Micro Stories

how many deaths?

Life flashes before your eyes before you die.
They say, whispers turning to smoke in the night’s chill.
Tightening the noose.
It’s a lie.
Every time
Every time I die, they erase a little more of me.
Disaster etched his lips, only the simplest of pains stitching his heart back together. They keep supplying the knives for him to cut it open.
Don’t rock the chair.
Their eyes closed, backs turned to the empty shoes and spilling sobs.

Life flashes before your eyes before you die.
It’s a lie.
Frozen clocks in their hearts, razors for tongues.
They knew all along. Steered him clear of me.
Drowning us both.
Better to leash a sheep than fear a wolf running free.
Right?

Don’t rock the chair.
Every time
Every time it breaks me a little more.
He’s running out of stitches.

Life flashes before your eyes before you die.
It’s a lie.
They stuffed their hands with paper mache, pockets with gold.
Didn’t know it would weigh them down, slow their hold.
Step by step, forgetting their fear, dragging their feet.
Someone whispered into the wrong ear, jewels wouldn’t be sold.
Caught up then, in their halls of majesty, they forgot.
They forgot about the slipping leash, their crooked crowns dulling the cuffs.
And he found me, sitting on the edge, feet dangling, holding their noose, rocking the chair.

Micro Stories · Shadow Poetry

hope

i’m not sure i have a voice


you see, there’s a slumbering trembling that takes a step into something warm and inviting, like the sun, but with training wheels

and every time the light of day hits it, someone comes along with a sledgehammer and takes it all away

i keep lying there, catching my breath. before sitting back up, playing with my fingers in the sand, writing maps no one understands but me

it’s lonely


but i can still feel the pulse of it in me, thrumming into a hurricane of neediness, ready to explode and take everything in its path with it. down into this dessert of warmth and cool breezes and nothing that really belongs in these flat lands

do you remember the first time you felt the sun’s heat on your flesh? i think i must’ve had a hand over my mouth, but it wasn’t mine. i think i must’ve had some words fall out, but they came from another tongue

so i grab my shoes and shake the dust out and, what do you know? i’m still entirely ready to get the wind knocked out of me by hope.

Micro Stories · Shadow Poetry

i act like i need it

I stared at the words written on the wall for hours without ever seeing them.

The warmth of the day bloomed in me until all I knew were the leaves above in their muted dance.

And my lips recognized the lyrics before my thoughts did. Paint splashing against the wall of my heart. Your voice reverberating through the hollows of my dreams.

You follow me into the empty. Crushing colored glass under my toes in paradise, some sense of you leading me forward.

I can feel you breathing beneath my skin, I see you speak every time I close my eyes.

And there’s this buzz, deep in my flesh. Past the marrow and into the atomic darkness, hidden where the dancing lights of misery and joy fight. It puts a gun in my mouth one second. A love letter the next. Because I remember.

I have to feel it. So I wake up.

And you’re not there.

Micro Stories

hushed tone

whisper into the hollow

and forget yourself

until every spark ignites your soul

they’ll fight through the thicket

trying to drown the light

inside


what are you saying?

words whispered

lips parting against

somebody’s neck

what are you saying?

when they’re not watching

etching tendrils of magick into being


was it a noose

or did you let down your hair

to save them?


press your palm

into all your wet intentions

take it back and they’ll remember

your name

is it dripping gold

or blood?

Micro Stories

lift

the wind whispers through your embrace. heat strangling the darkness with lace. and they forgot to look for you. should have done so when the lights were on. to be honest, they thought your light would be gone. give it a few days as they pursed their lips and dropped poison down the line.

but we can all see you now. waiting on the horizon, darkness draping you ablaze until it’s hard to look at you. harder to look away. all their hushed gatherings, blood in the drain… for nothing. not even they could hide the brilliance of your silhouette.

not with a thousand nooses. not with a single lie.

traipsing around in ringlets and finery, death shrouds at their wrists. even they stood in awe when night fell. you’d won when they’d counted on you coming undone.

its dangerous to forget. the waves can only erode so many bodies. their secrets can only hold so many people down. until someone remembers you.

a single voice to wake your truth. then nothing can hold you back.

insidious breath never smothers the live fire.


