ghosts

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.

barely

gently place the bow to string.  tiptoe on

ice, nearly silent.  how do you do it?

appear and then leave almost without a

trace, but I witness your shadow depart.

I reach out to air to find no one there.

here, nearly silent.  how do you do that?

grandpa

startled yet grateful that I saw your face

the other night.  I haven’t seen it since

1988.  kind eyes, more white than

blue.  slow to smile, but when you did you meant

it.  what a gift to have seen you in that

man, a stranger, walking past.  walked slow in

that fog of numb I entered in hoping

the illusion would last, but looked back to

see you walking away.  tears pushed their way

through, I had no choice but to feel them.  felt

a breeze grace the nape of my neck, close my

eyes and continue – startled yet grateful.

 

vanity

 

I wore a flash ring on every finger.

seven bracelets on my once small wrist.

grew envious of how well that boy looked

wearing the black floral dress standing there

by the pink roses with an expression

I couldn’t name.  how it oddly made me

miss your shadow in the night.  how it made

me mutter under my breath like a spell.

stirred the craving to be young again.  but

sometimes the memories can be cruel and

deceiving and I harshly remember

the beauty never lasts and never will.

 

 

 

distraction

all this strawberry dust is making me more attractive to the bees

as they whisper their youth in my ears

let their wings do as they please

wake up and feel the rush of fire rise up on my arms

it tap dances on my shoulders

his breath not far behind

his sadness broke my finger, felt the odd twinge of pain

as the nausea swept over me causing me to sit down

cause I’m so weak

but it paused his trance of rage for a minute

long enough for me to catch my breath

please Lord, let me catch my breath

let it be time to rest

give him rest so I can rest

let it be time to dream

dream of those enchanting bees

so polite they quiet their buzzing

for my worn out ears

as they lure me with their nectar

tempt me to their land of flowers and honey

 

to calm

To calm your wild

I’d give my life

stop being a mother 

stop being a wife 

 

To calm your wild

I’d except my tired eyes

die a painful death 

swim in a storm of lies

 

To calm your wild

I’d do anything 

stop being human 

crumble my beating heart

become a thing 

 

To calm your wild

for you to have a life? 

I’d do these things 

I wouldn’t think twice

reminisce II

making me hunger for the cold.  want to

feel the icicles jump down my throat when

I inhale to steady my breath; causing

my eyes to fail me and freeze.  blurred vision

has me fumbling; hard ice has me stumbling.

sliding down to my death cause my legs are

too weak.  causing flashbacks to all those times

I went sledding as a kid.  skin numb and

laughter frozen, not a care in the air.

 

parting

when you took my hand you let your fingers

linger on mine a little longer than usual

made me think you were saying goodbye

much like

when you hold the hand

of a loved one that’s about to die

 

couldn’t be good news I’d think,

the way you just left me

watched you walk away

one part of me not caring

the other part wanting you to stay

 

birth

that foam hung around for a long time

this 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

and

when he told that story

it was the only time

I ever saw him cry

past

rusty gate called me in

off that weed infested path

lined with the statues your aunt made

all those Raggedy Anns and Andys

with their red button stares and permanent smiles

creeping me out, but you loved them

 

open that rusty gate – hear its exclamations

wipe my hand on my thigh, watch the orange dust fly

walk barefooted on the gravel

feel the stones pierce my flesh but

my strong child self doesn’t cry

look to my left over the fence

see the lightning bugs emerge

pray one lands on me – it’ll give me luck 

 

walk into that darkened house

tiptoe around all the statues on the floor

look past their frozen happiness

sitting on the tables, waiting around the corner

stay brave with all their eyes on me

turn around and suddenly wish to leave

the house is just too eerie

 

run outside, ignore Raggedy Ann’s glare

close the rusty gate – hear its low moan

think, I’m too young to care

dash to play with those fleeting lights

and when you ask, “Did you have fun?”

I’ll pretend I didn’t hear you

walk past and embrace the fading sun