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Scurry hurry
Shaking hands shaped by worry
tie the knot of plastic
A bubble home for the hard green cup
where brown and white
mixed lay married.

Wash rush
Dainty legs in dark blue denim
hasn't time to be romantic
A worn out sister played by hope
shuts the door panting.

  It clings to a robust tree
  head hidden under rosy pink    
  protective shield
  edged in yellow

  The fireflies

  
Sticky webs of empty lies packaged in boxes of deception by the wizard that doesn't work
sit dead on the small bedside table
like the results they provide.

Boxes and boxes of cozy containers
and cards of capsules
47 I counted them
current and extras
They choke my sight
then I am groped by the smooth blue robes worn by the youthful shepherd
posing aside a grey rock looking yonder
into the distance as insta-natural as possible in a pastel painted picture framed in wood against the wall.
  
  Unstable molecules in tiny airtubes,  
  many, breakdown and explode
  like little landmines
  A bio-luminescent lit ***** assaults a  
  dense night flashing brilliant
  to find a mate
  Six strong neon-green throbbing blinks
  Six slow seconds of unimaginable
  wordless dreamless dark.

  are bright.

  
I turn my head
The whole unsettling mass of reality
is torn apart into vibrant colorful morsels,
then reassembled
as my eyes  
settle
on

Her

"Oh God, if you're here, heal her now
and you'll have me. Show me what those confident tongues so eagerly confess.
Please!"

NOTHING
Another sticky empty square
covered in thick black-strap molasses
slapped to the face of the fool
who likes sweet things.

BUT

What happened to the omni-this, omni-that CEO of God enterprises?
"Go on Death" is what that means
"Go on Death do your job" is what it does

"It's your time.
It's to test your faith.
Gods plan."
All slogans for the man
who believes and dies.
  Culture creates the fool
  Hope keeps the fool
  Belief kills the fool
Thanks for doing what all those boxes
and all the pictures
on all the walls of the world do

FOOL

Her face,
a gaunt kind of skin-to-bone sight
a bad flavor
like a meal with no taste

Her mouth,
crack-lipped, framed by dry
delivers deadly blows to a heaving chest
that says; "Give me air"
yet lungs say no

Anguish,
is ****** from the pit of my cold stomach
then up through the spirit of a warm heart
I plaster the feeling in the shape of water.
My eyes puddle

I weep

It sticks

Love,

Falls

Fluttering as a twinkle
through soft beams of sunlight,
the drop glistens
plops
then dies
on the pink and blue checkered blanket.

All I have to offer are busky palms
to soothe this battered body
before you are torn apart by what
puts things like us together.

I swallow her frame

Her calf - bone

Squeeze and move

Her thigh,
my hand wraps completely
pinching a sausage sized piece of muscle
not big enough to walk
between plump thumb
and meaty middle

Squeeze and move

Her hip bone is angular
It fits flush in my hand
like the hard front peak of a cricket cap
when held above the grid

Squeeze and move

My chunky tentacles massage over
wire-thin barely blue throbless veins
that decorate her meatless paws
and twig-like fingers.

Squeeze and move
  
  It's after midnight
  Thick curds of desperation push
  again, through a splendid backside
  a special toosh
  slogging a dancing night-fever
  to beat the two-to-four,
  a beam as bright as a green day
  cuts through the black pitch of night

  

I hold her hand
A thin filling between two slices of mine
I look at her eyes and turn away

Have you ever been pulled from the center of  your heart, ripped head first through the narrow crack of your own chest, tossed aside like a skin-sheet onto a concrete glass-covered floor then squashed beneath the majesty of a billion dancing floor-clapping feet attached to a shapeless void shapeshifting as slideshows  between all things gone, here, and still to come, stopping on the body of a small blue boy that sings in ghostly echo;
"Don't turn away from this.
Look till you see me through the eyes of another because this too
will happen to you
Clap clap clap clap!
I'm coming for you.

Trapped in a square tunnel made of brick, walls wide enough for one bus no brakes to speed through, no escape,
I accept what will squash me
I Face it
I Stand before it

I stare at her eyes staring back at me
A deep dagger stare
Two parts steel
meshed
until there is only steel
It melts

I simmer the room in soft whisper;
"It's okay. It's okay. It's okay."
I hold her hand,
patting the top as I warm the bottom
I smile for her, at me
I smile back, as me
  
  A skillful mimic
  Here I come
  I have light and breath
  I see yours
  I come at night
  Not for genes or ***
  I hunt and gut
  Hawking down I come as death

  
The gaps between her labored breaths become bigger and for a second I drift at the sight reappearing on the sandy dunes of an empty dessert space pushed by a dying wind I can barely feel.

A sharp salty tang toils the tip of my tongue and brings me back to her.

Her eyes

They have changed

Open

But

Soul

   less

     Soulless

     Desolate

   Like

That dessert

And that place where


*The Fireflies Lose their Light
The Moon and Sun shared Ecliptical Longitudes the night They murdered The child.

Beneath a stelliferous empyrean,
Like Sojourners among the quiescent Twilight, Mother and child, Ventured to meet the woman’s husband, the father of the child.

She, no more than five and ten years Old,
The child, a girl, of only months,
Lay swaddled across the Woman’s
*****, tucked inside a papoose.
A rustic device carefully woven
From wool and hide, in it contained a
Priceless world.

She cooed and clucked in the frigid
Night air.
The sound penetrated the
Spectral calm and was matched only
By the maternal soothing of a muted hum.
Together, they represented the
Heathen form of the wilderness,
The Tempi Madonna among the
Silver and shadow moonbeams that
Glimmered like the dust of diamonds
Across the river’s obsidian sheen.  

Ahead, where the river narrows,
The silence stirred and was broken.
Hushed voices rose from the outer
Dark.
The woman strained to listen.

(British Soldiers, she thought)

Foreign words...

        (Drunken and ravenous)

                         ...slithered from their mouths like Venom. Fear bloomed in the woman’s Chest.
Her heartbeat quickened.

        (Touched by the chill of terror)

Her eyes darted madly about the
Darkness.

         (Alone no longer)

Their  shadows manifested like
Smoke along the tree line.
Their
Features blurred in the darkness.
Their gestures muted.
Like birds of
Prey, they set motionless upon their
Perch along the stony shore.

I say, a man said. Indian children are natural born swimmers,
Capable at birth of swimming great distances.

Utter foolishness, old boy, another opined.

We will need proof of this claim, my good sir, an anonymous voice Quipped from somewhere in the dark.

She let escape from her full lips
The tiniest of shrieks.
Followed immediately
By
Sick
Regret.

(stupid girl, her mother’s voice echoed in the dark.
                             You always were too impulsive.)

Rage consumed her as
She struggled against the current.  
She tried to paddle for deeper
Water as the men broached
The black sheen of the river.

The moments passed by
In jagged surrealism.
There was no sound
When they pitched the woman
And child into the
Frigid abysm.

The splashing of water.
The gasping
For air.
The primal
Grapple and
Grunt of men.
The cold, pungent scent of
Fear and sweat mixed with the
Alcohol-stale air.
The twisting of
Hands that groped about the
Darkness.

         (Her rage now eclipsed by fear)

She inhaled.
Her body, numb.
Her appendages quaked.
Her body fading
As they fall upon her.
Their thick bodies
Blacked out the stars.
Their gaunt faces
Pinched and rucked in the
Moonlight
Reflected the fury, the
Hatred, and
The disgust for what would come next.
Their hands moved across her
Ravenous
Like demons as they
Groped at her small body
Beneath the choppy wash of the
River.

(A hand grazed her thigh and she shrieked in Terror. Another
         gnashed at her buttock. Another fell upon her back. Her mind
         reeled at the possibilities of what would need to come next.)

They tore at her clothing.
Her body jarred about the water as
She writhed against their grasps.
She clawed against the murk.                  
    
         (Escape the horror)

She released the paddle—

(Forever lost to the deep, useless to her now)

Hysterical animalistic thoughts
Trounced off their tongues as they
Laughed at her doom—

        (Like a pack of hyenas)

She kicked at them in nameless
Places.
She thrusted her hand into
The fabric where the child had been
Moments before cooing and clucking. 
Mere moments ago she had sang to the
Babe the same song her
Mother had once sung
To her.

             (she felt nothing where the child had been…)    

She struggled away from them.
Her mind frantic with pain, the cold,
And panic
For the child.
She no longer cared for
Herself, or what they would need to
Do with her body.
Her appendages
Flailed and churned in the dark water.
          
         (A single gasp of air followed by
              The burning inhale of water)

A shrill call to the child—

(a name lost to time)

Her voice cut through their maniacal
Laughter.
It echoed off the water and vanished,
Disappearing entirely
In the outer gloom of the wilderness.

        (like afterthoughts, lost)

She groped relentlessly among the
Water for the child.
The men, near
Frozen, lost interest and returned to
The adjacent shoreline.
It was more ****** that way.
They jeered at her,
Proud of themselves.
          
        (The seething lust of the mindless savage, she thinks)

Their mouths salivate
As they watched
Vicariously.
Her struggle
Became the current
For which she bore.
The impending death of the woman even
More satisfying than the feeling against their flesh of her cunning, wet crease that lies exposed between
Her brown legs.
They watch like wolves
Unable to reach their prey,
Desperate for fresh meat.
Despite the frigid cold,
Their *****, hard,
With the anticipation of death.

The woman clamored among the darkness
She searched for the child.
Heavy fingers fell upon woolen fabric
By chance—

(Hope bloomed in her constricted chest)

Her body finally beginning to seize
Exhaustion permeated
Her mind.
She freed the papoose
From the frozen depths and expelled
The last bit of energy she possessed
To swim to the far side of the shore,
Temporarily out of their reach.

The soldiers,
Quiet now,
Returned to the spectral woods.
They disappeared back down the
Black road from which they came.

She felt the blood as it began to
Return to her appendages, the pins And needles feeling erupting in them.
Her teeth clattered nearly exploding In her mouth.
Her body
Quaked Violently

         (The child, near in her mind, cried)

She reached for it.
Her chest,
Rising and
Falling,
Rapid like the river
As she inhaled the burning,
Frozen air.
The child let loose a cough and  
She clutched it
tighter to her *****.  

(Deny the river its prize)

A stream of consciousness,
Steadily slipped from her lips.

       (A great heathen prayer calling up some
                       Great Spirit
                                As she relentlessly brokered
                                            For a
                                       Life for a life)

The moments passed by like hours.
And the
Great Spirit, with
His wanton lust
For despair, did not manifest that night.

The child fell silent, then still.
The tears came now.
Blurred vision and
Angry sobs.
Darkness consumed entire.

The river flowed by her electric as if
Its lights descended from a place far
Beyond the black taciturn veil of
Night to reflect the merciless
Tragedies among the wretched souls of
The Maine Woods.
Bad Jokes Inc Jun 2014
I hate white people
who stop me from stealing their stuff
and bring in the po po
who put me in hand cuff.

Now I'm in jail
cannot post bail
eating out of a metal bowl
while being ****** in my *******.

Then it occurred to me
what I am supposed to be
so I became a basketball player
and changed my name to Lebron James.

Chris Bosh wants to be more than homies
ever since I was drunk and he groped me
he wanted my ****
i think he was sick.

Spoelstra is an ***
I ****** hate him.
he needs to die
before I cram a basketball in his wife.
Eric Spoelstra is my love.
1555

I groped for him before I knew
With solemn nameless need
All other bounty sudden chaff
For this foreshadowed Food
Which others taste and spurn and sneer—
Though I within suppose
That consecrated it could be
The only Food that grows
Brigitta Cuadros Jan 2018
At age 7, I was guilty
when I accepted an invitation
to go into the apartment of a neighbor
He smelled of beer as he groped me.

At age 10, I was guilty
when I walked home too late
because I missed the train
He popped out of the bushes
exposing himself.

At age 12, I was guilty
when my uncle forced
tongue into my mouth
because I could not
get away.

At age 14, I was guilty
when my uncle forced
me to sit on his lap
while in my bathing suit
and I ran away from home.

At age 16, I was guilty
when my uncle convinced
everyone that I was a liar
and I quit school.

At age 18, I was guilty
when I gave birth to
my first child,
because I was ignorant.

At age 20, I was guilty
when I saw the cardiologist
in the reflection of a lamp
*******  and the
police laughed at my report.

At age 30, I was guilty
when my employer
trapped me in the elevator
to ***** me, because I
was his subserviant.

At age 36, I was guilty
when I earned jujitsu honors
but risked going to jail
for defending myself.

At age 70, I was guilty
when a neighbor brought
me fruit and grabbed my
breast, because I was alone.

At age 72, I am guilty
of being a ferule woman
for 50 years and for
NOT be silent!
How many times must a woman be guilty for her existence?
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
(with poems from the Chinese translated by Arthur Waley)

My bed is so empty that I keep on waking up.
As the cold increases, the night-wind begins to blow.
It rustles the curtains, making a noise like the sea:
Oh that those were waves which could carry me back to you!

Suddenly she was awake. She could feel a cool breeze on the cheek that wasn’t warm on her pillow. She could smell the damp fields, the waterlogged moorland and the aftermath of recent rain. The action of rain on wood or stone seemed to release particular vapours wholly the province of the night in a small town. There was also the not entirely welcome residue of the past evening’s cooking from the kitchen below. But such sensory thoughts were overwhelmed by the rush of conversation clips; these from a day of non-stop voices that had invaded and now occupied her consciousness. She had listened furiously all day, often fashioning questions as the listening proceeded, keeping it all going, being friendly and wise and sensible and knowing. She could hear her tone of voice, her very articulation in the playback of her memory. It was so difficult sometimes to find the right tone, that inflection suitable to different aspects of ‘talk’. She didn’t want to appear pompous or too serious. That would never do. The thing was to be light, but intelligently light so her colleagues would say to one another – ‘Helen is a treasure you know: brilliant person to have on the team. You can always rely on her. ’ She knew she was often anxious for approval, for a right recognition of her efforts, to be thought well of. ‘Doesn’t everybody?’ she thought wistfully.

There was a momentary flurry of what Helen often dreaded when she found herself awake at night – yesterday’s embarrassing moments. These invariably began with ‘Am I wearing the right clothes?’ It was Caroline’s jacket that came to mind first. That mix of informal but simply smart that can only be bought with serious time and a clear conscience with the credit card. Her favourite blue affair (mail order) with big pockets and the slight pattern on the hem suddenly seemed very ‘last year’. Anna had chosen all-over black, loose trousers with a draw string, no jewellery, but flashy sandals and make up. She’d painted her toenails green. Helen did make up – a little, but not to travel in. She knew she had the right shoes for a long day. Then, those first conversations with Paul, who she’d never talked to outside a meeting before. ‘Keep it light, Helen’, she’d say, ‘Don’t say too much – but then don’t say too little.’ She had found herself – her independent womanly self, speaking with an edgy tone she didn’t always feel happy about. As she spoke to Paul about the coming evening’s football – he’d brought it up for goodness sake – she found herself being funny about the inconsequence of it all, then remembering the passion with which people she knew and loved followed the intricacies of this sport. She saved an own goal with some comment about the game’s social significance she’d picked up off some radio interview.

As the long journey had proceeded she’d been able occasionally (thankfully sometimes) to fall into observation-only mode. There was this sorting of images into significant, memorable, able to forget about, of no consequence at all. She’d been caught by the strange geometry of yellow cones that seemed stitched onto the rain-glistening road surface. There had been a buzzard she’d glimpsed for a moment, a reflection of Sally in the window next to her seat, that mother and her new born in the Ladies at the services, the tunnels of dripping greenery as the coach left the motorway for the winding minor roads, then the view of a grey tor on distant moorland followed instantly by the thought of walking there with her sketchbook, her camera and his loving company, with his admiring smile as he watched her move ahead of him on the path; she knew that behind her he was collecting her every movement to playback in his loneliness when they were apart.

