Wind cuts my body to tatters,
and I grow like the day:
withered and weary.
Darkness settles over all,
blanketing the world in sin.
Underneath I see fields of sorrows
filled with the remnants of my broken dreams
if only this chilling breeze will tear my
thoughts to the seams!
Instead, I must avert my gaze to the ground
and restrain my breath
for to death I am bound.
I do not fight. I do not scream.
I go on my way through the dusky fog of grey
where I will meet an end, a promise upheld.
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With its ripples and dents and vast plains,
its dimples and scars and blotches,
this body is mine, and I am a perfect fit.
This body has
eyes that blink and lips that curl
like petals that reach towards sunlight.
This body has
a nose that twitches and a brow that lifts
like the swell of a sea tide.
This body has
muscles that stretch and arms that wrap
like a shawl around a lover’s neck.
Ribs that expand and hips that sway
Fingers that pluck and seize and clasp and yet
this body is
covered up when shamed
exposed when demanded
holds itself together
with just the strength of a woman
mine, but not me.
that I exist inside.
pointed at, embraced, adored.
never existing together as purely
Here I stand
between two eternities.
One, unreachable, impalpable in nature.
Another, lingering, inciting memories of pain
or beauty, or happiness, or love
residing in the caverns of my psyche.
The future and the past.
But then, there is now–
so fleeting in its embrace,
yet ensnaring when acknowledged.
Wedged between two eternities spent before and after:
moments spent in cafes,
theaters, shopping malls, streets–
steps I’ve taken
retraced back to prior lives.
So foolish, then, to think
that I matter so much.
jumbled up, a drop
of oil in water.
Fluid, she sways through
the sea current, dress
billowing to match her movements.
A bell-bodied beauty,
conceals toxic intent.
In performance, her form
hides sweet chloroform
peeking out from below
her blush ballet skirt.
The audience is enraptured
by her hidden figure, paralyzed
by Medusa’s stone smile.
But move to embrace her,
and you’ll taste the grave
on your tongue.
For a moment, echoes over the ocean sound your obituary —
these jagged cliffs are your gravestones, and perhaps
the algae the rolling waves offer to the shoreline is
the water’s apology.
For sending your casket deep into the corals.
For seasoning the ocean salty with your panic.
For surging your lifeless limbs away from land.
Gray, gray, gray, your grave is no different, though instead of
mounds of freshly turned dirt, you’re covered with
foaming white rapids, which I imagine cover more to be discovered.
Did you cry?
Are you the reason ocean water stings?
Did your tears erode these rivers on my cheeks,
stealing away youth in exchange for what
the Atlantic stole from you?
I can’t decipher if blood or an ocean breeze rushes in my mind
when I think about how water burned your lungs and
thrashed you along the current like a
lone garment in a washing machine.
And so the ocean only grows,
belly full with violence.
I dot the water with primrose
but am only met with silence
My father stands in the corner of the yard
the infant branches of the dogwood bush in spring time
he lays the sticks
one after another
in neat rows
until a yellow road stretches across the expanse of the world
and then I look back at the dogwood bush
but there’s only a
lonely stump in the ground.