubes of ice and one without, and a pen; I waste my nights scribbling down nearly every thought that leaps into my inebriated mind.  My prose has yet to show any real promise, but my thirst to transcend from this pathetic, pseudo-intellectual literature student struggling with his thesis into something more drives me to ignore those basic desires, defined by Maslow as needs; venturing out and exploring the community that I inhabit or talking to another person as a friend.  So I sit, night after night, at the foot of this large bay window, looking out onto the tired faces of the busy street below.  I sit, night after night, tracing the streaks of red light from the tails of passing cars, imprinted in the backs of my eyelids like sand-spurs stuck in a heel.
     I can recall a time when my flat was not the dank, dimly lit hole in the wall that it has become today.  A time, not too distant, when the rich chestnut floorboards glistened beneath the fluorescent pendant lights, when champagne dripped like rain from the white coffers in the blue ceiling, and music shook the walls and rattled the windows.  Men and women alike would wander through the rooms, inoculated by my counterfeit Monet's and their glasses of box wine.  When not entertaining, I wrote.  At long length I sat beneath my window, proliferating prose or critiquing a classmate's from workshop, but those days have passed.  The floors no longer shine; instead they lay suffocating under piles of fetid clothes.  The halls no longer echo with the rhythmic chorus of an acoustic guitar or the symphonies of men and women's laughter;  the lights are burnt out, the paint is peeling off the walls, and the homages are concealed beneath vast fields of mildew and mold.  Puddles of whiskey sit unattended on the granite countertops around the bottoms of corks for weeks, allowing the strong scent to foster and waft freely through the air ducts into the store below.  The dilapidation that ensued after I stopped receiving visitors was not just of the home, however. Worse yet was the steady rot of my own mind.  Although I have often been referred to as "a bit eccentric," and often times folks would inquire if I had, "a ***** loose in [my] noggin," I have only recently begun to find myself walking about the neighborhood garden in the small hours of the morning more than occasionally.  Further still, it is only recently that I cannot remember how, or when, I came to be where I am. Whenever I do happen to roam the night, it appears as if I do it unbeknownst to myself, throughout the throes of my sleep.  Similarly, I have only just begun to notice that, often times while I attempt to write, I sit, talking feverishly---yelling at an empty bottle, until I find another to quench my thirst.  Luckily, there is always another bottle.
     Needless to say, these past few years have left me very tired, and, after much consideration, I have decided that it would be best if I were to "shuffle off this mortal coil."  However, much like Hamlet himself, I could never bring myself to act upon the feeling.  Though I often wonder about what awaits me after my last breath warms the winter of this world, the coward that I have become is in no hurry to find out.  Alors, I am left with one option: leave.  Though I am not yet brave enough to slip into that, the deepest of sleeps, I have gathered courage enough to walk throughout the day.
           Charon Solus
Molly Jan 2015
We used to spend hours
driving around looking at houses and
I never understood why you went to
the middle class neighborhoods
with the big homes that all looked the same and
pointed to the ones with
heavy wooden doors and thick brick walls
and all the cars in the garage and
called them your favorite
until I heard your voice crack when you said
they just look so sturdy
and I knew that
your walls were rotting and
falling down and
your foundation was cracked and
your windows were shattered and
the ceiling was starting to
cave in and
you liked the
big homes with
heavy wooden doors and thick brick walls
and all the cars in the garage because
they were
strong
when you
weren't.
Amanda Bianchi Aug 2012
You brought me my favorite flowers
and it was nice for a while.
'Till they melted.
They slid beneath the table,
into the cracks in the floorboards.
Crept slowly through the imperfections in the foundation of
the house we built together.
Slowly seeped into the soil
where tiny insects laid their eggs.
The little eggs hatched
and the babies started to feed on the earth around them
because it was all they could find.
The earth that contained remnants of my favorite flowers.
Baby insects grew into tiny vessels
travelling up to the air
with my precious cargo.
They made their way up towards the light,
through the soft soil.
But they are too big now
to fit through the damaged foundation
and only one manages to squeeze through.
He made his way through the cracks in the floorboards,
and up onto the kitchen table
where I smashed him against my palm and licked his sweet juices.
I am shylock,
In the attic barely used,
Barren exuberant floorboards creak in exhalation,
Of your footsteps.
There you find me,
In the dust;
A wooden trunk with brass fixings,
Didn't I tell you I held a million treasures?
You breathe in the sunlight,  
From the round attic window,
Preening itself in your vision basked in gold.
I am shylock,
You moved a gilded hand,
Guided by a unknown force of union with the lock,
The air is silent around you,
The room is intrepid in its wanton stranger,
Who dares to enter this chamber of dust.
I am shylock,
You take my fingertips from the cup of a hand I had placed gently on your cheek,
The night before I had told you,
Of this room,
You gently take my fingers and place it on the lock.
I am shylock,
There is a gentle click,
That soon awashes the abated room,
That sways into a tsunami of grandeur,
Of history, emotion, silence and tears,
And it consumes the dust,
The acrid air and essence of my fears settle on your eyes and the homely mouth.
I am shylock,
You know how I came about,
Now,
You know how this room became accustomed to the dust,
And the floorboards, the dust,
And the window, the dark,
You are breathing me,
The trunk is open and waiting,
And at the bottom,
A ragdoll awaits your palm,
Your strength, your gentleness and patience,
This is my shy,
This is my lock,
And you entered the room and consumed me.
Burst through the door, cut down the labyrinth,
and found me.
Picking me up,
You,
Became me, attended me, held me,
with grace sensitive to my touch,  
with the intention of a protector to my defence,
And the brazen warrior to my battle.
Now I am entered and countered.
Protected and put together,
Unbound and in your arms;
Now I am open and free.
My ragdoll, your love, and me.
Together, unlocked,
together I and you become, we.
Tricia Leigh Mar 2017
I would like to say
there is a city beneath my floorboards
vibrant, pulsing, alive
Where Muslims create mosaics arabesque scrolls and tiles
And Jews build Sukkahs which they line with pomegranates and gourds
And my black brothers and sisters can drive without being pulled over or shot