Oh how she wished for his dear presence in this large half-cold bed, as the dark of night was being groped by dawn’s grey. There and there, and now the pre-dawn calls of local birds before that first real chorus of the dawn-proper began. She thought of them both on their last visit to this ancient countryside, being newly intimate, being breath-takingly loving, warm together for a whole night, a whole day, a whole night, a whole day . . . the movies in her mind rolled out scenes of the gardens they’d visited, the opening they’d attended, all that being together, holding hands, sitting close together, sitting across from each other at restaurant tables (knees touching), always quietly talking, always catching each other’s glances with smiles, and his gentle kisses and slight touches of the hand on the arm. She began to feel warm, warm and loved.

As she was drifting back into a shallow sleep she remembered his voice recite (in the Rose Walk at Hestercombe) that poem from the Chinese he loved . .

Who says
That it’s by my desire,
This separation, this living so far from you?
My dress still smells of the lavender you gave:
My hand still holds the letter you sent.
Round my waist I wear a double sash:
I dream that it binds us both with a same-heart knot.
Did you not know that people hide their love,
Like a flower that seems to precious to be picked?
Two poems from the Chinese quoted here are taken from Arthur Waley's translation of One Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems published in 1918.
Mike Virgl Jun 2017
I think everyone dies
I truly do
Every time they close their eyes
They remain motionless for hours
Until they are revived

Do you disagree?
Clearly you do
Care to show me your proof
So that it may sway me
To a more accepted pasture


"Well what of their vitality?"
"They still move and shiver"
"And they breathe as if alive"
"Surely if something died"
"Their movement would cease"

Yes, their heart beats, and yes, they awaken
But I truly think they, themselves, leave

Why do I arrive at this?
You mean how,
Through a simple observation
I suppose it, at least, to me
It began like this:

When blackest blanket with yellow dots encircled
The sky and the heavens above
I found myself watched and groped by the air
For someone was watching me
When nobody was there.
My Friend said to make my poem flow more instead of rhyme I disagree but here you go I attempted it.
Some things exist behind curtains of experience.  

Those whose tongues have
tasted the holy fire know the touch
of something divine.

Those who have laid eyes on
their sleeping bodies, and walked
away to places unknown, can grasp
the idea of an inbetween.

Those who have groped in the darkness
for something to believe in again, who
have longingly looked over the cliff edge,
know that true despair does exist.

As for me,

I know that true fear can
come in the form of footsteps
behind you on the empty street.

The person at the bar who insists on
hollow compliments and free drinks.

Friends who scoff at your anger for
men who yell out their passenger side
windows about the treasures beneath
your clothes.

True fear can come in the middle
of the afternoon, as you face
off against the four floor staircase
to your apartment, when your steps
are echoed by the man in 2b who has
a wife, son, and a taste for resistance.

Don't tell me I'm overreacting,
when the single most terrifying thing
I can do is walk alone under the street lamps.

Don't tell me I'm too uptight just
because I've learned that flattery
can come with a horrifying price tag.

Don't tell me I'm wrong just
because you don't understand.

Look me in the eye when you have
waited until a security guard can walk you
to your car.  When you have held your
breath in a shared elevator.  When you have
lowered your eyes to the men who yell
obscenities at you, because standing up
for yourself could prove deadly.  

Look me in the eye when you have held back
the curtain of experience, and walked in the shoes
of someone who lives every moment knowing
this could be the day someone decides to steal
from me what is only mine to give.

Then look me in the eye when you tell
someone of your wound, and they reprimand
you for daring to walk this world as a woman.
Not actually in love with this. But I've been putting off writing for far too long, and everyone always says that if you are in a rut, the best thing to do is write until you feel inspired again. So here we go.
1062

He scanned it—staggered—
Dropped the Loop
To Past or Period—
Caught helpless at a sense as if
His Mind were going blind—

Groped up, to see if God was there—
Groped backward at Himself
Caressed a Trigger absently
And wandered out of Life.
Fa Be O Aug 2013
There is

the bitter taste of the last cigarette

on the roof of my mouth,

a sourness on my tongue

and i try to remember the last time i felt like this.

or rather…

the last time I DIDN’T.

seems like as time goes on, every day becomes a struggle,

and some days more than others.

I want everyone to be my friend,

but i wonder where this inferiority complex comes from?

it paralyzes me and i do not want to speak.

meeting people, seeing my ideas put into words

by other lips and others’ gestures,

and yes I agree,

but ******* you make me so tired.

no, i do not need your hugs,

and no i do not need your validation.

and hell no i do not need your apathetic agreement

because like hell you would understand,

like hell you would know that

you can’t bleach this brown skin of

all the slurs and all the stigma,

that you can’t flat iron out the

ethnic tangles of my afro-something hair,

that you can’t even guess,

cause even i don’t know,

even we don’t know,

if i’m black or native or forcibly half white,

if i’m 10% this or 50% that,

like I have to be broken down

into numbers and percentages

cause I just can’t be whole again,

cause we just can’t be whole again.



They took everything,

they came and took everything

*******,

and yes God ****** us,

your ****** God ****** us,

you came and you traded

our generosity, our good faith, our sustenance,

you took all of that

and gave us biblical ******* about a God,

some overbearing, vengeful Lord

that didn’t even love you,

oh God, and we were the savages?

You came and you stripped us naked,

took off layer after layer of dignity and prosperity,

we gave you firm hugs of solidarity,

and you groped our ******* like they were worthless,

we gave you kisses of peace,

and you rammed your tongues down our throats,

demanding we choked into silence,

and we were supposed to thank you.

You came and you ***** our land,

our mothers, sisters, and daughters

and we were supposed to be compliant.

we were supposed to be quiet,

and we were supposed to be content,

happy to fill our wombs

with children who would later struggle

with the realization that the reason the color of their skin

was neither yours nor mine,

that it was neither milky white nor toasted earth,

was because my people had been ****** by yours,

figuratively, literally but most significantly, forcibly

generation after generation,

subjugation after subjugation

for 400 ******* years.



And here I am.

400 years later and I don’t know who I am.

They say I could be Chicana,

or Mexicana,

I could be Mexico Americana,

I could be Latina,

or even, god-forbid,

Hispana.

I could be but what does that even mean?

what does Mexican mean?

a land where the majority of the people

descend from the great people of indigenous America,

or the great people of Africana roots,

or these chaotically beautiful blends

that result in the sweetest of dark coffee- soft caramel of spectrums,

still say “indio" like an insult,

still say “*****" like an insult,

still say “prieto" like an insult.

still say, “baby girl, get out the sun,

what you tryin to get darker for?"

still say, “hell no we ain’t african!"

like that would be a bad thing.



and ******* it i am ******* tired.
Forth upon the Gitche Gumee,
On the shining Big-Sea-Water,
With his fishing-line of cedar,
Of the twisted bark of cedar,
Forth to catch the sturgeon Nahma,
Mishe-Nahma, King of Fishes,
In his birch canoe exulting
All alone went Hiawatha.

  Through the clear, transparent water
He could see the fishes swimming
Far down in the depths below him;
See the yellow perch, the Sahwa,

  Like a sunbeam in the water,
See the Shawgashee, the craw-fish,
Like a spider on the bottom,
On the white and sandy bottom.

  At the stern sat Hiawatha,
With his fishing-line of cedar;
In his plumes the breeze of morning
Played as in the hemlock branches;
On the bows, with tail erected,
Sat the squirrel, Adjidaumo;
In his fur the breeze of morning
Played as in the prairie grasses.

  On the white sand of the bottom
Lay the monster Mishe-Nahma,
Lay the sturgeon, King of Fishes;
Through his gills he breathed the water,
With his fins he fanned and winnowed,
With his tail he swept the sand-floor.

  There he lay in all his armor;
On each side a shield to guard him,
Plates of bone upon his forehead,
Down his sides and back and shoulders
Plates of bone with spines projecting!
Painted was he with his war-paints,
Stripes of yellow, red, and azure,
Spots of brown and spots of sable;
And he lay there on the bottom,
Fanning with his fins of purple,
As above him Hiawatha
In his birch canoe came sailing,
With his fishing-line of cedar.

  “Take my bait!” cried Hiawatha,
Down into the depths beneath him,
“Take my bait, O sturgeon, Nahma!
Come up from below the water,
Let us see which is the stronger!”
And he dropped his line of cedar
Through the clear, transparent water,
Waited vainly for an answer,
Long sat waiting for an answer,
And repeating loud and louder,
“Take my bait, O King of Fishes!”

  Quiet lay the sturgeon, Nahma,
Fanning slowly in the water,
Looking up at Hiawatha,
Listening to his call and clamor,
His unnecessary tumult,
Till he wearied of the shouting;
And he said to the Kenozha,
To the pike, the Maskenozha,
“Take the bait of this rude fellow,
Break the line of Hiawatha!”

  In his fingers Hiawatha
Felt the loose line **** and tighten;
As he drew it in, it tugged so
That the birch canoe stood endwise,
Like a birch log in the water,
With the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
Perched and frisking on the summit.

  Full of scorn was Hiawatha
When he saw the fish rise upward,
Saw the pike, the Maskenozha,
Coming nearer, nearer to him,
And he shouted through the water,
“Esa! esa! shame upon you!
You are but the pike, Kenozha,
You are not the fish I wanted,
You are not the King of Fishes!”

  Reeling downward to the bottom
Sank the pike in great confusion,
And the mighty sturgeon, Nahma,
Said to Ugudwash, the sun-fish,
To the bream, with scales of crimson,
“Take the bait of this great boaster,
Break the line of Hiawatha!”

  Slowly upward, wavering, gleaming,
Rose the Ugudwash, the sun-fish,
Seized the line of Hiawatha,
Swung with all his weight upon it,
Made a whirlpool in the water,
Whirled the birch canoe in circles,
Round and round in gurgling eddies,
Till the circles in the water
Reached the far-off sandy beaches,
Till the water-flags and rushes
Nodded on the distant margins.

  But when Hiawatha saw him
Slowly rising through the water,
Lifting up his disk refulgent,
Loud he shouted in derision,
“Esa! esa! shame upon you!
You are Ugudwash, the sun-fish,
You are not the fish I wanted,
You are not the King of Fishes!”

  Slowly downward, wavering, gleaming,
Sank the Ugudwash, the sun-fish,
And again the sturgeon, Nahma,
Heard the shout of Hiawatha,
Heard his challenge of defiance,
The unnecessary tumult,
Ringing far across the water.

  From the white sand of the bottom
Up he rose with angry gesture,
Quivering in each nerve and fibre,
Clashing all his plates of armor,
Gleaming bright with all his war-paint;
In his wrath he darted upward,
Flashing leaped into the sunshine,
Opened his great jaws, and swallowed
Both canoe and Hiawatha.

  Down into that darksome cavern
Plunged the headlong Hiawatha,
As a log on some black river,
Shoots and plunges down the rapids,
Found himself in utter darkness,
Groped about in helpless wonder,
Till he felt a great heart beating,
Throbbing in that utter darkness.

  And he smote it in his anger,
With his fist, the heart of Nahma,
Felt the mighty King of Fishes
Shudder through each nerve and fibre,
Heard the water gurgle round him
As he leaped and staggered through it,
Sick at heart, and faint and weary.

  Crosswise then did Hiawatha
Drag his birch-canoe for safety,
Lest from out the jaws of Nahma,
In the turmoil and confusion,
Forth he might be hurled and perish.
And the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
Frisked and chattered very gayly,
Toiled and tugged with Hiawatha
Till the labor was completed.

  Then said Hiawatha to him,
“O my little friend, the squirrel,
Bravely have you toiled to help me;
Take the thanks of Hiawatha,
And the name which now he gives you;
For hereafter and forever
Boys shall call you Adjidaumo,
Tail-in-air the boys shall call you!”

  And again the sturgeon, Nahma,
Gasped and quivered in the water,
Then was still, and drifted landward
Till he grated on the pebbles,
Till the listening Hiawatha
Heard him grate upon the margin,
Felt him strand upon the pebbles,
Knew that Nahma, King of Fishes,
Lay there dead upon the margin.

  Then he heard a clang and flapping,
As of many wings assembling,
Heard a screaming and confusion,
As of birds of prey contending,
Saw a gleam of light above him,
Shining through the ribs of Nahma,
Saw the glittering eyes of sea-gulls,
Of Kayoshk, the sea-gulls, peering,
Gazing at him through the opening,
Heard them saying to each other,
“’Tis our brother, Hiawatha!”

  And he shouted from below them,
Cried exulting from the caverns:
“O ye sea-gulls! O my brothers!
I have slain the sturgeon, Nahma;
Make the rifts a little larger,
With your claws the openings widen,
Set me free from this dark prison,
And henceforward and forever
Men shall speak of your achievements,
Calling you Kayoshk, the sea-gulls,
Yes, Kayoshk, the Noble Scratchers!”

  And the wild and clamorous sea-gulls
Toiled with beak and claws together,
Made the rifts and openings wider
In the mighty ribs of Nahma,
And from peril and from prison,
From the body of the sturgeon,
From the peril of the water,
They released my Hiawatha.

  He was standing near his wigwam,
On the margin of the water,
And he called to old Nokomis,
Called and beckoned to Nokomis,
Pointed to the sturgeon, Nahma,
Lying lifeless on the pebbles,
With the sea-gulls feeding on him.

  “I have slain the Mishe-Nahma,
Slain the King of Fishes!” said he;
“Look! the sea-gulls feed upon him,
Yes, my friends Kayoshk, the sea-gulls;
Drive them not away, Nokomis,
They have saved me from great peril
In the body of the sturgeon,
Wait until their meal is ended,
Till their craws are full with feasting,
Till they homeward fly, at sunset,
To their nests among the marshes;
Then bring all your pots and kettles,
And make oil for us in Winter.”

  And she waited till the sun set,
Till the pallid moon, the Night-sun,
Rose above the tranquil water,
Till Kayoshk, the sated sea-gulls,
From their banquet rose with clamor,
And across the fiery sunset
Winged their way to far-off islands,
To their nests among the rushes.

  To his sleep went Hiawatha,
And Nokomis to her labor,
Toiling patient in the moonlight,
Till the sun and moon changed places,
Till the sky was red with sunrise,
And Kayoshk, the hungry sea-gulls,
Came back from the reedy islands,
Clamorous for their morning banquet.

  Three whole days and nights alternate
Old Nokomis and the seagulls
Stripped the oily flesh of Nahma,
Till the waves washed through the rib-bones,
Till the sea-gulls came no longer,
And upon the sands lay nothing
But the skeleton of Nahma.
Hank Roberts May 2012
yesterday, I caught my words crying
not out but within.
cryptic and concealed no more
as the rain poured up
and the ice melted shut. The muscles
isotonic strain kindles heart filled
hurtful strength as
endurance accelerates.  
Wasted ones and fives
on groped lonely women.

The ******* forgot the fishbowl
and his keys on government steps
but remembered the leaky wineglass.
Total recall enforced
the key ring's silhouette rolls on by
looking for the keys
to grab a broom and clean up this mess
of market debt and ajar markets.

Ceiling tiles mist and swirl
and wait for mercy to strike again
Rachel Ueda Oct 2013
13
first kiss
with a boy
man?
drinks in our
blood..
so
young....

