little white buildings on my right, as I
make the ground ache when I walk.
earth hard, unlike weeks before when
life sprouted up towards the sun.
barren forked trees on my left,
as pale gray clouds leave me
breathless for a moment cause
the air hurts to breathe.
silence, as I go past the frozen mess
that was left before me as I begin my
waiting for the world to act alive again.
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
I felt the friction like a cat’s tongue
hesitating to taste what’s on my finger
cooed sweet baby words in its ear
to get him to linger
drove under the dopey gray clouds
so tired from the day
and told big happy lies to myself
begging the sunshine to stay
the demon he carried was larger than him
he was unaware but I saw it
and I was just a little girl
this man who smelled of cigars and aging skin
barely spoke, but he had all the baby dolls lined up
and I’m sure he touched them all
including me, innocent and small
this man who crept in with the shadows
when he thought I was asleep, didn’t have a clue
I could turn into a statue and not make a peep
this man was naught, this man who was a creep.
let my eyes stay here and play awhile
before you go away. let me marvel at how
your light shifts shape, your amber haze so
addicting. let my eyes stay here and
play awhile, before you fly right out the
door. leaving your golden smile, your aura,
your everything – helpless on the floor
oh god, how he was beautiful,
the way she looked at him with
life pulsing at her temples,
waiting expectantly like
she’d been here before,
hands held out – falling to be caught,
saved by him, with those strong arms.
oh god, how he was beautiful,
the way he looked at
her, looking at him.
Remember when I held the nori up to the sun, and our eyes were graced by that moss-green? The color stained our eyes for minutes as the seaweed crumbled from our lips. Salt made me crave water, but I didn’t reach for my drink. Instead, I asked you, “Isn’t this beautiful?” And you said, “Yes, it is.” I wanted to stare at it for hours, but you were “done” after one square of nori. You then said, “When I get older, I want to marry a Spanish Girl.” Before logic took over, I indulged in the fancy that one day you would marry. I didn’t mention the harsh realities or misconstrued negativities. I just laughed affectionately and said, “As long as she’s nice and loves you.”
I imagined her hair dark like mine. She’d love red lipstick but never wear it. And she’d wear ankle-grazing floral skirts made of long, gauzy fabric with puffy blue, pink, and yellow flowers. Blooms you could run your fingers against; roses you could get lost in. Perhaps her name would be Maria, and her tan hand would always reach for yours as you crossed the street. She would take care of you and love you, even after I left this Earth.
You grew impatient with my lingering and went inside to play with your dry erase markers or something. I let go of the fancy and watched you walk away. Maria went back to that vague place where particular thoughts crush my heart to a million pieces, and I lose a little each time it happens. She joined the thoughts of your future everything, your future anything.
Remember when I held the nori up to the sun, and our eyes were graced by the moss-green? That moment, those seconds? Life was certain, life was divine.
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.
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, let it be time to sleep
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