And women can be goddesses
And everyone worships whomever they please
And everything is
so vibrant and alive
I would like to say
We trade cigars for tapestries, coffee for chocolate,
We adorn the temples and mosques with flowers
I would like to say
I am not hiding a family beneath my floorboards
where it is cramped and cold and *****
where there is no freedom, religious, social
or otherwise.
sara Dec 2018
I’ve never heard this song before
as flowers come out of the floorboards;
I forget what my heart had ever been sore for.
life is as light as you let it be- a difficult pill to swallow sometimes
Sobriquet Jul 2014
Why do you still occupy
the nooks and crannies of my head?
Drifting up through the cracks in the plaster
bent nails and poor construction
hammered hastily into place

How do you fill
my vacant minutes with shadows of you?
Your outline walks beside me on the street, wound up in my headphones
the echo of your daydream touch
a humming static on my skin

How still do you fall asleep beside me
when I am wrapped in the disquiet of a restless night?
How do you ease yourself into my brain like its nothing
and hide among synapses that try so hard to lose you

And how still to lose you?
When the thought of you occupies the wasted time
that escapes order and control
and slips under the floorboards

And in that quiet and that dark
is where you and I occupy,
held together by the wandering nature of thoughts,
that find their way into the nooks and crannies of my head

The thought of you is indifferent to my hasty plaster work,
and
the thought of you is intoxicating.
Beth Taylor Nov 2015
-
i can still feel his hands around my neck.
the fingers like words and “i don’t love you” and it stings although he wasn’t the first to say it, i can’t breathe.
she haunts our hallways, our floorboards are cracking
beneath our feet, our home is crumbling
between our fingertips and
i can feel her weight on my chest. sometimes
i think that she should just go by the way that her footsteps echo after she’s gone. i remember
a wall full of holes from where his fists
kissed ever so gently.
i think that wall is what my heart might look like but lately
i’ve had trouble finding my pulse.
i can still feel his hands around my neck.
does he know
why i can’t look him in the eye? does he
know
the blue makes me feel like I’ve swallowed too much water, does he know i can’t breathe?
i think I’m still trying to understand why
beautiful things die in my fingertips and why he stomps on every rooting bulb my wilting body tries to plant, why he ripped my roots from beneath my feet and why my hair started to fall out why
he put his hands on my throat and how i still feel them there.
has he figured it out?
does he know that lemon scented bleach would taste better than
her on his lips and the *******
they splatter?
i can still feel his hands around my neck.
i was born into light, into pain, into love and
he wasn’t the first man to leave a mark on my body and i feel like he is the works with the universe to watch me fall
things fall and shatter without you touching them, things break while you’re sleeping and
everything about him and her stings like saltwater and everything about me
bends for him like light.
i can still feel his hands around my ******* neck.
he crashed into her hips like his hands to my bones, like fists to walls, the walls
rattled, my ribcage
rattled, he was
rattled and i can still feel his hands around my neck,
pushing, like me trying to ******* make this work.
what is this?
his hands are like ghosts around my throat,
the memory of her wrapped around his body instead of me
wrapping, holding in place
icanstillfeelhisfuckinghandsaroundmyfuckingneck
i am not stupid you know.
i can only see that he moves like these words write themselves, and he
speaks like music bleeding through a closed window,
i swear, i am still cracked
though i still have tattoos left from the tips of his fingers from those heavy-handed nights,
i swear, they didn’t even sting.
it's been a while, i've been ****** by life again
sav Mar 2015
I want you to hold my hand.
Hold my hand so tight that my bones break and every crack whispers how much you really need me. The space between my fingers should forget what it's like to be empty because you'll fix each and every crease. Light a fire in my palms and melt away any other touch other than your own.