14
second base
groped me
high on
hate
so
numb

15
our lips
weren't used
for kissing
I've had enough
so
done

16
self respecting
and confident
loving...
finally
so
happy

17
Just kidding
That was a dream
a temporary fantasy
Torn by real love

17.5
Real love
What I would give
To not know your
Sweetest remedy
20
Love within myself
Is the sweetest I have known
Edna Sweetlove Jan 2015
This is a terrifying tale as told by Ebeneezer Sweetlove, my late cousin*

I remember how I met Edwina all those years ago: and there was none of that "eyes connecting across a crowded room" crap. Well, not in a romantic sense - it was just pure lust. I suddenly realised this woman was staring at me with undisguised desire from the other side of a cocktail party at some boring conference at the five-star Grand Hotel. I was ***** as buggery as my latest girl friend had, just the previous week, committed suicide by jumping to a hideous death off scenic Beachy Head, so I returned the ****'s look with a lethally ****** stare of my own and then licked my lips as vulgarly as possible, indicating I was simply barking for a hot oral session, no holes barred.

The woman I was to know all too briefly as Edwina took the hint and came over and we talked as though we'd known each other all our lives; but even someone as suave as I was a little surprised when she groped me quite openly and shoved her tongue into my earhole, dribbling hotly down my cheek. And then she seemed to go all shy and little girl-like until I sophisticatedly suggested we go out for dinner and then back to my penthouse suite for a night of mind-blowing *******. I have to say I was embarrassed when the head waiter in the little bistro I selected complained when she took off her knickers and gave them to me for a refreshing sniff.

The *** was amazing - Edwina was like a beast on heat, screaming like a banshee while we ****** each other's brains out. Yet, in between *******, she was as gentle and charming as a little ***** cat. Six times I gave her my hot ***** that night: once in her mouth, then four times in the usual place, finishing off with one up her rear end. I was more or less totally drained of my love juices and in need of a good long kip before lunch.

But, tragedy struck: well before the dawn's early, she woke me and whispered she had to go as she had to get home before her husband got back after his night shift from down the sewers - he was apparently in charge of the entire East Sussex sewage system and liked to have an hour long shower every morning to get the stench of ***** off him.

I begged her to stay, saying I would happily pay for a divorce so I could have her with me for always. I even offered to have a contract put out on her sewer rat of a hubby, mentioning that my brother-in-law, Kosmo, was big in the Albanian mafia and owed me a favour. But she said no, I could ******* with my pleas. As dawn grew nearer I could see her becoming ever more frantic to leave and it was only then I realised the truth, having at last deciphered the real meaning of her blood-stained and scabby third ****** and the scarlet 666 tattoo on her luscious **** cheek.

Yes, Edwina was a ***-demon from deepest Hell and thus I was left with only one course of action. Ever so reluctantly, I bravely reached for the sacred wooden stake and mallet that I had carried round in my Dolce & Gabbana crocodile suitcase for so many years just in case of such an eventuality. Sadly I drove the stake into her beautiful ***** with a mighty blow and, instead of the blood which might have been reasonably expected, only a stream of warm **** poured out. Before my very eyes, her corpse disintegrated into a pile of odorous dust. Truly was Edwina a daughter of darkness.

As you may imagine, I had to give the chambermaid quite a hefty gratuity in order to get her to cleanse my room and to bin the evidence, but so grateful was she for the honorarium that she agreed to share my bed the very next night, knowing she would be likely to receive an immense tip of quite another category.
Your comments are most welcome provided they are grammatically correct.
Saul Makabim Jun 2012
Howls in the night
cross the threshold of savagery
Coordinated hate
of a hundred jackboots
stomping faces in the streets
Storefronts smashed
Crushed glass crunching
under the feet of unbridled violence
Doors bashed in
Swinging sledges smash
Women and children dragged
kicking and screaming from their homes
Beaten unconscious
then beaten while unconscious
Clothes rended
flesh roughly groped
******* mashed
by laughing barbarians
with teeth made of knives
Innocence of a generation *****
in a single evening
Ransacking hands
strangle the wealth of a culture
One thousand synagogues in flames
light cast magnified in the carpet of crystals
sparkle of hellish brilliance
Ninety one lives snuffed
they were the lucky ones
Avoided the camps
where greater horrors were wrought
in the forges of torment
from the pounding of flesh
beneath hatred like hammers
--To Elizabeth Robins Pennell


'O mes cheres Mille et Une Nuits!'--Fantasio.

Once on a time
There was a little boy:  a master-mage
By virtue of a Book
Of magic--O, so magical it filled
His life with visionary pomps
Processional!  And Powers
Passed with him where he passed.  And Thrones
And Dominations, glaived and plumed and mailed,
Thronged in the criss-cross streets,
The palaces pell-mell with playing-fields,
Domes, cloisters, dungeons, caverns, tents, arcades,
Of the unseen, silent City, in his soul
Pavilioned jealously, and hid
As in the dusk, profound,
Green stillnesses of some enchanted mere.--

I shut mine eyes . . . And lo!
A flickering ****** of memory that floats
Upon the face of a pool of darkness five
And thirty dead years deep,
Antic in girlish broideries
And skirts and silly shoes with straps
And a broad-ribanded leghorn, he walks
Plain in the shadow of a church
(St. Michael's:  in whose brazen call
To curfew his first wails of wrath were whelmed),
Sedate for all his haste
To be at home; and, nestled in his arm,
Inciting still to quiet and solitude,
Boarded in sober drab,
With small, square, agitating cuts
Let in a-top of the double-columned, close,
Quakerlike print, a Book! . . .
What but that blessed brief
Of what is gallantest and best
In all the full-shelved Libraries of Romance?
The Book of rocs,
Sandalwood, ivory, turbans, ambergris,
Cream-tarts, and lettered apes, and calendars,
And ghouls, and genies--O, so huge
They might have overed the tall Minster Tower
Hands down, as schoolboys take a post!
In truth, the Book of Camaralzaman,
Schemselnihar and Sindbad, Scheherezade
The peerless, Bedreddin, Badroulbadour,
Cairo and Serendib and Candahar,
And Caspian, and the dim, terrific bulk--
Ice-ribbed, fiend-visited, isled in spells and storms--
Of Kaf! . . . That centre of miracles,
The sole, unparalleled Arabian Nights!

Old friends I had a-many--kindly and grim
Familiars, cronies quaint
And goblin!  Never a Wood but housed
Some morrice of dainty dapperlings.  No Brook
But had his nunnery
Of green-haired, silvry-curving sprites,
To cabin in his grots, and pace
His lilied margents.  Every lone Hillside
Might open upon Elf-Land.  Every Stalk
That curled about a Bean-stick was of the breed
Of that live ladder by whose delicate rungs
You climbed beyond the clouds, and found
The Farm-House where the Ogre, gorged
And drowsy, from his great oak chair,
Among the flitches and pewters at the fire,
Called for his Faery Harp.  And in it flew,
And, perching on the kitchen table, sang
Jocund and jubilant, with a sound
Of those gay, golden-vowered madrigals
The shy thrush at mid-May
Flutes from wet orchards flushed with the triumphing dawn;
Or blackbirds rioting as they listened still,
In old-world woodlands rapt with an old-world spring,
For Pan's own whistle, savage and rich and lewd,
And mocked him call for call!

I could not pass
The half-door where the cobbler sat in view
Nor figure me the wizen Leprechaun,
In square-cut, faded reds and buckle-shoes,
Bent at his work in the hedge-side, and know
Just how he tapped his brogue, and twitched
His wax-end this and that way, both with wrists
And elbows.  In the rich June fields,
Where the ripe clover drew the bees,
And the tall quakers trembled, and the West Wind
Lolled his half-holiday away
Beside me lolling and lounging through my own,
'Twas good to follow the Miller's Youngest Son
On his white horse along the leafy lanes;
For at his stirrup linked and ran,
Not cynical and trapesing, as he loped
From wall to wall above the espaliers,
But in the bravest tops
That market-town, a town of tops, could show:
Bold, subtle, adventurous, his tail
A banner flaunted in disdain
Of human stratagems and shifts:
King over All the Catlands, present and past
And future, that moustached
Artificer of fortunes, ****-in-Boots!
Or Bluebeard's Closet, with its plenishing
Of meat-hooks, sawdust, blood,
And wives that hung like fresh-dressed carcases--
Odd-fangled, most a butcher's, part
A faery chamber hazily seen
And hazily figured--on dark afternoons
And windy nights was visiting of the best.
Then, too, the pelt of hoofs
Out in the roaring darkness told
Of Herne the Hunter in his antlered helm
Galloping, as with despatches from the Pit,
Between his hell-born Hounds.
And Rip Van Winkle . . . often I lurked to hear,
Outside the long, low timbered, tarry wall,
The mutter and rumble of the trolling bowls
Down the lean plank, before they fluttered the pins;
For, listening, I could help him play
His wonderful game,
In those blue, booming hills, with Mariners
Refreshed from kegs not coopered in this our world.

But what were these so near,
So neighbourly fancies to the spell that brought
The run of Ali Baba's Cave
Just for the saying 'Open Sesame,'
With gold to measure, peck by peck,
In round, brown wooden stoups
You borrowed at the chandler's? . . . Or one time
Made you Aladdin's friend at school,
Free of his Garden of Jewels, Ring and Lamp
In perfect trim? . . . Or Ladies, fair
For all the embrowning scars in their white *******
Went labouring under some dread ordinance,
Which made them whip, and bitterly cry the while,
Strange Curs that cried as they,
Till there was never a Black ***** of all
Your consorting but might have gone
Spell-driven miserably for crimes
Done in the pride of womanhood and desire . . .
Or at the ghostliest altitudes of night,
While you lay wondering and acold,
Your sense was fearfully purged; and soon
Queen Labe, abominable and dear,
Rose from your side, opened the Box of Doom,
Scattered the yellow powder (which I saw
Like sulphur at the Docks in bulk),
And muttered certain words you could not hear;
And there! a living stream,
The brook you bathed in, with its weeds and flags
And cresses, glittered and sang
Out of the hearthrug over the nakedness,
Fair-scrubbed and decent, of your bedroom floor! . . .

I was--how many a time!--
That Second Calendar, Son of a King,
On whom 'twas vehemently enjoined,
Pausing at one mysterious door,
To pry no closer, but content his soul
With his kind Forty.  Yet I could not rest
For idleness and ungovernable Fate.
And the Black Horse, which fed on sesame
(That wonder-working word!),
Vouchsafed his back to me, and spread his vans,
And soaring, soaring on
From air to air, came charging to the ground
Sheer, like a lark from the midsummer clouds,
And, shaking me out of the saddle, where I sprawled
Flicked at me with his tail,
And left me blinded, miserable, distraught
(Even as I was in deed,
When doctors came, and odious things were done
On my poor tortured eyes
With lancets; or some evil acid stung
And wrung them like hot sand,
And desperately from room to room
Fumble I must my dark, disconsolate way),
To get to Bagdad how I might.  But there
I met with Merry Ladies.  O you three--
Safie, Amine, Zobeide--when my heart
Forgets you all shall be forgot!
And so we supped, we and the rest,
On wine and roasted lamb, rose-water, dates,
Almonds, pistachios, citrons.  And Haroun
Laughed out of his lordly beard
On Giaffar and Mesrour (I knew the Three
For all their Mossoul habits).  And outside
The Tigris, flowing swift
Like Severn bend for bend, twinkled and gleamed
With broken and wavering shapes of stranger stars;
The vast, blue night
Was murmurous with peris' plumes
And the leathern wings of genies; words of power
Were whispering; and old fishermen,
Casting their nets with prayer, might draw to shore
Dead loveliness:  or a prodigy in scales
Worth in the Caliph's Kitchen pieces of gold:
Or copper vessels, stopped with lead,
Wherein some Squire of Eblis watched and railed,
In durance under potent charactry
Graven by the seal of Solomon the King . . .

Then, as the Book was glassed
In Life as in some olden mirror's quaint,
Bewildering angles, so would Life
Flash light on light back on the Book; and both
Were changed.  Once in a house decayed
From better days, harbouring an errant show
(For all its stories of dry-rot
Were filled with gruesome visitants in wax,
Inhuman, hushed, ghastly with Painted Eyes),
I wandered; and no living soul
Was nearer than the pay-box; and I stared
Upon them staring--staring.  Till at last,
Three sets of rafters from the streets,
I strayed upon a mildewed, rat-run room,
With the two Dancers, horrible and obscene,
Guarding the door:  and there, in a bedroom-set,
Behind a fence of faded crimson cords,
With an aspect of frills
And dimities and dishonoured privacy
That made you hanker and hesitate to look,
A Woman with her litter of Babes--all slain,
All in their nightgowns, all with Painted Eyes
Staring--still staring; so that I turned and ran
As for my neck, but in the street
Took breath.  The same, it seemed,
And yet not all the same, I was to find,
As I went up!  For afterwards,
Whenas I went my round alone--
All day alone--in long, stern, silent streets,
Where I might stretch my hand and take
Whatever I would:  still there were Shapes of Stone,
Motionless, lifelike, frightening--for the Wrath
Had smitten them; but they watched,
This by her melons and figs, that by his rings
And chains and watches, with the hideous gaze,
The Painted Eyes insufferable,
Now, of those grisly images; and I
Pursued my best-beloved quest,
Thrilled with a novel and delicious fear.
So the night fell--with never a lamplighter;
And through the Palace of the King
I groped among the echoes, and I felt
That they were there,
Dreadfully there, the Painted staring Eyes,
Hall after hall . . . Till lo! from far
A Voice!  And in a little while
Two tapers burning!  And the Voice,
Heard in the wondrous Word of God, was--whose?
Whose but Zobeide's,
The lady of my heart, like me
A True Believer, and like me
An outcast thousands of leagues beyond the pale! . . .

