why is it that i hear screams in the night.
when i close my eyes, and it’s quiet.
flashbacks of you, having to be restrained.
you biting, biting. i’m bleeding.
memories of you strapped down, pumped full of ketamine.
close your eyes, close your eyes. i’m pleading.
water everywhere, around me
puddles, the ponds, lakes, the sea
water above, around
my head under everywhere it seems
stuck breathing in bubbles, barely
but I’m gasping for air in my dreams
those red butterflies take me back to the time when
those annoying crickets lulled me to sleep
dreamt I was barefoot on the gravel
running to that abandoned church
where those lost souls would be baptized
stood up high to pretend to speak
but I knew I wasn’t worthy
running back to the little, green house
the gravel biting at my soles
I whimpered and looked back –
you ran and didn’t even feel the rocks
you came laughing back,
your feet untouched
A few days ago she held the branches like a parasol – shielding her face from the heat she once loved, lived for even. This same woman used to plant her face against the icy window on a February afternoon – just to sense its glow. Close her eyes and envision the red. Remember the way grass felt under her bare feet – lick her lips recollecting the smell of water leaving a garden hose. Mutter under her breath, wishing winter to leave – she was sick of seeing dead leaves.
This woman now settled in the place of perpetual summer – feels the all too familiar chill to her bones. She puts on extra layers while the lizards lie like statues at her feet. Watches the hawks bounce on the January winds and forget that she is driving. Digs out her grandmother’s quilt from her closet (the quilt of pale random squares, playful tufts of thread, and white downy backing), and she will remember the sweet dreams of her youth.
Winter found its way to her, and she just wants to be warm again; be happy again. She wants to remember what hopes brought her to the land of palms. Stop cursing the march of time. Mutter under her breath, and wish winter to leave – she was sick of certain memories. Be grateful that her winter really isn’t winter; except for right now.
washed ashore, no breath left. rocked to death, their
life emptied into the torturous sea
that swallowed them. promising them lives, but
it brought them back against the wood, against
the rocks. their pale faces charred from the sun,
their thinning brows white with salt. their hopeful
black hair tangled with the splinters, their bones
rattling, their bones done. I pray God saved them,
even if they didn’t believe. please let
there be some mercy in that mystery.
but I’m afraid there are more coming, more
running, being chased, fearful, while ever
so mournful. lost ones being swallowed up
by the sea, washed ashore with no breath left.
I want to build a house by the coal sea.
You say Mr. Take Awayer won’t find us
there by the dark sea that rocks us to sleep.
Mr. Take Awayer will wear a shabby
garb of white. You tell me he floats sideways
in the contrast of night. Always at night.
By the vast sea I pray his calls are drowned
out by the violent waves and rocky shore.
He beckons to deceive you far from me.
But you won’t hear him I promise. I swear.
I hope you’ll be happy, hope we are too.
When I build a house by the jet black sea
and every night have its torment sway us
to dreamland. Find comfort knowing it could
swallow us, forgetting this pain on earth.
Hidden afar from Mr. Take Awayer.
think it’s raining
it’s only my tears
hitting the hardwood
falling heavier than
I thought they could
they’ve taken on a
life of their own
my tear drops crying back to me
wanting to bring me home
my tear drops know that
I can’t even speak
can’t even pray
but they know
He knows my thoughts
I don’t have anything
new to say
all the while
thinking it’s raining
when you took my hand you let your fingers
linger on mine a little longer than usual
made me think you were saying goodbye
when you hold the hand
of a loved one that’s about to die
couldn’t be good news
the way you just left me
watched you walk away
one part of me not caring
the other part wanting you to stay
red chameleon beckoned me out
entranced me with its glossy glaze
matched the blood that fell from me
walked past the broken grill
with the torn black cover
said hello to the baby leaves
let the purple tendrils wrap themselves
around my knees
“Stay with us forever!”
I pretend to hear them plead
What beautiful, caring creatures – I think
look up at the black
feel the moisture run down my back
marvel that it’s too humid to even breathe
watch the red chameleon crawl into
a place that I cannot go
we all can’t be Alice that gets to fall
into that glorious rabbit hole
look away – rip my eyes from its gaze
feel the purple tendrils unwrap their grip
from my knees
go back into my crumbling house
ignore their saddened stance
ignore their fictitious pleas
that foam hung around for a long time
tickled my arms
tickled my nose
so I couldn’t breathe
reminded me of that time long ago
I held my breath when I was born
held it so long
that they told him I died
when he told that story
it was the only time
I ever saw him cry