Sometimes Depression Hits her like A freight train It's her own fault She lies on the Tracks Waiting for The force Surrendering To the pain Risking Everything for A chance at Heaven.
I don't pretendTo know Why my body Just broke out In chills
I don't pretend To hate myself Or love myself Or know myself And what I want
I don't pretend To be anything Less than perfect For I was born This way
I don't pretend The deluge of This human experience Does not break My heart daily
I don't pretend Mistakes don't happen Or light doesn't die Or envy doesn't Warp my thoughts
I don't pretend My thoughts Don't matter My addictions Don't count
I don't pretend I'm naturally Thin and I don't need Recognition for These years of work
I don't pretend My heart doesn't Hurt And I don't pretend To know why.
AloneWeeping alone Sleeping alone Surrounded by alone
She did it to herself She made the space herself She carved it out with her fingernails Artificial red
Why? To weep? To smoke? To drink cheap wine & expensive cheese without anyone watching? When she's not alone She craves loneliness Her only constant companion
Blood on a page Words stamped in her brain She wants to matter to no one She wants no one to matter to her
She wears sunglasses and overcoats When she steps outside She prefers rain clouds To open skies
The potent sun that burns Her skin Too gauzy to protect her insides From the Evil
Some try to ignore it Until it strikes In the form of dishonest Devious
Heart-breakers As it always does So long as you are not Alone.
The lies came down in sheetsHeavy like someone walking on the roof But it was only the beating of Rain from low clouds The kind that never really lift She mistook your admiration for love You could only love her from afar You never loved her real self Her fractured self Her selfish self Her self that digs holes to love in Her self that wants to be found Her self that fills in the holes without help You didn't have the patience for Her shameful self Her victim self Her self that rises like cream Her self that doesn't know what she wants Only what she doesn't want.
It's a creeping painA slow patient pain The layers thicken Before they flake
Her hiding place dissolves The past becomes now Her hands become putty Weakness cradled by pain
She is numb Held hostage by unconsciousness His want replaces love Her love replaces anger
An inebriate coupling A black mark on a porcelain surface Giving in giving up As hope melts to softness
She sleeps in the bosom of regret But upon awakening Her hands are strong again Recovered by night's forgiving embrace.
Stop and start and stopfickle compulsions of the head making night-time final decisions based on a lucid dream. You think the work has feelings for you like a lover who leaves not love notes for remembrance but withered hopes and layered cuts. Flowers blossom faithfully in spring but never when we're looking change only perceptible after it's changed everything. It's a miasma of missing things even while doing everything it's never enough of anything stuffing holes with beautiful distraction. Pressure chips away at the beauty no one ever saw the potential we forgot to use the hours we'll never get back.
In response to this week's Tipsy Lit prompt: write about an adult topic seen through a child’s eyes.
When the sun beamed its mustard face through the window, Tanner could squint his eyes and see a rainbow swaying in his Mommy’s mirror, smiling at him like the man in the sweet shop. His neighbor lady, Dawn, said good things always followed a rainbow. She wore messy rainbows on her clothes every day. She made them herself, and she made one for Tanner, too.
“Ugh. Do you have to wear that shirt? It’s so hippie-dippy,” said his Mommy, her voice scrunched. Mommy hated Dawn, but she still let Tanner fall asleep on Dawn’s couch every night, scratchy and moldy, cartoons fading into dreams.
Tanner’s Mommy didn’t work all day like other mommies. She smoked her special sticks and painted her toe nails pretty and yelled at Ricki Lake and made snickerdoodle cookies. Her friends came over sometimes and they drank from tall brown bottles in between kissing on the mouth. They kissed like their tongues tasted of custard, or something else you couldn't stop tasting. Tanner felt funny on the underside of his tummy when they panted and licked like the stray puppies who rolled around the neighborhood. Sometimes his Mommy gave him a lollipop and changed the TV to cartoons and took her friend by the fingers.
“Now be a good boy while Mommy has grown up time, okay?”
“What’s grown up time, Mommy?”
“It’s when we talk about grown up things.”
“What are grown up things?”
“I’ll tell you when you’re older.”
The men smiled big yucky smiles, their teeth sharp as the big bad wolf, while she ruffled his hair and winked one eye. He listened for the click, the signal she’d pushed in the lock, and then he pressed his ear against the door and listened for grown up things. But they didn’t talk. They jumped on the bed and Mommy made sounds like she was eating a box of chocolates or slipping into a bubbly bath.
Sometimes Tanner tip toed back to the TV like a good boy and sometimes he walked down the street slow as a tortoise, hunting for friends that didn’t want to be caught. He offered a freckled girl on a strawberry bicycle a lick of his lollipop one day.
"It's strawberry! You'll love it!"
"Gross!” she screamed, pedaling away, calling for her daddy. Tanner wished he could call for his daddy, but he already knew that no one would come.
Mommy’s friends always left before dinner. She cut hot dogs into octopuses and baked chicken into dinosaurs. He drank big boy milk and she gulped purple mommy juice and they smashed their glasses together and said “cheers!” After dinner, she packed up her big black bag with underwear and sparkly shoes and a funny wig. He liked the long yellow one best because it turned Mommy into Rapunzel. Mommy loved to be beautiful, she said it felt like she’d captured the stars in her pocket.
At work, she twirled on a stage, and she did it so nicely, like a fairy princess, that people gave her money. Whenever Tanner asked her to dance for him, she grabbed his hands and they spun around the living room until they fell to the ground in a happy pile.
