I have not stopped eating
Since the day I knew
That I will come to see you.
I wouldn’t want you
To walk away unsatisfied.
I am marinating,
Soaking my bland truths,
In the simmering sauce
Of unceasing conversationality,
That flavor of extroversion
Which is so appealing to your guts;
Digests better, doesn’t it?
I hope the messy tangles
Of my life experiences
Don’t get stuck in your teeth;
I will bring you a toothpick,
Just in case.
A glass of cool indifference
With which you can wash down
The bitter aftertaste of my unaccomplished dreams.
Don’t worry your mind
With remorse or conscience.
You bear no responsibility, after all
That I have put you on this pedestal,
That I have offered myself up.
Feel free to make judgments.
Compare me to the fried;
All smoke and no substance,
The unwholesome, the untruthful.
I won’t blame you
For not putting me in a class apart.
Take a look from all directions.
I know, in this instagram-savvy world,
It’s just the presentation that matters.
Have no restraints, no politeness.
Your crass touch won’t dirty me,
What right does an object have to feel degraded, anyway.
Savor each bite,
As you take away chunks of my hope.
Strip away the skin of dignity,
By forcing me to smile.
Spit out my pride, raw and uncooked,
That bone of righteousness has no place in this recipe.
Dig into my flesh and salt my wounds,
Turn me into that which pleases your tongue.
Photo by Tim Mossholder
I like yellow flowers.
I realize how much has changed;
How the stars appear brighter.
I am wary of the light sometimes.
I remember its deceptiveness.
I catch myself smiling
with a lightness and innocence,
As though I did not emerge
gasping for breath
only to submerge again.
And again. And again.
I chide the part of me that smiles,
child-like. I remind her
of happiness that is hard earned;
I tell her to not spend it all at once.
To save some
For nights that are darker
For mornings that are colder
For roads when she finds — I find myself alone.
I tell her to wrap up her smiles
In cotton wool,
To ration out her joy in bits and pieces
A little here and there, wisely.
She laughs loudly — audaciously.
And it sounds like cowbells
On a warm afternoon in the meadow.
She blows bubbles in the bath
And makes smileys on the fogged mirror.
I stand besides her
Trying to protect her from herself.
Someone has to maintain the archives of memories.
But her happiness is absolute
She wants no part of the carefulness.
I hesitate a little, and indulge
Into a smile like sunshine sometimes.
I still like yellow flowers.
When they skinned me alive,
I was afraid, very afraid.
For I knew my crimes were not merely skin-deep.
And when they pelted me with stones,
A chill crept into my heart.
For I knew I could not atone my sins with broken bones.
But when they reached deep inside
And pulled out that one tiny shard to crush,
A sliver of hope, that sustained my life,
I gave a weak laugh, giddy with relief.
For there could be no more;
The Lords of Karma had crossed that line.
There would be no more punishment
Without violating the very laws that they held so sacred.
I reached out and took it back;
That tiny shard of an already broken whole.
“No more punishment”, I repeated to myself,
A statement and a promise at the same time,
For I had reached, at last, the end of my penance.
I thought there would be no more.
I thought there would be mercy
After losing my limbs, my heart, my head.
But the razor sharp teeth betray
The signs of salivating
At the mere empty shell of my broken body as well.
They have come for my soul,
Hidden helpless under the folds of my tortured skin;
I wonder if they can smell the rotten death inside.
They will peck and bite until nothing remains but bones.
Circling around me, they wait,
Watching the struggle,
To drag myself slowly
An inch every minute.
They are patient in their hunger,
Biding their time, until the end.
The world went red this morning;
Was it red yesterday as well?
And the days and weeks and months before?
Do I remember a world with all colors?
As dawn approaches,
I see the crimson of the sun
Bleeding in all directions of the sky.
Do I remember seeing a rainbow?
The creek flowing through the valley
Is the vermillion starting at the head
As it paints her, the mountain,
With the color of her master.
Red flowers adorn the branches
Like ruby rings on hands;
The shine of glamour masking
The bruises beneath the bangles.
I trace the heavy droplets
From palm to elbow to neck.
My cheeks feel hot and sticky;
I discover, at last, the source of red.
Can nothing be a thing,
That is heavy on the heart?
Can nothing be a knife,
That carves out a hollow in the chest?
Can nothing be dark,
Engulfing the air around, suffocating me?
It seems to have too much character for being nothing.
It approaches every night
And I am afraid of sleep.
It approaches every dawn
And I am afraid of the day,
Of going through the motions,
The endless rituals of what we call life,
As I hide behind the mask of a white lie;
“I am afraid of nothing.”
Olive branch you extend,
And I reach out with my own.
But time keeps passing
And turns it into a dagger
That twists in the heart
As I open my hands to find nothing;
Perhaps it was all imagination.
Gentle breeze starts blowing,
And I dare to venture a smile.
The moment draws to a close
And turns it into a stormy gale
That tries to uproot all the faith
That I had built in my heart;
Perhaps it was all imagination.