I desire you.
I am something worth destroying. Can't you see that I would rather be a pile of broken floorboards and shattered glass than an abandoned house, having never been touched by you? Burn your name across my body and tattoo it onto my heart so I understand what it means to love with a passion.
I want to thank you.
You've made minutes feel like decades by holding me until my internal clock shattered and the only perception I had of time was the beating of your heart. You turned words I was too afraid to speak into currency and now I am a millionaire with nothing to show for it except your smile. You filled my eyes with stars and heart with assurance so when pieces of me died I still had something left to believe in. You never gave up on me when everyone else did.
all i got's a rusty truck
some dreams and my guitar
out of all them three
not one will get me far

the truck don't run
the guitar's out of tune
the day just must get better
it's only ten past noon

i'm building bridges out of sand
with water and some glue
i'm building bridges that won't stand
unless they're built with you
i'm building bridges out of sand
that may not last the night
i'm building bridges out of sand
and with you i'll build them right

my roof is always leaking
my boat won't stay afloat
i'm tone deaf and i stutter
i can not hold a note

the truck has rusted floorboards
they've rusted clear on through
the thing that makes me keep it
is it's where i first kissed you

i'm building bridges out of sand
with water and some glue
i'm building bridges that won't stand
unless they're built with you
i'm building bridges out of sand
that may not last the night
i'm building bridges out of sand
and with you i'll build them right

with your voice there beside me
a new truck and new guitar
the dreams won't seem so distant
we'll be closer to the stars

a good and strong foundation
and belief in what i dream
with two hearts it is stronger
with two hearts, we're a team

i'm building bridges out of sand
with water and some glue
i'm building bridges that won't stand
unless they're built with you
i'm building bridges out of sand
that may not last the night
i'm building bridges out of sand
and with you i'll build them right
David May 2013
A sea of gasoline's,
Grace of novelties,
Cars and halogen,
Social disease,
Manufactured dreams,
Scream on screens,
They glean from all living things,
Fight,
Take,
Hide,
Such a contumacious existence,
Results in an animistic decline,
All things that once made us strong,
Oblivion has made a meal of them,
I walk around this town,
I see the colors,
I watch the scenes,
Fight,
Take,
Hide,
I live in a world without a heart,
But machines keep it breathing,
And it has many sons,
Crowned with clockworks maturation,
Am I the last one beating?
I don't tick,
Not like them,
I just watch men bite one another necks from the steps of the front door,
They call me the queen of the creaking floorboards,
Fight,
Take,
Hide,
I have matchstick eyes,
I twist fires with my fingertips,
All of these people made of wood,
They are like smoke to me,
I breathe slices into them with teeth that have no number,
I am December,
I fight,
Take,
Hide
LDuler Mar 2013
The leeching color from my eyes
My parched mouth puckered
My joints are stiff, stubborn and brittle
Creaking like exhausted floorboards
Wringing my fists, white ands shriveled
Twisting my hands, skinned and raw
I'm ill with desperate thriving
Too weak to carry on, don't have the choice
Veins laden with liqueur, thinning hopes and regret
Pulsing pulsing pulsing
Bones fluttering with birds of bad omen
Scalp rid of hair to make place for the thorny crown of vanquishment
Blood diluted with bitter disappointment,
Sloshing, smearing through my mucked-up system
Aching from the deadly drone of existence
From small victories, large defeats
I'm the mortar, they're the pestle
Clobbering into my hollowed life.

The hammer of that thing
Routine so dull and tedious
Pounding and pounding and pounding
When you can't even scream or weep
Thud thud thud
My temples scream with dank submission
My brain is reeling, hurling from the vertigo of it all.

