fleeting

by the time he pulled the bird
out of his pocket
its damp wings were the color
of melted butter
it was gasping, pecking ferociously
its canary spirit flapping away

after the time he pulled the canary
out of his pocket
the soldiers wept for
the absence of its sound
reason lacking, trying unavailingly
to keep any happiness from floating away

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

the way you just left me

watched you walk away

one part of me not caring

the other part wanting you to stay

 

break

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 

and

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

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

duty

this beaten down shell of a woman 

the one with the grandest dreams 

grew tired of seeing her shadow at the bottom

and

let the violins lead her out of the water

to take a walk under the August sun 

 

unafraid to 

journey for days on end without sleep 

burdened with thirst but not take a drink

until that duty called her back in 

to cut her feet on those flawed, broken shells 

back in to swim with the eels

back to the that beaten down shell of a woman

like me

can’t

 

I can’t even enjoy the rain anymore.

I’m always pacing, reaching for the door. 

I can’t even savor my meals anymore.

I’m always eating while standing; 

hurriedly chewing and choking. 

I can’t even stand my showers anymore.

That water hurts my burgundy 

striped shoulders.

I can’t even stand to stand anymore.

The gorilla on my back just keeps 

getting older. 

I can’t even love my words anymore. 

They just sit here pretty like, 

as a constant reminder that 

I just can’t anymore.

 

 

 

crestfallen

that sadness always hits us like a brick

hear its calls louder when there are fewer

distractions to keep our dull minds at bay

sadness that wears on us like blankets

heavy, smelly, making us suffer and smolder

stifling, because it’s always summer here

 

you say you want to feel it though

swim in it, surrender to it

hear its taunts that test you

so you’ll grow, you always do

you’ll defeat it, and like its own season

it’ll pass

 

dear crestfallen one,

I’m proud of you, I’m grateful for you

as I try to feel hope instead of this weight of despair

that sadness just seems to hit us so hard

each and every time

as I count down the seconds that I can call you mine

 

 

defeated

broken

before she peels herself out of bed

counting the minutes before she’s back there

hears the chatter outside her head,

but she ignores it, sighs

looks out the window

wills herself out there…

to go wherever they’re going

wonder what his cigarette tastes like

wonder how that ink feels flush against the skin

blush, have to look away

wonder if that was a sin

 

surely she’s more than this

to just sit here, sit here and just exist

to take up this space

longing to have the laughter last

waiting for life to return to her face

she wishes herself to be anywhere,

any place else, away from this chaos

but alas, she remains, sighs

broken

before she peels herself out of bed

i forgot

I’m an object, I’m a thing

far from a human being

but

I feel the pain again

I swam so much, I

forgot how to swim

let me just rot away

wishing for another day

 

I’m an object, I’m a thing

far from a human being

but

my ears buzz with every scream

I dreamt so much, I

forgot how to dream

my arms are torn

damn flesh is worn

 

I’m an object, I’m a thing

far from a human being

but

tonight my soul took flight

I cried so much, I

forgot how to cry

pointless words spoken

my only heart broken

 

I’m an object, I’m a thing

far from a human being

but

I saw the ghosts turn into the willow trees

I was so much, I

forgot how to be

abandoned, dead inside

no breath left, but still alive