Or, sailing to the Isles
Of Khaledan, I spied one evenfall
A black blotch in the sunset; and it grew
Swiftly . . . and grew.  Tearing their beards,
The sailors wept and prayed; but the grave ship,
Deep laden with spiceries and pearls, went mad,
Wrenched the long tiller out of the steersman's hand,
And, turning broadside on,
As the most iron would, was haled and ******
Nearer, and nearer yet;
And, all awash, with horrible lurching leaps
Rushed at that Portent, casting a shadow now
That swallowed sea and sky; and then,
Anchors and nails and bolts
Flew screaming out of her, and with clang on clang,
A noise of fifty stithies, caught at the sides
Of the Magnetic Mountain; and she lay,
A broken bundle of firewood, strown piecemeal
About the waters; and her crew
Passed shrieking, one by one; and I was left
To drown.  All the long night I swam;
But in the morning, O, the smiling coast
Tufted with date-trees, meadowlike,
Skirted with shelving sands!  And a great wave
Cast me ashore; and I was saved alive.
So, giving thanks to God, I dried my clothes,
And, faring inland, in a desert place
I stumbled on an iron ring--
The fellow of fifty built into the Quays:
When, scenting a trap-door,
I dug, and dug; until my biggest blade
Stuck into wood.  And then,
The flight of smooth-hewn, easy-falling stairs,
Sunk in the naked rock!  The cool, clean vault,
So neat with niche on niche it might have been
Our beer-cellar but for the rows
Of brazen urns (like monstrous chemist's jars)
Full to the wide, squat throats
With gold-dust, but a-top
A layer of pickled-walnut-looking things
I knew for olives!  And far, O, far away,
The Princess of China languished!  Far away
Was marriage, with a Vizier and a Chief
Of Eunuchs and the privilege
Of going out at night
To play--unkenned, majestical, secure--
Where the old, brown, friendly river shaped
Like Tigris shore for shore!  Haply a Ghoul
Sat in the churchyard under a frightened moon,
A thighbone in his fist, and glared
At supper with a Lady:  she who took
Her rice with tweezers grain by grain.
Or you might stumble--there by the iron gates
Of the Pump Room--underneath the limes--
Upon Bedreddin in his shirt and drawers,
Just as the civil Genie laid him down.
Or those red-curtained panes,
Whence a tame cornet tenored it throatily
Of beer-pots and spittoons and new long pipes,
Might turn a caravansery's, wherein
You found Noureddin Ali, loftily drunk,
And that fair Persian, bathed in tears,
You'd not have given away
For all the diamonds in the Vale Perilous
You had that dark and disleaved afternoon
Escaped on a roc's claw,
Disguised like Sindbad--but in Christmas beef!
And all the blissful while
The schoolboy satchel at your hip
Was such a bulse of gems as should amaze
Grey-whiskered chapmen drawn
From over Caspian:  yea, the Chief Jewellers
Of Tartary and the bazaars,
Seething with traffic, of enormous Ind.--

Thus cried, thus called aloud, to the child heart
The magian East:  thus the child eyes
Spelled out the wizard message by the light
Of the sober, workaday hours
They saw, week in week out, pass, and still pass
In the sleepy Minster City, folded kind
In ancient Severn's arm,
Amongst her water-meadows and her docks,
Whose floating populace of ships--
Galliots and luggers, light-heeled brigantines,
Bluff barques and rake-hell fore-and-afters--brought
To her very doorsteps and geraniums
The scents of the World's End; the calls
That may not be gainsaid to rise and ride
Like fire on some high errand of the race;
The irresistible appeals
For comradeship that sound
Steadily from the irresistible sea.
Thus the East laughed and whispered, and the tale,
Telling itself anew
In terms of living, labouring life,
Took on the colours, busked it in the wear
Of life that lived and laboured; and Romance,
The Angel-Playmate, raining down
His golden influences
On all I saw, and all I dreamed and did,
Walked with me arm in arm,
Or left me, as one bediademed with straws
And bits of glass, to gladden at my heart
Who had the gift to seek and feel and find
His fiery-hearted presence everywhere.
Even so dear Hesper, bringer of all good things,
Sends the same silver dews
Of happiness down her dim, delighted skies
On some poor collier-hamlet--(mound on mound
Of sifted squalor; here a soot-throated stalk
Sullenly smoking over a row
Of flat-faced hovels; black in the gritty air
A web of rails and wheels and beams; with strings
Of hurtling, tipping trams)--
As on the amorous nightingales
And roses of Shiraz, or the walls and towers
Of Samarcand--the Ineffable--whence you espy
The splendour of Ginnistan's embattled spears,
Like listed lightnings.
Samarcand!
That name of names!  That star-vaned belvedere
Builded against the Chambers of the South!
That outpost on the Infinite!
And behold!
Questing therefrom, you knew not what wild tide
Might overtake you:  for one fringe,
One suburb, is stablished on firm earth; but one
Floats founded vague
In lubberlands delectable--isles of palm
And lotus, fortunate mains, far-shimmering seas,
The promise of wistful hills--
The shining, shifting Sovranties of Dream.
Golden Girl Jun 2019
I remember that day like it was yesterday.
What happened, you claim, was barely horseplay.
Will you ever comprehend,
That what you did, I didn’t “misunderstand”?

Perhaps you’d like to blame it on your upbringing,
Because your dad taught you to control a woman who doesn’t have the “right” thinking.
Mexican patriarchy is ******, but it is you who chose to comply with it.
So don’t claim you aren’t responsible for the sins you commit.

Today I speak,
For I refuse to be weak.
Today I’ll unfold the truth I never wanted to accept,
When I was just a little under 15 and felt completely wrecked.

I stand today to expose you **** as I’ve been,
A monster in full shape and form, guilty of ****** while you grin.
You’ve kept your eyes shut to my dreadful sensations,
But today you will listen to my crude allegations.

We were in your house in Mexico where you locked me in the basement.
You claimed you wanted privacy, but only offered me enslavement.
Maybe it really was my bad luck,
When I believed you when said you loved me, but didn’t realize you only wanted to ****.

A monster, you pinned me against the wall,
I hit my head and cried, beginning to feel like your personal doll.
Touching my head where I discovered that I bled,
I reached for your hand, but you only grabbed mine to throw me onto bed.

When I was five, mother told me monsters don’t exist,
But today I am a witness to the contrary, as I know angels and devils coexist.
You are a monster for what you did to me,
For you pretended not to hear my plea.

A monster, you tied me onto your bed,
And ripped my clothes until I was left with nothing but a thread.
I begged you to stop and pushed you away,
But you slapped me and pressing your body against mine, told me you were here to stay.

A monster, your tongue against my breast,
And I completely undressed,
I watched your face transform,
Like a caterpillar taking its new form.

You, a monster, a demon, and a coward,
Faced a broken soul who had not yet flowered.
You took your hands and forced my flower to bloom,
Though it did not unfold with pleasure, but with fear of ending in a tomb.

And like a painter facing an empty canvas,
You traced me from head to toe as I lay nearly dead on the mattress.
You carved your name onto my body and robbed me of my innocence.
A monster, you obliterated my purity, leaving bruises as evidence.

A monster, you watered my flowers with the filthiest juice,
Not with God’s purest waters, but your own waters of abuse.
I weeped and screamed and in that moment begged for a God to exist,
I even prayed, but found no angels to untie my wrists.

If you really loved me, then you would look past your lust,
But you never did and chose to break me with each and every ******.
Rocking back and forth I was controlled by you, a monstrous puppeteer,
Your *** danced down my legs as I watched you cold and with fear.

A monster, you carefully tamed me to satisfy your *** drive,
Never did I imagine I would go to Hell and come back alive.
Today I stand a witness of your repulsive proclivity,
Penetrated by a monster who awaited for the trophee he believed was my virginity.

It wasn’t just a simple “quickie”,
The way you threw me around and used me.
I may have stood still and allowed you to profanate me,  
But I always threw up once you finished touching me.

People say our dreams are reflections of our memories fused with fantasies,
But there is no magic in the nightmares I regard as tragedies.
I’ve spent four years feeling entitled to nothing but pain,
And stay awake fearing my memories will haunt me, crashing into me like a train.

I wash my body once, twice, and thrice to flush away the picture of your fingers,
Scrubbing and scrubbing to ensure I numb my skin from your smell that lingers.
Your colossal hands a million times larger than the girl they groped,
Remind her of the million times she was choked.

I only wish you could understand what it feels like to be someone’s puppet,
A doll you can pull, stretch, bend over backwards and play like a trumpet.
It’s difficult to accept I’ll always feel possessed,
That the monster who injected me with his poison jerks off to the thought of being caressed.

You are the reason I’ve sought the sharpest blade,
To slash my skin and mark your cannonade.
But I can’t slice you out of my body,
As slicing my skin with glass won’t provide me with an antibody.

A monster, you conquered my body with a single purpose,
You kept me in the darkness to guarantee your coitus.
I’m sorry my ******* wasn’t as **** as your *******,
I blowed as fast as I could to prevent a flatline on my Electrocardiography.

I’m sorry I had to fake an ******,
But I had to escape you once you threw me into a chasm.
Navigating in the maze where I was constantly abused,
Was difficult having no compass to pretend I was being seduced.

I spent years looking for an exit out of your maze,
Taking too long to realize this wasn’t only a phase.
Some blame me for being too oblivious,
For wearing a blindfold and perceiving you as chivalrous.

And perhaps you blame me for being too naive,
Because I wished for you to change on New Year’s Eve.
I sought a fairytale, forgetting Cinderella did not meet her prince,
But a wolf who impaled her with his claws and abandoned her since.

I was your slave for two long years,
And you, a monster, showed me each and every one of my fears.
But I have lived in spite of my trauma,
And today I stand to scold you for this drama.

I no longer fear the monster inside my head,
For I understand many others will dwell ahead.
But my monster will no longer haunt me in my sleep,
For now I sleep knowing I have my body to keep.

I am strong, proud and bold,
And I have found my place in this world.
No longer will I let you win,
For it is you who reeks of sin.

Does it make me sick to empathize with your situation?
To feel for your pain and share your deeply held frustration?
Is it you who is wicked for being a pervert?
Or me for wanting you to hurt?

How can I wish you the greatest agony,
When I would never want anyone, not even my monster to experience my tragedy?
I am being torn in different directions,
But I’m no longer tied down to successful erections.

Monster, I thank you for your rotten kisses,
For the hundred bruises and tight stitches.
I now know my body is a shrine,
And that I am my own lifeline.

No longer will I feel soiled by your hands.
For I have built new dams.  
I now look at my own reflection,  
And see a figure composed of fascinating lines shielding me from your infection.

I am on my way to finding my peace,
But need to put my thoughts together to find my release.
It may be forgiveness, prevention or punishment,
But no longer will I undermine my own torment.

It may sound funny when I say I wish I was a superhero,
So I would know when a girl is in danger of touch and close to Ground Zero.
I’ve lived my years carrying the guilt of watching women fall one by one,
Of never being able to prevent another unwanted son.

I now understand there is only so much I can do,
For I am an ordinary person with a big heart turned blue.
I only wish my words will inspire, the victims of this fire,
To embrace their burns and wear them as an iron attire.

My growth and strength came as a result of patience,
It took years and tears to show me a way out of complacence.
But in an effort to give you a lift,
I have found myself adrift.

I have tried to be a saviour,
Forgetting to save myself before and bring myself to shore.
Today is the day I become my own light,
And fight to stay bright in the night.

Monster, you may now live in paradise,
Walking around as the devil in disguise.
But I believe in divine retribution,
And live in peace knowing you will get your fatal conclusion.

You are a monster, and I was your prey,
But today, I am no longer in decay.
With these words I purge myself of your touch,
For I’ve released my demons back into Hell and no longer seek a crutch.
761

From Blank to Blank—
A Threadless Way
I pushed Mechanic feet—
To stop—or perish—or advance—
Alike indifferent—

If end I gained
It ends beyond
Indefinite disclosed—
I shut my eyes—and groped as well
’Twas lighter—to be Blind—
Aztec Warrior Jun 2016
The Stanford **** Case
Statement from the Young Woman Who Was *****
June 10, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

Editors Note: The following harrowing and courageous "victim impact" statement was read in court by the woman who was assaulted and ***** by ex-Stanford student Brock Turner. It has been released widely and revcom.us is reposting it here. As Sunsara Taylor said in "The Stanford **** Outrage: Reason Enough to Make Revolution": "Her letter is 13 pages long and everyone should read it. In its entirety. Out loud. In classrooms. In church groups. In families. On sports teams. On air. Her pain must be seen. Her battle against despair must be supported. Her courage must be multiplied."*
-------------------------------------------

Your Honor, if it is all right, for the majority of this statement I would like to address the defendant directly.
You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.

On January 17th, 2015, it was a quiet Saturday night at home. My dad made some dinner and I sat at the table with my younger sister who was visiting for the weekend. I was working full time and it was approaching my bed time. I planned to stay at home by myself, watch some TV and read, while she went to a party with her friends.

Then, I decided it was my only night with her, I had nothing better to do, so why not, there’s a dumb party ten minutes from my house, I would go, dance like a fool, and embarrass my younger sister. On the way there, I joked that undergrad guys would have braces. My sister teased me for wearing a beige cardigan to a frat party like a librarian. I called myself “big mama”, because I knew I’d be the oldest one there. I made silly faces, let my guard down, and drank liquor too fast not factoring in that my tolerance had significantly lowered since college.

The next thing I remember I was in a gurney in a hallway. I had dried blood and bandages on the backs of my hands and elbow. I thought maybe I had fallen and was in an admin office on campus. I was very calm and wondering where my sister was. A deputy explained I had been assaulted. I still remained calm, assured he was speaking to the wrong person. I knew no one at this party.

When I was finally allowed to use the rest room, I pulled down the hospital pants they had given me, went to pull down my underwear, and felt nothing. I still remember the feeling of my hands touching my skin and grabbing nothing. I looked down and there was nothing. The thin piece of fabric, the only thing between my ****** and anything else, was missing and everything inside me was silenced. I still don’t have words for that feeling. In order to keep breathing, I thought maybe the policemen used scissors to cut them off for evidence.

Then, I felt pine needles scratching the back of my neck and started pulling them out my hair. I thought maybe, the pine needles had fallen from a tree onto my head. My brain was talking my gut into not collapsing. Because my gut was saying, help me, help me.

I shuffled from room to room with a blanket wrapped around me, pine needles trailing behind me, I left a little pile in every room I sat in. I was asked to sign papers that said “**** Victim” and I thought something has really happened.

My clothes were confiscated and I stood naked while the nurses held a ruler to various abrasions on my body and photographed them. The three of us worked to comb the pine needles out of my hair, six hands to fill one paper bag. To calm me down, they said it’s just the flora and fauna, flora and fauna. I had multiple swabs inserted into my ****** and ****, needles for shots, pills, had a Nikon pointed right into my *******. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my ****** smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions.

After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.

On that morning, all that I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster, potentially penetrated by a stranger, and that I should get retested for *** because results don’t always show up immediately. But for now, I should go home and get back to my normal life. Imagine stepping back into the world with only that information. They gave me huge hugs and I walked out of the hospital into the parking lot wearing the new sweatshirt and sweatpants they provided me, as they had only allowed me to keep my necklace and shoes.

My sister picked me up, face wet from tears and contorted in anguish. Instinctively and immediately, I wanted to take away her pain. I smiled at her, I told her to look at me, I’m right here, I’m okay, everything’s okay, I’m right here. My hair is washed and clean, they gave me the strangest shampoo, calm down, and look at me. Look at these funny new sweatpants and sweatshirt, I look like a P.E. teacher, let’s go home, let’s eat something. She did not know that beneath my sweatsuit, I had scratches and bandages on my skin, my ****** was sore and had become a strange, dark colour from all the prodding, my underwear was missing, and I felt too empty to continue to speak. That I was also afraid, that I was also devastated. That day we drove home and for hours in silence my younger sister held me.
My boyfriend did not know what happened, but called that day and said, “I was really worried about you last night, you scared me, did you make it home okay?” I was horrified. That’s when I learned I had called him that night in my blackout, left an incomprehensible voicemail, that we had also spoken on the phone, but I was slurring so heavily he was scared for me, that he repeatedly told me to go find [my sister]. Again, he asked me, “What happened last night? Did you make it home okay?” I said yes, and hung up to cry.

I was not ready to tell my boyfriend or parents that actually, I may have been ***** behind a dumpster, but I don’t know by who or when or how. If I told them, I would see the fear on their faces, and mine would multiply by tenfold, so instead I pretended the whole thing wasn’t real.
I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was so heavy I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone.

After work, I would drive to a secluded place to scream. I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone, and I became isolated from the ones I loved most. For over a week after the incident, I didn’t get any calls or updates about that night or what happened to me. The only symbol that proved that it hadn’t just been a bad dream, was the sweatshirt from the hospital in my drawer.

One day, I was at work, scrolling through the news on my phone, and came across an article. In it, I read and learned for the first time about how I was found unconscious, with my hair dishevelled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and pulled up above my waist, that I was **** naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart, and had been penetrated by a foreign object by someone I did not recognise.

This was how I learned what happened to me, sitting at my desk reading the news at work. I learned what happened to me the same time everyone else in the world learned what happened to me. That’s when the pine needles in my hair made sense, they didn’t fall from a tree. He had taken off my underwear, his fingers had been inside of me. I don’t even know this person. I still don’t know this person. When I read about me like this, I said, this can’t be me, this can’t be me. I could not digest or accept any of this information. I could not imagine my family having to read about this online. I kept reading. In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive; I read that according to him, I liked it. I liked it. Again, I do not have words for these feelings.

It’s like if you were to read an article where a car was hit, and found dented, in a ditch. But maybe the car enjoyed being hit. Maybe the other car didn’t mean to hit it, just bump it up a little bit. Cars get in accidents all the time, people aren’t always paying attention, can we really say who’s at fault.