By Daphne Shadows

Micro Stories

chrysalis

they poked holes in our walls so they could siphon our voices. and pulled down time to remove our choices. but we remembered our nightmares and made them our soldiers. took to the night and stood on their shoulders.

they scoffed from their pretty plastic houses and ordered us dead from their plush designer couches. not a finger, no, not a one. they needn’t lift to get anything done. they forgot all the danger, all the danger in their lies. ignoring the downtrodden’s desperate cries.

we never forgot what it meant to survive. never a chance, not one, to thrive. but survive pain we could do and do it well, no matter what new challenge, new ambush, new Hell.

we took to the streets and remembered our names, they covered us in deceit and burned us with flames. we took back the matches and rose from our ashes. stalked through their perfect and broke through torn patches.

inside their lofty mansions with stolen rations, they laughed and they jeered. outside in the cold, we struggled and feared.

but every little lie, causes a rift. and every empty promise comes with a gift. because inside our emptiness, we called on a light. and with it, you see, we won this fight.

little did they know, we fight every day. with the poison in our blood and the stones in our way. we fight our own minds each time progress rewinds. and fight our own demons as each day begins.

we choose from our hearts, we choose from our mind. not a piece of plastic nor mask will you find. because we already learned, we already know. what we hide is where we’ll grow. and vulnerable hurts, yes, but it’s better than their mess.

so they can come with their arrows and come with their spears. we’ll show up in armor we stole from our fears.

by Daphne Shadows

Micro Stories

enchantment

“run away with me”

isn’t appealing to me

don’t whisper it in my ear

or dream up fanciful futures

in some far away land

 

no.

stay

spin a tail of our reality

so firm and heart breakingly beautiful

haunt my dreams

with seductions you can spin here

now, today

 

if you can’t spell a story

with what we’ve got

then you’re no fairy tale life

 

weave me a telling

better yet

entice yourself

create magic out of the ordinary

 

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Micro Stories

i muddled through the black waters, pants sticking to my legs and trying to drag me deeper, deeper into the depths of what i couldn’t see.

true north shone brightly in front of me, coaxing me farther into the shallow night.

their lights nicked me here and there. i dove behind patches of nature i couldn’t name, my breath drowning out the pounding of my heart as i tried to quiet myself into the stillness of the amazon.

 

they’d invited me here

given me stories of love

but that’s all they were. stories to cover their chains. chains and blood and misery. i sliced through them with paper cuts and tears, fleeing into the middle of what they would not see.

choices, choices.

they’d made theirs.

it moved, the sky, and i realized i was going the wrong way.

or perhaps. true north never was very true.

could they lie so perfectly?

i drove a stake into my heart to hush it. not now. i needed to think. needed to breathe.

 

their voices came closer, closer, words almost but not.

would they stop at the gate? the gate, the gate they’d paraded in front of us all, mocking our chained gait, waving their red flags to hide the truth. behind crowds and chants, mindless distraction and chemistry.

we didn’t listen.

we chose too.

 

at the gate now, their rattling grating on my nerves. so close their words made sense, scraping down my spine and making my teeth ache.

i would not go back. inside me, they spoke, we will not go back.

i nodded in agreement, branches scratching my face and arms.

moving in nanoseconds and held breaths, i peeked around the black bark of the tree. everything painted black in the absence of the moon, they appeared as foreign things, standing with too long limbs, too large heads, rounder than seemed right.

at the gate.

they moved like they had no joints, too limber, too broken. eyes shining like an animal’s as the lights they carried caught them in the face. hissing and guttural anger issued through the clearing.

backs to me now.

they left.

left me to my choice.

i sighed into the tree at my back, tension rolling off my skin like springs falling out, leaving me lifeless and warm.

but there was no escaping what lived inside me now.

 

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