Morning, noon & night
The dead avenues, the empty buzzing
Beats hammers in my brain
Throb throb throb
I'm quivering with numbness.

I'm mature now, I'm ripe
So ripened and rotten
Adult things, adult preoccupations pulsing around me
It seems like person really only has two choices
Get in on the aimless hustle or be forsaken
I've taken it all up
Rent, coffee, wine, cigarettes and newspaper
Forgotten pills
Unpaid bills
Thump thump thump
Anguish, pain, woe and misery
Turbulence and stress, the banging hammer.

I'm a drunkard, a wanderer
With a beaten, battered suitcase
Days like these, weeks like these, when all the weapons are pointed at me
I'm a ***, an outcast
A pigeon in the pummeling rain
Dribble dribble splash
The ache is a relentless thing.

My job, my rent, my house
My walls limp with memories stuck with rotting glue
Wallpaper torn, curling at the edges
The cold hard floor radiates and screams
The couch, cold & hollow
Incrusted with bits of filthy grime
The dead radiator hisses like an angry snake
The shades down, no sunlight
No life seeping through the venetian blinds
And my clothing sits in the chairs
Like the dead emptied out
The blankets are thin, frayed and tattered
As hope is
The moths, on the other hand, are alive and well
They weave webs of moribund rot
Interlacing me into their strands of decay.

Surrounded by the coldhearted, they snarl
And their laughs abash, dishearten the pure
Bruising me relentlessly
They are so tired, mutilated
either by love or no love
All their bleak and sunken eyes
All their weak and drunken souls
All their meek and shrunken hearts
Vultures with neckties
Weasels in frocks
Collared beasts, that's all they are.

The mournful poet with the shrapnel wound
Was so wrong
I guess he wanted to be lyrical, but his words led astray
Time is not water
It does not flow easy, smooth and transparent
It drags you into dark alleys and batters the hell out of you
Punches you in the ribs, rips your skin,
Jerks you by your hair, stabs you, disfigures you
Leaves you crippled and broken, gasping for air.

Sweating in a rocker
Lanky skeleton hands clasped, praying- for what?
I'm not living, or dying
I'm simply crawling backward
Or no, I'm not crawling, I'm being dragged,
Through nights of lonely perfidy, breathing the beaten dusty air
The dark wind wailing, ebbing through the frail curtains
Laying in bed, too wretched to move
When memories, of heaven and hell,
Droop like broken shades
Across the window of my mind
And ****, I can feel my soul slowly dropping down through the mattress
My stomach is heaving, my teeth clenched and gritted
But not with fear, no, it's too late for dread
And it *****, because we realize we were all so caught up in a life in which we can find no meaning...we end up wrong and graceless and sick
We're born shriveled and alone, we die shriveled and alone
No matter what.
The Hammer by Geneviève Pardoe Macchiarella is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
He belches verses of prayer
from the acidity of his gut,
staggering upright
on two toddler feet,
he trails drunkenly
to the fridge,
scarce with only a few dented beers,
a bucketful of ice to feed him,
till the next scroungers pay-check is due.

Cracking open a frozen one,
it hisses a warrior's cry,
loud in the stillness
then dies swiftly,
as he raises the carcass to his split lip
swilling alcoholic entrails
round him gums.

Wincing slightly,
the beer half-empty in his hand,
he twitches a pink eye
in pain
as something rolls
around his jaw,
the made-of-man pinball stage
has begun a game
without him.


Gathering his saliva
into a hard bullet,
he spits the foreign object
onto splintered floorboards,
where his last tooth lands,
a final casualty
of his handsome youth.
JC Lucas Jun 2016
The rain hammers on the whistlepigs outside
like an organic xylophone
they fiddle with bits of grass in the dark

It's night and the chorus frogs
back it all up,
the humming of the refridgerator
the whistlepigs
the water in the pipes,
the rain.

I've been in this cabin in the woods
**** near a month already
and the incessant buzz of electricity trying hopelessly
to ground through the faulty wiring
in ten million appliances
still cannot be escaped.