And then, at the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own ****** assault, the article listed his swimming times. She was found breathing, unresponsive with her underwear six inches away from her bare stomach curled in fetal position. By the way, he’s really good at swimming. Throw in my mile time if that’s what we’re doing. I’m good at cooking, put that in there, I think the end is where you list your extracurriculars to cancel out all the sickening things that’ve happened.
The night the news came out I sat my parents down and told them that I had been assaulted, to not look at the news because it’s upsetting, just know that I’m okay, I’m right here, and I’m okay. But halfway through telling them, my mom had to hold me because I could no longer stand up.

The night after it happened, he said he didn’t know my name, said he wouldn’t be able to identify my face in a line-up, didn’t mention any dialogue between us, no words, only dancing and kissing. Dancing is a cute term; was it snapping fingers and twirling dancing, or just bodies grinding up against each other in a crowded room? I wonder if kissing was just faces sloppily pressed up against each other? When the detective asked if he had planned on taking me back to his dorm, he said no. When the detective asked how we ended up behind the dumpster, he said he didn’t know.

He admitted to kissing other girls at that party, one of whom was my own sister who pushed him away. He admitted to wanting to hook up with someone. I was the wounded antelope of the herd, completely alone and vulnerable, physically unable to fend for myself, and he chose me.

Sometimes I think, if I hadn’t gone, then this never would’ve happened. But then I realized, it would have happened, just to somebody else. You were about to enter four years of access to drunk girls and parties, and if this is the foot you started off on, then it is right you did not continue. The night after it happened, he said he thought I liked it because I rubbed his back. A back rub.

Never mentioned me voicing consent, never mentioned us even speaking, a back rub. One more time, in public news, I learned that my *** and ****** were completely exposed outside, my ******* had been groped, fingers had been jabbed inside me along with pine needles and debris, my bare skin and head had been rubbing against the ground behind a dumpster, while an ***** freshman was ******* my half naked, unconscious body. But I don’t remember, so how do I prove I didn’t like it.

I thought there’s no way this is going to trial; there were witnesses, there was dirt in my body, he ran but was caught. He’s going to settle, formally apologize, and we will both move on. Instead, I was told he hired a powerful lawyer, expert witnesses, private investigators who were going to try and find details about my personal life to use against me, find loopholes in my story to invalidate me and my sister, in order to show that this ****** assault was in fact a misunderstanding. That he was going to go to any length to convince the world he had simply been confused.

I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly *****, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation.

When I was told to be prepared in case we didn’t win, I said, I can’t prepare for that. He was guilty the minute I woke up. No one can talk me out of the hurt he caused me. Worst of all, I was warned, because he now knows you don’t remember, he is going to get to write the script. He can say whatever he wants and no one can contest it. I had no power, I had no voice, I was defenseless. My memory loss would be used against me. My testimony was weak, was incomplete, and I was made to believe that perhaps, I am not enough to win this. His lawyer constantly reminded the jury, the only one we can believe is Brock, because she doesn’t remember. That helplessness was traumatizing.

Instead of taking time to heal, I was taking time to recall the night in excruciating detail, in order to prepare for the attorney’s questions that would be invasive, aggressive, and designed to steer me off course, to contradict myself, my sister, phrased in ways to manipulate my answers. Instead of his lawyer saying, Did you notice any abrasions? He said, You didn’t notice any abrasions, right?

This was a game of strategy, as if I could be tricked out of my own worth. The ****** assault had been so clear, but instead, here I was at the trial, answering questions like:
How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well what did you have for dinner? Who made dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? What’d you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? Where did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside?

Was your phone on silent when your sister called? Do you remember silencing it? Really because on page 53 I’d like to point out that you said it was set to ring. Did you drink in college? You said you were a party animal? How many times did you black out? Did you party at frats? Are you serious with your boyfriend? Are you sexually active with him? When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating? What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What colour was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? Okay, well, we’ll let Brock fill it in.

I was pommeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who had me half naked before even bothering to ask for my name. After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say see, her facts don’t line up, she’s out of her mind, she’s practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up, he’s like an athlete right, they were both drunk, whatever, the hospital stuff she remembers is after the fact, why take it into account, Brock has a lot at stake so he’s having a really hard time right now.

And then it came time for him to testify and I learned what it meant to be revictimized. I want to remind you, the night after it happened he said he never planned to take me back to his dorm. He said he didn’t know why we were behind a dumpster. He got up to leave because he wasn’t feeling well when he was suddenly chased and attacked. Then he learned I could not remember.

So one year later, as predicted, a new dialogue emerged. Brock had a strange new story, almost sounded like a poorly written young adult novel with kissing and dancing and hand holding and lovingly tumbling onto the ground, and most importantly in this new story, there was suddenly consent. One year after the incident, he remembered, oh yeah, by the way she actually said yes, to everything, so.

He said he had asked if I wanted to dance. Apparently I said yes. He’d asked if I wanted to go to his dorm, I said yes. Then he asked if he could finger me and I said yes. Most guys don’t ask, can I finger you? Usually there’s a natural progression of things, unfolding consensually, not a Q and A. But apparently I granted full permission. He’s in the cl
it has taken me days to shake out the feelings I have around this case and that one of every 4 women are *****, abuse assaulted in their life time.. think about that for a moment.. 1 out of every 4... this means almost everyone knows someone or has been through what the young woman is describing in her statement read in court.. there is no "buts" in this case, and if anyone has to come up with some kind of "but" then unfriend or follow me right now as I will not tolerate any excuses or apologies for these horrific attacks on half of  humanity, along with this I would add a ******* as well... the voice of this woman needs to be heard everywhere... repost, twitter etc etc everywhere...
506

He touched me, so I live to know
That such a day, permitted so,
I groped upon his breast—
It was a boundless place to me
And silenced, as the awful sea
Puts minor streams to rest.

And now, I’m different from before,
As if I breathed superior air—
Or brushed a Royal Gown—
My feet, too, that had wandered so—
My Gypsy face—transfigured now—
To tenderer Renown—

Into this Port, if I might come,
Rebecca, to Jerusalem,
Would not so ravished turn—
Nor Persian, baffled at her shrine
Lift such a Crucifixial sign
To her imperial Sun.
Kevin May 2017
I stand so proud and tall.
With my nose pressed against the wall.
I know I was naughty, is this why your punishing me?
pssng my pants, you make me get on my knees.
Naughty Boy! Naughty Boy you shout.
After your done smelling that, I am washing your mouth out!
My nose sore from being punished by you.
What next? What now are you going to do?
the bar of soap inserts my mouth all the way to my throat.
I wont be naughty anymore than my privates were groped.
I know I looked in your ***** drawer today.
Now I am going to really pay.
Trying them on I know there for you.
I guess this naughty boy had no clue.
Putting them on my head and shoving them in my mouth.
Still at the same time washing my mouth out.
Waiting for you to come back today.
I am not scared Iv’e been naughty in every way.
No please I am not hungry, don’t make me eat the vegetables.
I sit and pout at the kitchen table.
forcing them into my mouth and making me swallow.
You lead on a leash and I am forced to follow.
I am your pet, your naughty little slave.
And it’s almost time to play.
But we both know what comes first.
The cutting of my arms to satisfy your thirst.
Graff1980 Nov 2017
American Nightmares
Prologue
The pale moon hangs, glowing in the blank sky, shining just enough light for the thick foliage and densely pack trees to be seen. Evening sounds silenced by the sloshing of rushing feet racing through the woods.  In the distance a beagle howls in frustration. Sniffing and wheezing as he tries to pick up a lost trail.
Deeper in the woods a lone figure races at a maddening pace, bumping into trees, scratching his flesh against their harsh bark; causing bleeding. The young man’s eyes water up from a mixture of sweat, pain, and fatigue. Fear permeates his entire being
A thin orange suit clings lazily to his sweaty bronze skin, almost mocking his emaciated frame, which is actually a couple sizes too small for the jumpsuit. The dark figure has been running for days. Hot on his heels, his pursuers persisted. He knows being caught would mean a far worse fate than what he escaped.
Another mile and his legs began to leaden. Each step becoming heavier than the last. The sharp sting of lactic acid burning his side. Breath becoming spasmodic. Eyes bulging, still he maintains a frantic pace.
Running full force until his left foot catches the edge of a dark brown rotten root rising from the earth. A cloud of dirt explodes from ground immersing him in a brown mist. Spittle and blood spew from the runner’s mouth as he coughs violently. His breath rushing away even as he tries to calm himself.
Crawling from the dirt he searches for some sort of purchase, finding none he rests his weary frame against the nearest oak. Then the waterworks really hit. The sound of moans escaped his busted and parched lips.
“I will make it home.” He repeats over and over, like a mantra.
His fingers feel the frame of the tree he is resting against. Hands begin falling and rising for some strange reason, until they settle at the base. There just inches away from his digits sits a patch of mushrooms. The forgotten pain of hunger returns, so without examining the fungus he plucks them up and swallows them whole. Then half crawling half stumbling he moves to the stream which lay a few yards from the tree.
Cupping his hands he fills his palm with water; then slurps it up, repeating the process again and again till he has drunk his fill. Next he splashes the cool liquid on his face, hair, pits, chest, and other portions of his body massaging the blood and dirt from his aching skin till he manages to cleanse the wounds all over his person. Closing his eyes, he finally succumbs to the exhaustion that has been ******* him.
A bulge of earth begins to rise pushing his limp frame away from the stream and pulls him back to the tree. Then branches and leaves coalesce around his body till he is safely hidden from plain sight.
He awakens; eyes dilated, and body shivering. While brushing away the brush he turns to the tree, stands up shakily, and then wipes away the rest of the leaves and dirt, not noticing the slowly growing dark spot on his orange jumpsuit.
Tears streaming he softly whispers “Hello tree my name is John.”






















Chapter 1

Tree, sweet Tree, I beg of you tell me. Why does America hate me? I did everything I was told to do. I went to school. I stayed away from white women, never made eye contact with white men, became a teacher, and took care of my people.
What the hell was all that for? I am going to end up another dead black man in the backwoods of some southern hick state! I got these stupid leg irons weighing me down, and hells hounds are riding my trail.
Stupid ******* animals!
Filthy ******* *******!
What is the ******* point? Huh?
My dad was a good man too. He followed the unwritten rules of the white man. Never stole anything or hurt anyone, mostly. Do you know what they did to him Tree? Well do you?
They tied him to a post, sliced chunks of flesh from his hard muscular frame while burning him alive. They burnt him alive, Tree.
My father was a strong and righteous man, a man who loved his wife and child. My mother, who was barely half his weight and a good foot shorter, she had the palest skin of any black woman I have ever met. Her hair was the perfect shade of earth with eyes a couple tints darker. Her nose was tiny and lips thin as any white woman’s. I’d imagine she was as white as any ***** could get. She had a voice that soothed my darkest pains and fears. At night when I went to bed she would sing to me.
Oh my darling
Brown skin angel
Don’t be frightened
I’ll be right here
Hold you tight and
Watch you sleep
Guard you tonight
While you sleep
Oh my darling
I’ll be here
To keep your heart
Safe my sweet dear
Everything will be alright

I remember when I came home that day. I saw my dad clutching the tiny limp frame of my mother, sobbing furiously. Her body looked paler than usual. I had never seen tears fall from my father’s face. I don’t think he even saw me come in. I just stood in the doorway. I stood there and waited for him to say something. I wanted to cry but I was so scared that I just held my breath instead.
Our neighbor came and took me to their house. Back then I did not know what had happened. It took me over seven years to find out what happened to my mother. Do you know what happened Tree?
A handful of white men came to our house and ***** my mother.
Sometimes in my nightmares, that horrible scene plays out. I hear the sound of rapping at our door; the yells of angry men echoing through the house. I see the wooden door bulge as it begins to crack under their onslaught. Then I watch as men with no faces explode into our house, sweeping my mother off her feet, ripping the clothes off her body as she scream in horror, I would wake up in a state of horror and sorrow, weeping.
I am haunted even now. I cannot begin to imagine the pain my father felt, but I do know what happened next, because I snuck out of our neighbor’s house to comfort my father. I watched as he left our home with rage and violence in his heart. In one hand he held a knife; it seemed to be a foot long, half handle half cold hard sharpened steel; in the other hand he carried a gun. I followed him from a safe distances, heard him scream for the men that had attacked my mother.
When the sheriff came to calm him down, dad was startled and turned around accidently cutting Mr. Brinkley with the blade. The sheriff and his deputies arrested my father. I was certain that everything would be okay. The sheriff was a decent man. I heard him talking calmly to my father. He told my dad that he understood what was going on.
That night white men came for my father. They hollered for justice, screaming “bring out that ******* ******.”
The sheriff tried to reason with the mob. He told them “This is between me and my prisoner.”
He tried to stop the mob with force, but there were at least fifty men. Probably more if you counted the people that kept joining up with the mob. The mob broke down the prison door, took my father from his small stone cell, all the while taunting him.  “You’re gonna fry ******.” From a distance and hidden in shadows I watched.
I saw an old lady spit on him. I watched as children raced around my father, dancing in and out of the procession, and tossed stones, from the side of the road, at my father. The mob drug him down to the town square. Tied him up, and lit a fire beneath him. The whole time my father’s head was hung in defeat. I swear he knew what was coming. It seemed that In the face of that onslaught all emotion had faded from his face. I guess he didn’t want to give them the pleasure of seeing him squirm.
As the flames started to consume his flesh, I saw the sheriff go for his gun. He raised his pistol and aimed for my father’s head, but the men in the mob wrestled the gun from his hand. Meanwhile my father had given into the horror and pain. He began to howl like an animal as the flames danced across his flesh crackling and pooping. He screamed for some sort of mercy, crying out for someone to shoot him.
I raced from the shadows, stealing a gun from some old white man. Then I shot my father in the head. Most of the men in the mob looked on dumbstruck. That gave me enough time to get away so I hightailed it out of there. I never went back for anything. I spent the rest of that night in the woods praying that what I had done was the right thing.
In the weeks and months to come I slept very little. When I did manage to fall asleep my dreams would cycle from the flaming horrors of my father’s death to the ****** of my mother.
Still, I managed to make something out of myself despite those sick atrocities. By working hard I finished school and became a teacher. A couple years after I started teaching I was arrested. They took me to jail; brought me up on some ******* charges. Part of me was certain I would end up being lynched, so when I was sentenced to a chain gang, man I was relieved.
Had I known what was gonna happen I would have preferred being lynched, at least then I would have been dead. Instead they worked me **** near to death, starving, and beating me like a slave. My brown skin has brought me nothing but grief. So tell me Tree, why does America hate me?











Interlude

“Tell me tree, why does America hate me?” John sputters.
A soft breeze caresses his skin.
“Why the hell am I talking to a tree?” He cries. “What is the point?”
The blood stain on John’s clothes still expanding, and his shivers become far worse.
“Tell me tree, what is the ******* point? America hates Negroes. I’m going to die out here. Say something.”
The air swirls around him, and a soft voice fills his head.
“Do you think you are alone in your suffering? Know now that you are not. My children suffer horrors too.  Listen carefully and I will tell you.
John turns to find the source; finding nothing he collapses, listening straining to hear the voice again.