He tried to wait up for her always, but his eyelids grew heavy as rain clouds. Always. When the stage set her free, she carried him from Dawn’s couch to his bed so that he awoke in a different place than he’d fallen asleep. He loved waking up in his own little bed, counting the cars on his bed sheets.
But one morning, he woke up on Dawn’s couch and it felt like the world had cracked open for a one-eyed hairy monster to crawl out. It chewed up his brains and left him dead but alive and itchy. Dawn’s face, round as the full moon, appeared before his nose, asking him if he wanted rainbow loops or frosted flakes for breakfast.
“I want Mommy.”
“Well I'm not sure where she’s at, little guy.”
image credit: themusicreunion.com
Written for Trifecta. The prompt is to use the third definition of "charm." When we could no longer talk, when comebacks grew superfluous as cheese-stuffed pizza crusts and apologies became lodged between the ribs, we walked. We didn't make contact with accusatory eyes nor spindly fingers. We didn't know how to live apart, and we fought like angry cats while together. We were wine and chocolate, frick and frack, sunlight and water. Together we tasted like divine pairings, we could accomplish so many things and be so many iterations of our best selves, and our worst.
We wrote a screenplay together in a day, each picking up where the other had left off, weaving the plot in ways no one could prophesy. We got high off of the imagined drama. The impossible love triangle, the precise professions made by the man to charm both of the women at once, the compromises each character made for their own unhappy ending.
Our trusted friend was the only son of a Hollywood producer, hot shot and loaded. After reading it, he couldn't speak through his elation. We stared at one another like mutes. I opened a box of wine and we clinked three glasses together. When we'd drained the last of the crimson, our friend moved his lips.
"Brilliant. Fucking brilliant."
We were going to make a movie.
My husband and I made love in the middle of the day and the middle of the night. We climbed mountains, settling upon the highest rock with a picnic lunch, only satisfied with the widest angle of the world. We dined on oysters and shopped using credit cards. We lived the dream like we owned it.
And then I changed my mind. Or perhaps my mind changed me. Changed us.
"We have to fix the ending."
"It's too sad. No one likes a film that's ultimately depressing. No one."
"We wanted it to be realistic, remember?"
"What's so unrealistic about happy endings?"
Everything, it turned out.
I sleep not, rest notEat not, taste not Kiss not, love not Unless I'm with You
Take my fingers I know they're cold, let's Travel to panoramic views Where mountains float like Birds
I'll wait while you collect Souvenirs of this entanglement My wings flapping in rhythm With the cycles of the Moon
Once she's carried me home Turn your face towards heaven I'll return as a raindrop I'll caress your face with Water
There is no end to us As there was no beginning We exist as points upon the circle Repeating this infinite Loop.
Run. Run far away andPlease do come back, not like A boomerang, like you. I want you rosaceous red Steeped in clouds and sweat, Brown like earth so deep it is Impossible to dig up. Tall like The volcano in the distance Reminding us of our inadequacy. Murderous like the abominable Snowman, not a monster nor a Storybook creation but a man Who kills foxes with his bare Hands and wrestles snarling bears When they've eaten his dog's Heart, leaving the rest to rot. I want the tears of people You've never touched to flow Leaving a trail of crumbs Blue dots in white snow indicating The road you've traveled, like Plastic bottles hanging off of Tree branches. I will always find you You will always find me. Once you've Felt their pain in your kidneys In every compartment of your spine You can return to me. Leave the Remains buried atop the volcano Where there's a view, where his Spirit will want to visit, where we Will want to visit, too. For we are Never far from the paradise we built It lives inside our beating hearts Like a ship in a bottle, filed away under "Secrets" until our brains turn off and we Exist in the context of bright light rather than Love and fear, God's yellow face, the dots Piercing the night sky: stars or airplanes Or alien dimensions.
I told them to go: Daddy,Take her to her favorite place The library. Pick up the Thai food And come home, be safe.
They come home and I kiss them We eat together, then we watch Fantasia while I stretch and Daddy works. A normal evening.
Except for the police racing about Daddy wondered why, I said: Guns The last time I saw them speeding Without sirens, somebody got shot.
The neighborhood blog flashed a notice: A shooting at the corner, near the library At 6:45. My reasons for living crossed paths With a gunman, and I sent them.
I get on my knees, blessing my Angels, my worst fears curling and Charred, touched by the fires of hell While I pray for their mothers.
It tugs on your lapels like aNeedy child needing you and only You, traveling through brain mass Finding new spaces to fill, breaking Your life into two neat pieces. One for the addiction, another for Everything else, everything that matters. You hold the pieces together with your knees, Careful not to move your hips, gambling on The outcome, the hit, the blow, the shot. You reel, you breathe differently, you feel The new space where the cracks have widened And the vapor rushes in like epoxy or Super glue, which always does a better job sewing Your fingers together than the fractures.
LoveSits in the corner, holding hands Sleeps in a pile, legs intertwined Comes home each day at the same time Until it doesn't. I'll be back, says Love. So you wait at the same time every night Prostrate in cold empty sheets, tears pooling Inside your ears, swallowing and digesting Fear like sugar. Until it becomes stubborn Flesh clinging to bone. Still waiting for Love. You gaze at images to conjure it home But the feeling collapses lungs, steals Oxygen, transforms blood into salt water And hope into desperate, crashing chance. Hungry yet starving, the only food being Love. You sleep under white sliver of moon, wake up to Infinite black sky, nothing out there but Space, spinning planets, exploding stars Tossing wishes like skipping rocks, waiting for One to land and last. No guarantees, but for Love.