Better to be a whistlepig
living beneath the floorboards in the damp
than a mouse in the walls-

but I guess I've never
been either.
Terry Collett Dec 2013
Benedict waits
by the pram sheds
in the Square
for Lydia

to come out
of her flat
he wants to take her
to the big bomb site

behind the tabernacle
although she won't
tell her mum
where she's going as such

she'll say to the park
to play on the swings
or slide or other such thing
just as he did

to his mother
the baker rides by
on his horse drawn cart
the horse walking slow

the baker sitting
on top of the cart
nodding his head
still no sign

of Lydia
Benedict sighs
he hates wasting time
likes to be out

and at it
a man with his boxer dog
walks by
the man puffing

a cigarette
hat at the back
of his head
the door opens

and Lydia comes out
in her red and white
checked dress
and white cardigan

she looks stressed
and walks towards Benedict  
looking behind her
at the door

of the flat
got out then?
he says
just about

she says
had to help
put the washing
in the copper

and gather up all
the ***** stuff
and take *******
to the shoot

and just done
he nods
and says
a girl's work

is never done
as my old man says
well it is for now
she says

where are we going?
she asks
big bomb site
behind the tabernacle

he says
isn't it
dangerous there?
she says

not if you’re careful
and don't let
the Rozzers see you
he says

so they walk
down the *****
and along
Rockingham Street

she talks of her mother
being in a mood
about her father's drinking
and O yes it's all right

for him to *****
and sing
and play the fool
but it's me

who has to feed
you kids
and keep a roof
over your heads

she says
her mother said
Benedict listens
takes in

her straight hair
her thin arms
and legs
her pale features

her mouth opening
and closing
like a fish
in a bowl

they cross over the road
and walk up
and along the street
behind the Trocadero

by the smaller bomb sites
along the narrow alley
and out
on the main road

where they go down
the subway
to get across
to the tabernacle

she still talking
about her mother
and her big sister
and the bloke

she brought home
the other night
and wanted to take him
to the bedroom

for some reason
or other
Lydia adds frowning
the subway echoes

her words
they float
then bounce
off the walls

as they climb the stairs
up and out
she stops
and looks

at the bomb site anxiously
will other kids be there?
she asks
usually are

he says
but that doesn't
matter none
they'll keep to themselves

and we can keep to ours
she bites her lip
and follows him
as they climb

between hoardings
and up and into
the bomb site
with its half standing houses

and ruins
and walls
and houses empty
with no roofs

or roofs
with only three walls
she hesitates
stands with her fingers

in her mouth
want if the Rozzers come?
she says
leave it to me

he says confidently
she follows him
as he climbs
onto a wall

and over the top
come on
he says
she climbs after him

mind you don't
scrape your knees
he says
and helps her

over the wall
holding one
of her hands
she gets up and over

and stands inside
a bombed out house
it stinks
she says

yes probably
some tramps
****** in here
he says

not still in here
is he?
she says anxiously
no long ago scarpered

he says
he walks through a room
and she walks after him
holding her nose

looking around her
bits of wallpaper hang
from walls
a doorway with no door

a window without glass
that looks out
on an abandoned garden
full of weeds

she follows him up
a riggedy stairway
holding on
to a rocking bannister

and up
to a landing
with three rooms
going off

in each direction
he stands still
taps the floorboards
with his foot

should be safe
he says
is it?
she says nervously

course it is
he says
walking carefully
over the floor

of the room
she stands
by the doorway
what if the floorboards

are rotten
and you fall through?
she says softly
then I get

to the bottom
quicker than I came up
he says smiling
come on

he says
beckoning her over
she stands still
fiddling with her fingers

then she bites her fingers
of one hand
and holds her groin
with the other

it won't give way
he says
she holds herself
it might

she says
then we die together
he says
what away to go eh?

she looks at him
standing there
with his hazel eyes
and quiff of hair

and his hand
held out
towards her
she walks gingerly

over the floorboards
one step
after another
until she reaches

his hand
and grips it tight
and they are there
in the middle

of the room
she feeling
as if she's wet herself
and he like one

who has climbed
Mount Everest
and is about
to plant a flag

with glee
she looks at him
and he looks out
the window

as far
as his hazel eyes
can see.
Boy and ******* a bomb site in 1950s London.
Madisen Kuhn Apr 2014
i wish i could peel up the floorboards
and lie beneath them
there i could hide in still silence,
but it still wouldn’t be completely
silent because i cannot leave my
mind behind

i couldn’t tell you what i’m thinking'
even if i wanted to
i thought that i had words for
everything, that i could always find
refuge in my ability to arrange
letters into feeling

i can’t

this emotion is a lightning bolt
and i am a bare tree alone
in a barren field

'what’s the difference between
thinking and feeling? how do you
know if it’s coming from the
head or the heart?
written on 10/16/13

— The End —