Chapter 2

Dear John I am the spirit of the winds, mother to the natives. Do you think that yours is the only tongue to taste the bitter fruit of America’s wrath? My child let me tell you of the first people of America. Listen to the tragic tale of my children. Before the Europeans came many tribes roamed this land. They were human and as such had flaws of their own, but in many ways they were poetry in the form of flesh.
The men would hunt during the day. Anything they caught was considered a sacred gift. They would use all that they could from the body of the beast. They treated my mother’s brown dirt earth, flesh as sacred, and I loved them for that. Women held equal value and had equal say in their tribes. There were wars, of course, but mostly my children strived to live in harmony with the land.
Then white men came. My children welcomed them with open arms, helped them survive, and do you know how they were repaid that kindness? Once received and no longer needed, it was returned with treachery and violence. Bit by bit they pushed my children back. Pushing them off one parcel of land and then another, slaughtering tribes after tribe. Still my children survived.  When the white men could not **** all of my progeny, they came for the children. Some parents wept, some fought back, and some merely accepted it as inevitable.
I watched it all. I saw the men on horseback come for the children. The songs of lament tortured my heart. The tears of the children ripped at my very soul. I lashed out at the white men with all of nature’s fury, biting their flesh with my fierce and frosty winds. I sent the fiercest wind I had at my disposal. However, the children were still taken.
The children were dragged to schools far from their homes. They would cry out in their native tongues. I remember my sweet Rose. Yes, Rose was her name, John. She was as strong as the oak tree. Passion coursed through her veins faster and harder than the river’s water. She was born so tiny that the elder of the village was certain she would not make it. Yet, when she broke free of the womb coughing and sputtering, she cried with such a powerful voice that even I was taken aback. This tender babe had my attention. I swore I would watch over her.
The first seven summers of her life were spent in the loving care of her tribe. Her black hair grew almost down to her feet. Her eyes were brown, brimming with the unknown depth of her soul. She was unafraid, the pride of her father and joy of her mother, a creature to be cherished.
One fall morning as the orange sun was slowly ascending the soldiers came. Little Rose was wrenched her from her parents’ arms. Her father’s rage was stopped by a bullet that bled him dry. No one else would fight for this child, so I beat against the soldiers back. I struggled to wrench her from their arms and return her to her mother’s safe embrace.
The soldiers did not even recognize my fury. With that failure I watched Rose’s mother fell into despair. Her prayers of peace and love soon turned to prayers for vengeance and the return of her child. Many nights we wept together mourning the loss of father and daughter.
Rose’s mother could not join her child, so I tried to watch out for her. I followed the soldier to a tall white washed building that had been liberated from the southerners during the previous war. I heard the headmaster say “in order to save the child, we must **** the savage within.”
Day and night I raged against the solid white structure, slamming shutters and doors, pounding the roofs with torrential fury. Only stopping when I realized that the children were shuddering in fear of me.
At night Rose would sing the songs of her people. During the day she would stare in defiance as the teachers tried to make her speak the English tongue. She refused to yield, so they responded to her spirit with violence. The taste of soap saturated her mouth while the stinging welts marred her backside. Still my Rose remained strong. I was filled with pride. I had seen older children fall into silence and subservience.
Rose was a cut about the rest. Still, one can only fight for so long before the fire begins to wane. Each day some of her resilience would fade. I could not enter the building to comfort her, but when she was outside I would wrap her in my windy arms, cradling her spirit against mine. I would carry the whispered words of love her mother sent, and return Rose’s love to her mother. Had I known what was going on in that building maybe I could have blown harder, maybe I could have pelted the nuns and the preacher with sharp stones and hardwood.
As the glimmer of light faded even faster, I started catching the whispers of my children. Their dead bodies began to scar the sacred earth. One after another fell, faster and faster. I watch their flames die. What kind of wind was I that could not fly them away from harm?
One day while blustering away I caught the most horrid sight. I saw a sick man lay his hands on my Rose. She shivered in disgust as he groped her bare skin. He took such sick liberties. In my rage I waited and stewed, plotting and hoping he would come outside. My anger gave me more power than I had ever known. I flung him to and fro spinning him round and round, beating him down every time he tried to rise. I hurled stones and sticks at him. When I was spent, his face was dripping with blood, his lip busted and swollen. He ran like a coward.
Rose remained trapped in that house of horrors. More children died. Day after day Rose lost more of her language. Till one day she could not remember the songs of her people. I watched her sobbing while trying to recall the words as a nun slapped her in the face.
One night under the pale glow of moonlight Rose lit herself on fire. She became a burning flame to match her once radiant spirit. As she burned she screamed out for release. I tried to put out the flames with gusts of wind and heavy rain, but I was too late. Rose fell to ashes resting on the moist earth. Gathering what I could of her remains I sent her last words and ashes home to her tribe.
That night rang with lamentation of her people. Sobs of regret filled her mother’s body. As hard as tried I could not comfort Rose’s mother. She would not be consoled. On the coldest night of that year Rose’s mother walked from her abode, slipping off her clothes, she moved in silence. Every step adding to the numbness she longed
KING EOCHAID came at sundown to a wood
Westward of Tara.  Hurrying to his queen
He had outridden his war-wasted men
That with empounded cattle trod the mire,
And where beech-trees had mixed a pale green light
With the ground-ivy's blue, he saw a stag
Whiter than curds, its eyes the tint of the sea.
Because it stood upon his path and seemed
More hands in height than any stag in the world
He sat with tightened rein and loosened mouth
Upon his trembling horse, then drove the spur;
But the stag stooped and ran at him, and passed,
Rending the horse's flank.  King Eochaid reeled,
Then drew his sword to hold its levelled point
Against the stag.  When horn and steel were met
The horn resounded as though it had been silver,
A sweet, miraculous, terrifying sound.
Horn locked in sword, they tugged and struggled there
As though a stag and unicorn were met
Among the African Mountains of the Moon,
Until at last the double horns, drawn backward,
Butted below the single and so pierced
The entrails of the horse.  Dropping his sword
King Eochaid seized the horns in his strong hands
And stared into the sea-green eye, and so
Hither and thither to and fro they trod
Till all the place was beaten into mire.
The strong thigh and the agile thigh were met,
The hands that gathered up the might of the world,
And hoof and horn that had ****** in their speed
Amid the elaborate wilderness of the air.
Through bush they plunged and over ivied root,
And where the stone struck fire, while in the leaves
A squirrel whinnied and a bird screamed out;
But when at last he forced those sinewy flanks
Against a beech-bole, he threw down the beast
And knelt above it with drawn knife.  On the instant
It vanished like a shadow, and a cry
So mournful that it seemed the cry of one
Who had lost some unimaginable treasure
Wandered between the blue and the green leaf
And climbed into the air, crumbling away,
Till all had seemed a shadow or a vision
But for the trodden mire, the pool of blood,
The disembowelled horse.
King Eochaid ran
Toward peopled Tara, nor stood to draw his breath
Until he came before the painted wall,
The posts of polished yew, circled with bronze,
Of the great door; but though the hanging lamps
Showed their faint light through the unshuttered
windows,
Nor door, nor mouth, nor slipper made a noise,
Nor on the ancient beaten paths, that wound
From well-side or from plough-land, was there noisc;
Nor had there been the noise of living thing
Before him or behind, but that far off
On the horizon edge bellowed the herds.
Knowing that silence brings no good to kings,
And mocks returning victory, he passed
Between the pillars with a beating heart
And saw where in the midst of the great hall
pale-faced, alone upon a bench, Edain
Sat upright with a sword before her feet.
Her hands on either side had gripped the bench.
Her eyes were cold and steady, her lips tight.
Some passion had made her stone.  Hearing a foot
She started and then knew whose foot it was;
But when he thought to take her in his arms
She motioned him afar, and rose and spoke:
"I have sent among the fields or to the woods
The fighting-men and servants of this house,
For I would have your judgment upon one
Who is self-accused.  If she be innocent
She would not look in any known man's face
Till judgment has been given, and if guilty,
Would never look again on known man's face.'
And at these words hc paled, as she had paled,
Knowing that he should find upon her lips
The meaning of that monstrous day.
Then she:
"You brought me where your brother Ardan sat
Always in his one seat, and bid me care him
Through that strange illness that had fixed him there.
And should he die to heap his burial-mound
And catve his name in Ogham.' Eochaid said,
"He lives?' "He lives and is a healthy man.'
"While I have him and you it matters little
What man you have lost, what evil you have found.'
"I bid them make his bed under this roof
And carried him his food with my own hands,
And so the weeks passed by.  But when I said,
""What is this trouble?'' he would answer nothing,
Though always at my words his trouble grew;
And I but asked the more, till he cried out,
Weary of many questions:  ""There are things
That make the heart akin to the dumb stone.''
Then I replied, ""Although you hide a secret,
Hopeless and dear, or terrible to think on,
Speak it, that I may send through the wide world
Day after day you question me, and I,
Because there is such a storm amid my thoughts
I shall be carried in the gust, command,
Forbid, beseech and waste my breath.'' Then I:
Although the thing that you have hid were evil,
The speaking of it could be no great wrong,
And evil must it be, if done 'twere worse
Than mound and stone that keep all virtue in,
And loosen on us dreams that waste our life,
Shadows and shows that can but turn the brain.''
but finding him still silent I stooped down
And whispering that none but he should hear,
Said, ""If a woman has put this on you,
My men, whether it please her or displease,
And though they have to cross the Loughlan waters
And take her in the middle of armed men,
Shall make her look upon her handiwork,
That she may quench the rick she has fired; and though
She may have worn silk clothes, or worn a crown,
She'II not be proud, knowing within her heart
That our sufficient portion of the world
Is that we give, although it be brief giving,
Happiness to children and to men.''
Then he, driven by his thought beyond his thought,
And speaking what he would not though he would,
Sighed, ""You, even you yourself, could work the
cure!''
And at those words I rose and I went out
And for nine days he had food from other hands,
And for nine days my mind went whirling round
The one disastrous zodiac, muttering
That the immedicable mound's beyond
Our questioning, beyond our pity even.
But when nine days had gone I stood again
Before his chair and bending down my head
I bade him go when all his household slept
To an old empty woodman's house that's hidden
Westward of Tara, among the hazel-trees --
For hope would give his limbs the power -- and await
A friend that could, he had told her, work his cure
And would be no harsh friend.
When night had deepened,
I groped my way from beech to hazel wood,
Found that old house, a sputtering torch within,
And stretched out sleeping on a pile of skins
Ardan, and though I called to him and tried
To Shake him out of sleep, I could not rouse him.
I waited till the night was on the turn,
Then fearing that some labourer, on his way
To plough or pasture-land, might see me there,
Went out.
Among the ivy-covered rocks,
As on the blue light of a sword, a man
Who had unnatural majesty, and eyes
Like the eyes of some great kite scouring the woods,
Stood on my path.  Trembling from head to foot
I gazed at him like grouse upon a kite;
But with a voice that had unnatural music,
""A weary wooing and a long,'' he said,
""Speaking of love through other lips and looking
Under the eyelids of another, for it was my craft
That put a passion in the sleeper there,
And when I had got my will and drawn you here,
Where I may speak to you alone, my craft
****** up the passion out of him again
And left mere sleep.  He'll wake when the sun
wakes,
push out his vigorous limbs and rub his eyes,
And wonder what has ailed him these twelve
months.''
I cowered back upon the wall in terror,
But that sweet-sounding voice ran on:  ""Woman,
I was your husband when you rode the air,
Danced in the whirling foam and in the dust,
In days you have not kept in memory,
Being betrayed into a cradle, and I come
That I may claim you as my wife again.''
I was no longer terrified -- his voice
Had half awakened some old memory --
Yet answered him, ""I am King Eochaid's wife
And with him have found every happiness
Women can find.'' With a most masterful voice,
That made the body seem as it were a string
Under a bow, he cried, ""What happiness
Can lovers have that know their happiness
Must end at the dumb stone? But where we build
Our sudden palaces in the still air
pleasure itself can bring no weariness.
Nor can time waste the cheek, nor is there foot
That has grown weary of the wandering dance,
Nor an unlaughing mouth, but mine that mourns,
Among those mouths that sing their sweethearts' praise,
Your empty bed.'' ""How should I love,'' I answered,
""Were it not that when the dawn has lit my bed
And shown my husband sleeping there, I have sighcd,
"Your strength and nobleness will pass away'?
Or how should love be worth its pains were it not
That when he has fallen asleep within my atms,
Being wearied out, I love in man the child?
What can they know of love that do not know
She builds her nest upon a narrow ledge
Above a windy precipice?'' Then he:
""Seeing that when you come to the deathbed
You must return, whether you would or no,
This human life blotted from memory,
Why must I live some thirty, forty years,
Alone with all this useless happiness?''
Thereon he seized me in his arms, but I
****** him away with both my hands and cried,
""Never will I believe there is any change
Can blot out of my memory this life
Sweetened by death, but if I could believe,
That were a double hunger in my lips
For what is doubly brief.''
And now the shape
My hands were pressed to vanished suddenly.
I staggered, but a beech-tree stayed my fall,
And clinging to it I could hear the *****
Crow upon Tara."
King Eochaid bowed his head
And thanked her for her kindness to his brother,
For that she promised, and for that refused.
Thereon the bellowing of the empounded herds
Rose round the walls, and through the bronze-ringed
door
Jostled and shouted those war-wasted men,
And in the midst King Eochaid's brother stood,
And bade all welcome, being ignorant.
Trevor Gates May 2013
Adamant, nocturnal dalliance
Egregious, insidious, velvet ambiance

An unyielding, dark but brief love affair
The flagrant, seductive and comely au pair

The Eclectic, unmatched, Androgynous Circus
Red devils, black sheep and felines in service

Contortionists, gypsies, and malevolent magicians
All twisting to a dance played by faceless musicians

A night in Tunisia or a place above the Siene
Where else but all in the shadows of dreams?

Enchanted, redolent wonder of festive illumination    
Her eyes absorbed, glimmering in the lush captivation

Enveloping, engulfing silk around our bodies
Days, nights measured by tragic commodities

Arpeggios, rippling across glistening string inventions
Bowing cellos; cellists bowing with audience permission

Masks, costumes, carnivals and the golden mirror
Cerulean dripping limbs that slither while near her

The alabaster piano played by a three-armed puppet
The statues turn and welcome us for a crumpet

Maria Callus sings Ave Maria backwards then stops
The statues and demons laugh while playing with props

“This requiem for the living, begins with a kiss”
The statues said in a tone of voice I could not resist.

“Our overture shall be a ******, a nail in the coffin; a death.
All while you swallow the nectar on your lover’s last breath.”


Needles protruded my head
And I watched as my love was torn
Limb from limb
While the jackals and ballroom guests
Fornicated on the spilled blood and guts
I cried and they cheered as the lights dimmed
For All I could see was the sight of them leave
Into the darkness.
But the noises were as loud as ever as hands
And digits groped my body.
Moaning voices and rhythmic thrusting
And tongues in my ear
And teeth gnawing on my neck
Pain felt, endured, experienced
Then
I was released into the middle of the scarlet draped room
When the phlegm of ****** fluids whipped into a dried crust

A sharp edge stabbed me in the back of the neck
Running along my back, through my spine, down my skin and ending in my ******.
Mechanical hands ripped apart my skin  
I slid out of my flesh like a serpentine ******.
I stood there
shaking from the excruciating, unfathomable pain
the grid and design of my muscular system bare and seen.  

From the pieces of my departed lover,
the master with the many mechanical hands
slathered the slips
and sleeves of her skin onto my own.

Needles and thread went to work.
The puppet master sewed.
The healing plasma
the drying blood
the encapsulating tears lubricated my whole

Once he was finished, I was dunked into a pool of clear gelatin.

For hours I soaked and became whole again.
Then I rose and I was dressed
the finest garments, from across the globe.
I sat once again at the table where the statues invited me.
The musicians, the magicians, the demons, gypsies, masks and serpents
Watched and gleamed
while I sipped my tea

I out spread my fingers.

Layers of skin and stitches

No more hair.
No more nails.
Not just a regular face
but one all shall remember.

I was born as one

Then made from many

In the imminence of zealous devils in my wake
Of the attrition I have forsake

Now as the curtain rose and the spider-silk strings hoisted me up on stage
The master showcased my story to all whoever wished to engage

“Adamant, nocturnal dalliance
Egregious, insidious, velvet ambiance

An unyielding, dark but brief love affair
The flagrant, seductive and comely au pair

The Eclectic, unmatched, Androgynous Circus
Red devils, black sheep and felines in service

I am Vincent Andromeda
Your Strangelove phenomena.”
Third Eye Candy Oct 2012
however i choose
to abuse these loose reigns
to gain whatever gallops may overtake
to overrun the rampant jade
in summer's plum, my teeth in no shade
but the plump flesh
of a ****** day; brightly at heel
of my toes, bejeweled
in ocean spray
fresh cut lawns with diamond dew, disarranged
sprinkler cast before midday
to cheat the sun,  a sip or two -
and slake the thirst
of emeralds
i would soon delight
to cantor through.
to roam
with eyes too wide
to choose
a culdesac ... to dread-
or view. Perhaps
a glance at crates
and crude cadavers of a life
removed -
from every thing i worship twice !
while prancing, ever-prancing -
through
the manicure
that has ' no cure '
for Nature's way
of tending too the over-groped
and fussy plucked,
some Charter barks
you have to do; What Art dispels
what man has framed ?
what power drapes
the Land more true ? A dozen Elves ?
Prayer in school ?
what genius
never fails to ask -
the question that reveals the fruit ?
or listens .... to the loamy grass ?

a very
few, if any who -
would
do
the same; the
mortgage and a
landscape, paid;
' in-full.'  [ The first ]

with love, the glade ?

The Earth
is all i know,
would do
for nothing,
all...  Spite all -
we do.
however we blockade
or stake
the acreage
we have papers prove-
belong to every
dispossessed
with keys to doors
that lead to
rooms -
that seldom have the sun
inside the red Redwood
the old thing died
too raise your roof
under god's blue
sky.

To shelter
men from other
men,
who covet what
you keep in
them.

a 1000 yrs of Life, undone  
to build our vapid
ornaments.
a forgery
of hearths; and hardly worth
the vasty parlors
lost.

we parcel, carve
and auction
off
our petty Lots of
*******...

the empty ones we polish
while our homeless
remain home-
less

the echoes of a simpler time
too weak to even haunt them.

our shame intact, we slash
and burn, for coffers have
no conscience.

our charity is scarcely more than earplugs
for a blindness; a band-aid for an Apathy
a thimble and
a wine list
etched inside the hollow
just below the milk of kindness
that soured
in a palsy hand
that brought a drop
and spilled it.


However
I have chosen more
than fiberglass and
fountains
my habit is to wander off
the beaten path
to mountains.
To slopes
of avid avalanche
and quiet shouts
of Silence -
that echo and return
as if to soothe
my withers'
finally...

an
ache
to meadowlark and leap
for leagues without a harness
without
a gate to keep
the lush pavilions
at a distance

nothing
to contain
the gift
and no one
there to
name
it.

nothing but the wind to kiss
and no books to
explain
it.
What was her name?
****, I can’t remember.

It was a boy’s name
made feminine
with a little “i” at the end
like maybe hearing it would
make you think of
some fat guy making pizzas
until you see it
spelled out or
until it becomes attached
to her lips and hair and
skin.
The “i” was not dotted
with a little heart,
(not her style at all) but
I should have a picture
in a box some where with more pictures.
I don’t.

I’ve got little notes,
tiny thoughts scribbled
on empty match book covers,
on the backs of
pretentious
business cards,
in the borders of
the mutilated,
amputated flesh
of decrepit
used up yellow pages,  
ripped from a dead and
disjointed phone book.

I woke up from this dream
and groped for something
to scrawl on,
anything,
because it seemed significant
at 2:38 am.

In the desert somewhere,
(I’ve never even been)
you were
looking out the window
and the way the parched
dry light crackled
around you
you might have been an angel
or a sign
partially occluded by glass
advertising something
I could never afford
like religion
when suddenly you were not
a silhouette,
not back lit,
but glowing.

You were so in love, with
who I don’t know, and you
went into free fall
back
onto the bed
pulled your knees up
to your chest and
kicked your legs giggling.
I was part dead, half ghost
and still happy that you
were so happy.
I said, “you’re pregnant?”
knowing the way you
know things without
really having a way
of knowing
in a dream.

You laughed again
grabbed your little dog up
in your arms,
(I’ve no idea where the pup
came from), and baby-whispered,
“You’re going to cut
the umbilical,
aren’t you?”

and I woke with
the image of that mongrel
chewing through
the cord.

I am
waiting at the pharmacy
and the…
technician,
is reading the
cryptic symbols
penned in
indiscernible Latin,
my prescription.
She is not beautiful
but very fuckable
And in my mind
I am constructing an
image of her ******,
likening  
the shape,
size, color, etc.,
to her mouth,
when I see
my own writing on
the back
through her precise
fingers.

The tech,  
she is holding a
snapshot of her.
It might as well be
a picture of me
vomiting or
******* or
defecating.
This
is what I have left,
my version of a photo,
my dream,
scrawled on the back
of my medicine.

**** getting better.  
I ****** it from her hand.

I leave fast.  I will
never go back.  
But I still have this
little part of Toni.
and
I still have my sick dreams
even if I never sleep again.
Tawana Nov 2018
You should have seen the way she was looking at me she was asking for it with her big smile and the way she flipped her hair, she looked at me and smiled so, obviously, she was asking for it. This is the type of language I have heard from men who have tried to justify their actions.
As though that would change our reactions to how they treat women during interactions.
You know I can’t walk out at night without a chaperone.
And when I am at a party I cannot leave my drink alone.
I mean my anxiety has become full-blown.
In 2012 1.5 million women in Australia had experienced ****** assault.
And with this great number how can you say that it was probably her fault.
You should know that that’s her body not your it’s not for you to look at or to pry.
Again, it's hers, not yours so why do I need to clarify?
What kind of messed up world do we live in where a woman speaking her truth has become sin?
She asked for you to stop as you groped her, but you were not listening!
The very thought of this in my mind is honestly nothing but sickening.
We sit quietly and watch these men become the leaders of our countries and the judges in our courts. Who because of our ignorance, have still not been caught.
And yet despite the numerous reports, people refuse to connect the dots.
You mean to tell me that these women were asking for it as they lay unconscious as their offender whispered that it would be their little secret.
When will people stop and listen to the cries of these women, they are everywhere and whether you like it or not they do not exist.
They are in the bathrooms of a bar, they are in the same streets we walk every day they are even in the offices we work.
In places which we least expect them to be are where these predators lurk.
Since I was young I always dreamt of what it would be like to be grown
And now in 2018, I realized what it means to be a woman.
It means being safe should be my main concern.
It means if a man puts his hands on you he should be pardoned because, with the way you were dressed clearly he had no option.
And no matter what you say they will only listen to his version
Because your woman and you do not know what you’re talking about not even a fraction.
I have heard the stories of women who gave their confessions, and no one believed them.
Because who are they to try and tarnish the names of these men
So, tell me when just when will a woman’s voice will be heard again.
But It’s the strength and fortitude of women like Nadia Murad who make me believe that because of the horrors that have occurred we don’t all have to grieve.
There is truly is a chance for us to make some good after all the negative.
There is hope for us victim or not we could all write a new narrative.
One where a girl wearing a skirt would not be reason enough for her to be hurt.
One where a girl can sit at night on public transport with comfort.
One where a girl walking home alone would not be a hazard.
A world where when it comes to things like these, we have a higher standard.
A world where the idea of a man putting his hands on a woman would be absurd.
When people ask us why we fight there are many answers that are in the right.
We fight for the women who lost their lives in the arms of these monsters.
We fight for the women who were forced to become young mothers.
We fight for the woman who have been silenced and put into corners.
These are the people we fight for whether she’s Muslim, Christian, Sikh or any other religion.
Whether she’s Black, White, Mexican or Asian or another ethnicity, we will use our words and story’s as ammunition.
For we know that there is a war to be won and We will no longer run
So, when we speak of the monsters still standing there will be none,
And for the women who are afraid to speak his name, just know you’re not alone.
Cheyanne Lemons Feb 2015
In his brain, the metallic sweetness of the blood *****.
Because at night he strides on a tightrope.
Balancing between insanity and reality.
He takes pills cause they say it'll help his anatomy.
The clean flick of a knife against a throat.
He staggers and falls into the murky moat.

Don't blame him.

He's drowning in his own sorrow.
They swallowed his hope for a better tomorrow.
They locked him up in a casket.
Tied a bow around it like a basket.
But he's not six feet under.
He's stuck here, starting to plunder.

Don't blame him.

He knows that his past is drenched in black.
They told him he stabbed his mother in the back.
He feels their blood dripping down his fingers.
But still he can never remember what lingers.
The men in the long white coats talk about trees, and cars, and trains, and boats.
But all he can remember is the room that he's in.
His vest held together by a chain and a pin.

Don't blame him.

He's hugging the padded walls.
Dreaming of the day where his sanity calls.
He's tired, he knows that his mind is already expired.
Yet still every night, he strides on a tightrope as his essence is groped.
Everyday he's on the verge of insanity and reality.
He makes sure they don't change his anatomy.
His white vest restrains him.
It tends to drain him.
Everyday he dreams in blood.
But then again how could you blame him.
They'll eat him alive before his life claims him.

Don't Blame Him.
Two blind men met. Said one: "This earth
Has been a blackout from my birth.
Through darkness I have groped my way,
Forlorn, unknowing night from day.
But you - though War destroyed your sight,
Still have your memories of Light,
And to allay your present pain
Can live your golden youth again."

Then said the second: "Aye, it's true,
It must seem magical to you
To know the shape of things that are,
A women's lips, a rose, a star.
But therein lies the hell of it;
Better my eyes had never lit
to love of bluebells in a wood,
Or daffodils in dancing mood.

"You do not know what you have lost,
But I, alas! can count the cost -
Than memories that goad and gall,
Far better not to see at all.
And as for love, you know it not,
For pity is our sorry lot.
So there you see my point of view:
'Tis I, my friend, who envy you.

And which was right still puzzles me:
Perhaps one should be blind to see.
Third Eye Candy Jun 2014
when we met, it was tipsy tuesday and donnie had swollen fingers
and nate sank into his plaid frock and dropped his shadow
on the patio like a heavy slug, and the flies
cavorted in the vortex of our subtext
as the night skies spat stars
at our foreheads.

you were beautiful;  too beautiful then.

i was smitten, i was tossed on stormy seas, unsick.
i was healed. the world spun filth and dull glamour
but your face hurled fireworks
and my mind leaned into my heart
and i knew i loved you.
whoever you turned out
to be.

i babbled and groped, as the inertia
of falling, filled my sails
and I was purposefully adrift -
in your brown-black eyes;
as a dog fetched a frisbee
for an illiterate.

and i think i bit my lip a bit.

I saw you for the first time.
for the last time
in my life
and was never
the same.

my heart, now more precise.

you had fierce speech
underneath your sweet speak
and long hair.
i had you in my soul's yurt
on a plain of windswept pavilions
with free horses and costly
remoteness.
i was ' there ' less
and more somewhere else
alone with the perfect you
reading my lips
as they tremored
delight of it.

i babbled speechless.

i remember you tossing your locks
at my cage. and i was set free.

please add me to your wishlist
and complete me.
Rayne Victoria Oct 2018
How dare society make us women feel like
Our very own bodies is a prison,
To be locked up behind the metal bars of our *******,
******* by the chains of our curvy figures
And the sentence lying between our thighs.

And the sentence is brutal.
Consent is no longer existent
When the *** is too tempting for a man to say no
And for you to say no.

Our butts slapped,
Chests groped,
Cheeks pinched,
Thighs squeezed,
In this prison we had the decency to call our own body
We are handcuffed to the degrading appetite of a man.

Women are not a display of things to touch
We are not a dessert menu for a man’s hunger
To be ordered by catcalling:
Want a taste of a woman’s behind?
**** that ***-!
A taste of ****-
Oh, baby, put on a show for us!
Or just the full course meal-
Hey girl, ow ow owwww!

It is about time we strong women break free.
The jailor of men- I stole the key.
It is about time we change out of our prison uniforms of
Bikinis and mini skirts and stilettos
And break down the locks that confined us.

Our prison sentence is just about up,
And when we are let loose,
Us women will no longer stand for such debasing behaviors.
And when we’re free,
It’ll be time to teach the men a little lesson

This cage of our body does not define us, boys,
Maybe try finding the prisoner behind the bars-
Her personality,
Charming smile,
And brilliant intellect,
Instead of demeaning our existence,
Objectifying our importance-
We are not your tools, your toys.

We are humans, too, you know,
With- get this- feelings.
Try manners and kindness rather than
Feeling and groping your way to a woman’s heart.

We are not a play museum- we are the artifact,
The masterpiece- Mona Lisa, Starry Night, the Sistine Chapel-
You must stand behind the red velvet ropes and perform
What the English language calls respect,
With a thing also known as consent.

This- my body- is also known as my body,
It is not his, it is not hers, and most importantly,
It is not yours.
Please try to understand this- I know, it’s super complicated.
And if you gain anything from this, let it be this:

We are not here to satisfy you-
Women are not prisoners to a man’s every need.
We are not objects- no-
And we deserve to be heard.
Kathy Z Jun 2013
I never really believed in the concept called soulmates.
Sure, I could say that I believed in true love.
But to say both are the same,
would be a lie to my ears.

But you-
were different, somehow, entirely.
The moment I met you, there was a frantic beating to my heart,
the muscle that had stayed dormant, hibernating for years.
Sometime around then, the exact time I still don't know,
I accepted that ideal of near foolishness,
awkwardly holding it like a hot ember,
crackling with the fading glow of silver fireflies.

And it seemed like you knew too,
spluttering and grinning while food was stuck to your face,
three years ago.

...And I wonder, if we were both born sixty years from now,
across the far continent, would we know?

"Do you believe in the afterlife?" I asked you, one day-
You thought deeply for a moment; clutching twisted pieces of grass to your hands.
No, you replied finally. It seems to be something created in this life for wishful thinking.
You, were always optimistic.
Smiling.
Laughing.
Even in a less than fifty percent rating, you just waved it off with a grin.
So that answer, surprised me,
to the bowels of my heart.

If the heart was a maze, there would be tunnels in mine,
which were too dark even to see with a melted torch.
But yours-
was the exact white, to my black.
It was so light-
that a person would not see,
but shield their eyes instead,
from that burning ray.

Happiness is so frightening,
because there's always a withering darkness,
wavering nearby to take over.

"You have leukemia."
the doctor told you professionally,
quietly.
the moment those words were said,
you looked gently surprised,
but almost completely detached, as if you knew it all
along.
"Okay." You said those words with a smile
that only I knew was shaky.
"I'm scared."
"Don't leave me."
"Will I die?"
You, who'd been strong for me through everything,
broke down crying for the second time.
In that pressurized space,
it was as if
my conjecture of despair had been confirmed.
Hardship..
sorrow..
during such times, what was I to do?

And sometimes, I would wake up crying. I didn't know anymore weather I was sad or not-
it was too dim to remember.
Because I wished that dreams were reality, and this reality was a dream,
maybe that was the reason.
But it wasn't because I was sad, I think.
When you return from a happy dream to a desperate reality,
there's a chasm that you have to step across,
one that you can't cross without shedding tears.

All your fears became reality.
Your hair started falling out,
You couldn't hold back vomiting, even in front of me.
I cursed how powerless I was.

Finally, you broke down.
"I want to die." that voice that I loved was a mere whisper, quiet against the rustle of hospital bed sheets.
"You don't really want that." Foolishly, I took it as a joke.
You screamed.
"I know the truth! I'm not going to get better! I'm tired of you being so optimistic! I'm just tired of it all!
I never want to see you again!"
Those words stung me, straight into a dark circus of my mind.
And the world, which I thought was perfect as long as you were there, broke down.
"I love you!" That was the first time.
"I love you." The second.
I loved you.
I loved you.
I loved you.
And that emotion hurt, so much.

And I thought, what we needed the most, was to believe that there was hope,
somewhere in the world.
"Let's go to Australia."
And you, who held back for everything,
broke down crying, for the third and final time.
"Yes."  

And little by little, I planned our wonderful trip to Australia.
And after everything was set..
I didn't want to cry.
I refused to look at the darkness.
And pretending that it was not there,
was enough to keep me propelling forward.


And on the train, we shared a cake,
because it was your birthday.
And we laughed for the first time in a while,
hoping that that moment could go on for eternity.
"It's like a dream..to be here with you." You murmered against my shoulder.
"It's not a dream. We'll be together forever."
Forever, however, is endless,
spiraling along with the stars of the galaxy,
and I listened to your voice as we dozed off.

"Did you know that I read a book about aborigines? It said something about how the world is perfect and doesn't lack anything.
After I read it, I thought if there was such a thing like heaven, it might already be in this world.
It's kind of hard to explain..
We don't know what heaven is because we don't have enough understanding.
I mean, people lose each other, even when alive.
It's definitely not easy to find someone after death.
but, you can always search for me.
No matter how many times you lose me.
That's why I'm doing okay."

I wonder why I hoped that that train would go on forever,
without ever reaching a destination.
"Please keep looking for me. I'll always be here."
And a cool pair of lips brushed against my forehead,
sealing that pact.

Suddenly, blood started dripping from your nose,
landing on the cold train station floor,
spots of red and ruby.
You started coughing, hacking.
I ran, as far as my legs would take me.
When I got back-
you were collapsed.
Cold.
Still.
On the floor.
Shouting shapeless words, I ran to your side.
And in that moment, I remember thinking-
Why? Why us?!

And I kept telling myself, over and over again,
not to cry. I felt like if I cried, even the tiniest hope, would crumble to pieces.
And even though I knew from the beginning that there was no hope,
I could not come to grips with it.
i was in the darkness all along.
I was filled with resentment, and remorse.
I cried the whole time

You can come in now.
The voice of the nurse was monotone. How many times has she had to do this before?
When I saw you, I thought-
that person in white,
surrounded by plastic,
that person who's dying,
is that really you?
was that real?

But I understood,
that it was real.
There seemed to be a faint film over everything,
surrounded by sandwich wrap.
It was ridiclous.
At that moment, I felt hatred towards everything.
I even felt resentment towards you,
who would leave me.
"Please..please don't hate me."
You shook your head, looking too dry for tears.
"I love you." That was the third and final time.  
"Forever and always."

"Ah..where are you? I can't see.." You groped blindly with your hand, eyes half-closed.
I clutched it tightly to my side.
"I'm here, I'm here!"
---
---
"Good." Your eyes closed at that, sliding shut with a gentle click.
I screamed at the top of my lungs, but could not make a sound.
Why?
At that time, I wondered.
Who was hurting more?
---
---
The ashes scattered in the wind, flying away along the current lines.
And in that moment I realized..
I was born one week after you.
I had never lived in a world where you weren't there.

It's ten years later.
Can you still see me?
Those precious people that we talk about,
we have to take care not to lose them in this vast world of ours.
And another precious person,
who I love almost as dearly as you,
has not taken the place that you so carefully inhabited,
but has stretched out my heart,
making room
for more.

*Thank you for everything.
Inspired by the novel-Socrates in Love.
Jimmy Hegan Nov 2015
My life was steeped  in sin,
There was fear and doubt within,
Till I stepped out on the promises of God.
I groped as in the night,
For my heart was blind to light,
Till I stepped out upon the promises of God.

When I stepped out on the promises of God,
When I stepped out on the promises of God,
I left my sin , and fear and doubt,
When I stepped out on the promises of God.

I knew not God's great plan,
Hid in Christ for mortal man,
Till  I  stepped  out on the promises of God,
I thought the Lord could  bless,
My dead works of righteousness,
Till I stepped out upon the promises of God.

I had no hope beyond,
When in sickness in despond,
Till I stepped out on the promises of God,
His ancient touch now heals,
And His wonders He reveals,
Since I stepped out upon the promises of God.

There is a glory rest,
You will find it and be blessed,
When you step out  on the promises of God,
Down all the Saviour's feet,
Look to Him for joy complete,
When you step  out upon the promises of God.
Francie Lynch Dec 2015
What did Sisyphus know
About a slippery *****;
Shoulder to stone
His feet groped,
Shifting inclinations;
Each step consequential,
A mythic joke.
Wiggle the toes,
Feel for the edge,
Sliding is inevitable.
We have no victims
On  fallacious slopes.

Which lost hair defines bald;
Which millimeter makes you tall;
How many dimes makes one well off;
Which freckle makes you cute or beautiful;
Which ounce makes you fat,
From thin to Bottacelli.
Where does one begin?

Removing sentiments,
One at a time,
You find you straddle
The love/hate line,
A line drawn on a mountain top,
And splitting  your Sisyphus rock.
The first was like a dream through summer heat,
  The second like a tedious numbing swoon,
While the half-frozen pulses lagged to beat
  Beneath a winter moon.

"But," says my friend, "what was this thing and where?"
  It was a pleasure-place within my soul;
An earthly paradise supremely fair
  That lured me from the goal.

The first part was a tissue of hugged lies;
  The second was its ruin fraught with pain:
Why raise the fair delusion to the skies
  But to be dashed again?

My castle stood of white transparent glass
  Glittering and frail with many a fretted spire,
But when the summer sunset came to pass
  It kindled into fire.

My pleasaunce was an undulating green,
  Stately with trees whose shadows slept below,
With glimpses of smooth garden-beds between,
  Like flame or sky or snow.

Swift squirrels on the pastures took their ease,
  With leaping lambs safe from the unfeared knife;
All singing-birds rejoicing in those trees
  Fulfilled their careless life.

Wood-pigeons cooed there, stock-doves nestled there;
  My trees were full of songs and flowers and fruit,
Their branches spread a city to the air,
  And mice lodged in their root.

My heath lay farther off, where lizards lived
  In strange metallic mail, just spied and gone;
Like darted lightnings here and there perceived
  But nowhere dwelt upon.

Frogs and fat toads were there to hop or plod
  And propagate in peace, an uncouth crew,
Where velvet-headed rushes rustling nod
  And spill the morning dew.

All caterpillars throve beneath my rule,
  With snails and slugs in corners out of sight;
I never marred the curious sudden stool
  That perfects in a night.

Safe in his excavated gallery
  The burrowing mole groped on from year to year;
No harmless hedgehog curled because of me
  His prickly back for fear.

Ofttimes one like an angel walked with me,
  With spirit-discerning eyes like flames of fire,
But deep as the unfathomed endless sea
  Fulfilling my desire:

And sometimes like a snowdrift he was fair,
  And sometimes like a sunset glorious red,
And sometimes he had wings to scale the air
  With aureole round his head.

We sang our songs together by the way,
  Calls and recalls and echoes of delight;
So communed we together all the day,
  And so in dreams by night.

I have no words to tell what way we walked,
  What unforgotten path now closed and sealed;
I have no words to tell all things we talked,
  All things that he revealed:

This only can I tell: that hour by hour
  I waxed more feastful, lifted up and glad;
I felt no thorn-***** when I plucked a flower,
  Felt not my friend was sad.

"To-morrow," once I said to him with smiles:
  "To-night," he answered gravely and was dumb,
But pointed out the stones that numbered miles
  And miles and miles to come.

"Not so," I said: "to-morrow shall be sweet;
  To-night is not so sweet as coming days."
Then first I saw that he had turned his feet,
  Had turned from me his face:

Running and flying miles and miles he went,
  But once looked back to beckon with his hand
And cry: "Come home, O love, from banishment:
  Come to the distant land."

That night destroyed me like an avalanche;
  One night turned all my summer back to snow:
Next morning not a bird upon my branch,
  Not a lamb woke below,--

No bird, no lamb, no living breathing thing;
  No squirrel scampered on my breezy lawn,
No mouse lodged by his hoard: all joys took wing
  And fled before that dawn.

Azure and sun were starved from heaven above,
  No dew had fallen, but biting frost lay ****:
O love, I knew that I should meet my love,
  Should find my love no more.

"My love no more," I muttered, stunned with pain:
  I shed no tear, I wrung no passionate hand,
Till something whispered: "You shall meet again,
  Meet in a distant land."

Then with a cry like famine I arose,
  I lit my candle, searched from room to room,
Searched up and down; a war of winds that froze
  Swept through the blank of gloom.

I searched day after day, night after night;
  Scant change there came to me of night or day:
"No more," I wailed, "no more"; and trimmed my light,
  And gnashed, but did not pray,

Until my heart broke and my spirit broke:
  Upon the frost-bound floor I stumbled, fell,
And moaned: "It is enough: withhold the stroke.
  Farewell, O love, farewell."

Then life swooned from me. And I heard the song
  Of spheres and spirits rejoicing over me:
One cried: "Our sister, she hath suffered long."--
  One answered: "Make her see."--

One cried: "O blessed she who no more pain,
  Who no more disappointment shall receive."--
One answered: "Not so: she must live again;
  Strengthen thou her to live."

So, while I lay entranced, a curtain seemed
  To shrivel with crackling from before my face,
Across mine eyes a waxing radiance beamed
  And showed a certain place.

I saw a vision of a woman, where
  Night and new morning strive for *******;
Incomparably pale, and almost fair,
  And sad beyond expression.

Her eyes were like some fire-enshrining gem,
  Were stately like the stars, and yet were tender,
Her figure charmed me like a windy stem
  Quivering and drooped and slender.

I stood upon the outer barren ground,
  She stood on inner ground that budded flowers;
While circling in their never-slackening round
  Danced by the mystic hours.

But every flower was lifted on a thorn,
  And every thorn shot upright from its sands
To gall her feet; hoarse laughter pealed in scorn
  With cruel clapping hands.

She bled and wept, yet did not shrink; her strength
  Was strung up until daybreak of delight:
She measured measureless sorrow toward its length,
  And breadth, and depth, and height.

Then marked I how a chain sustained her form,
  A chain of living links not made nor riven:
It stretched sheer up through lightning, wind, and storm,
  And anchored fast in heaven.

One cried: "How long? yet founded on the Rock
  She shall do battle, suffer, and attain."--
One answered: "Faith quakes in the tempest shock:
  Strengthen her soul again."

I saw a cup sent down and come to her
  Brimful of loathing and of bitterness:
She drank with livid lips that seemed to stir
  The depth, not make it less.

But as she drank I spied a hand distil
  New wine and ****** honey; making it
First bitter-sweet, then sweet indeed, until
  She tasted only sweet.

Her lips and cheeks waxed rosy-fresh and young;
  Drinking she sang: "My soul shall nothing want";
And drank anew: while soft a song was sung,
  A mystical slow chant.

One cried: "The wounds are faithful of a friend:
  The wilderness shall blossom as a rose."--
One answered: "Rend the veil, declare the end,
  Strengthen her ere she goes."

Then earth and heaven were rolled up like a scroll;
  Time and space, change and death, had passed away;
Weight, number, measure, each had reached its whole:
  The day had come, that day.

Multitudes--multitudes--stood up in bliss,
  Made equal to the angels, glorious, fair;
With harps, palms, wedding-garments, kiss of peace,
  And crowned and haloed hair.

They sang a song, a new song in the height,
  Harping with harps to Him Who is Strong and True:
They drank new wine, their eyes saw with new light,
  Lo, all things were made new.

Tier beyond tier they rose and rose and rose
  So high that it was dreadful, flames with flames:
No man could number them, no tongue disclose
  Their secret sacred names.

As though one pulse stirred all, one rush of blood
  Fed all, one breath swept through them myriad voiced,
They struck their harps, cast down their crowns, they stood
  And worshipped and rejoiced.

Each face looked one way like a moon new-lit,
  Each face looked one way towards its Sun of Love;
Drank love and bathed in love and mirrored it
  And knew no end thereof.

Glory touched glory on each blessed head,
  Hands locked dear hands never to sunder more:
These were the new-begotten from the dead
  Whom the great birthday bore.

Heart answered heart, soul answered soul at rest,
  Double against each other, filled, sufficed:
All loving, loved of all; but loving best
  And best beloved of Christ.

I saw that one who lost her love in pain,
  Who trod on thorns, who drank the loathsome cup;
The lost in night, in day was found again;
  The fallen was lifted up.

They stood together in the blessed noon,
  They sang together through the length of days;
Each loving face bent Sunwards like a moon
  New-lit with love and praise.

Therefore, O friend, I would not if I might
  Rebuild my house of lies, wherein I joyed
One time to dwell: my soul shall walk in white,
  Cast down but not destroyed.

Therefore in patience I possess my soul;
  Yea, therefore as a flint I set my face,
To pluck down, to build up again the whole--
  But in a distant place.

These thorns are sharp, yet I can tread on them;
  This cup is loathsome, yet He makes it sweet;
My face is steadfast toward Jerusalem,
  My heart remembers it.

I lift the hanging hands, the feeble knees--
  I, precious more than seven times molten gold--
Until the day when from His storehouses
  God shall bring new and old;

Beauty for ashes, oil of joy for grief,
  Garment of praise for spirit of heaviness:
Although to-day I fade as doth a leaf,
  I languish and grow less.

Although to-day He prunes my twigs with pain,
  Yet doth His blood nourish and warm my root:
To-morrow I shall put forth buds again,
  And clothe myself with fruit.

Although to-day I walk in tedious ways,
  To-day His staff is turned into a rod,
Yet will I wait for Him the appointed days
  And stay upon my God.
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
meeting you was drowning without water, i didn’t know i was already dead

my body was stronger before my tongue tasted your name
and kissing you was like cliff diving to meet cement

your fingerprints left bruises without a warranty, i can no longer find my skin
somewhere between lost and found, your hands are ghosts around my throat
i choke on my own steps

you stain the bathroom tile like i’ve had too much to drink
loving you was like eating a cereal box of sea glass, and still searching for the prize at the bottom
my fingertips bleed broken promises

sometimes i sleep on the couch to avoid the absence of your shadow in my sheets
my sheets still ask about you
so do my parents

i rehearse words you’ll never hear
my insecurities crawl out of your one-word responses and tell me i’m not worth more

for your love of multiples, i could have been anyone
your hands carry the baggage of “ew she’s my best friend
i’ve lost count of all the ‘shes

you were not searching for my heartbeat when your hands groped my chest
i’ve had trouble finding my pulse lately

i need a receipt for our memories but they’re stuck to me like a shirt i can’t get over my shoulders
i can’t get over your smile –

the way the corners curled like bare willow branches dancing in the wind to our song
it was running your parseltongue through my veins, and i’d run out the high for days
i think i’m still running, but my feet are stuck in the same **** city we met

your face is plastered post-it notes on all the places we had our firsts as if i need reminders you used to look in my eyes and mean it

i visit museums to remind myself beautiful things have history too

no one ever tells you that goodbye tastes like empty air, tastes like looking in the mirror and not being able to swallow yourself

i bear the scars of your touch, poetry scratched into my skin like tattoos

i remember the first time you hit me
your palm crashed my cheek like a chance seismic stamp and i liked it

you told me, “run while you can i’m dangerous,”
but i stuck around to be buried in the dirt of the grave you dug me with “hello

sometimes i’m convinced we only hug so you can check my hands for a shovel
11.24.15

— The End —