Sunken into the fresh fallen cold, it cannot touch the soles of my feet, though they’ve been swallowed by now. Snowflakes dust eyelashes, a sullen caress in the barren of night. Every breath is a knife down my throat, a bite to my skin. But you touch me.
In this void, in this valley, no sounds to bring me back. The rushing of blood inside a body I can’t quite feel. Only slices of agony down my naked arms, my toe tag going numb at this point.
Forest hedging me in, looming in self-righteous magnitude, the only movement in this wasteland. Leaves dusted with crimson, everything smells of copper.
I can’t stay here or winter will take me, with its blue lips and frozen tears, sliding tendrils of false-heat inside, threading its fingers through my rib cage until the frost of rage ignites within an empty concert hall.
Moonlight slips through vast limbs, reaching for the heavens with scent of pine and flaking leaves. They cannot block her sway. But I cannot feel her. Only the cold touches me.
I am carved of the most sincere marble. I am stonework left from eons before, deserted by hands no one remembers. I am time worn and raw with pink, exposed newborn flesh. I am the decay intertwined within the rubble of war-ravaged homes. I am the empty pyre, filled to the brim with ashes of souls who knew better but could not outrun their own hearts. I am the first breath in the silence of night, soaked in salt and blood, a cry of conquering that never left fingertips. I am the empty bonfire, skulls stacked high in the center. I am the empty bed with a note carved in tears. I am the swelling within your chest when your eyes smile back at me.
I stand alone. Snow falling heavy in the dark cover of unknown. I am here. With empty hands and a swelling need. I am.
how can i speak? when my tongue is in the bedside table, where i left the salt and took the gun…
and every time i walk down the stairs in these heels, i feel your rules, cutting into my soul, stealing every inch of light i have left. two ways in, two ways out. i forgot to mention.
if i don’t like it, i can break it, re-shape it, re-make it. you don’t have to be here.
with all your height, all your size, my monsters are towering over your head, watching you sleep and eat and breathe, chains dangling round their throats, begging me to let them go. maybe i am my own armor. but i left it under the bed, beside my skin, and i took the knife you wanted to put in my back.
when you hit my spine with your heel, my words came tumbling out. the beside table burst and the boogeyman under my mattress rushed up and out and now i know why my shoes never fit right before. its like the dust in me turned to stone, all those years of kneeling morphed to fire, my skin remembered it’s own savor and now
i’m not putting the barrel in my own mouth. i am my own gatekeeper. i forgot to mention. the hinge swings when i say and once i’ve opened i’ve decided. are you the weapon or the meat?
your daggers i collect as roses in a vase made of bone-carved trophies, my darkness pacing in the background, holding all their tally marks until the rage spills into my sight and sometimes i let them off the chains, digging about in my own shadows, where they wait, just inside my gates. i will wait you out. your grave will serve as my foundation, the length of rope about your neck a gift you spat in the face of, all the way to your feet dangling.
leave fairy dust behind in my barefooted trail, sprinkling madness into your lives, waking you up, slipping fire into your veins. every time you’d walk the same ground i’d walked, heat would shoot through the soles of your feet, spreading chaos like a disease, giving you the choice to harness or fall to it. i’d sell tinctures to open eyes and flush hearts of doubt. carry a deck of cards, read your past and extract the damages so you could find the slivers of silver left behind.
i’d unleash dragons and fashion lakes of healing for lepers. charge you to swim with the mermaids (for a nominal fee) and sell second chances for pennies. i’d brush my fingertips over lips to hush destruction and hand out re-purposed gags as bandages stitched together with bone dust of the long lost enemies of life. i’d breathe karma into the lungs of the sadists parading about as saviors and poison the earth with regrowth and health.
expose truth and lies the same – break the world’s rib cage open and expose that soft, squishy, vulnerable heart beating in the dark, begging for help.
pull the sky down and sing it a lullaby. dust rain down the saddest souls, sweeping all the decay and dead skin cells out of the way. there’s no other way to prepare one for joy, not even for a magic peddler.
i’d bottle your tears and water my garden as payment. as the loveliest flowers grew, i’d place a vase on your pillow and help you pray with your heart, connecting to everything growing and thriving about you until breathing came easy. gather many together and open their chests, sit everything that hurt in the middle and sob together. i’d whisper magic words as you slept. help you come to, pick it all up, and put yourself back together. help you stand with rose petal splints and laugh as one.
i keep fighting forward and just when i think i’ve got my feet under me i realize i’m on my knees bloodied and hazy
can you create castles out of sand? a masterpiece from oils and fine brushes? a whole, walking, talking person out of a broken, beaten, wraith? – only to have a sledgehammer taken to it?
again and again and again
do you choose to stand, crawl, scream rage against the silence chip away at the race you cannot win and keep kind against the cruelty?
only to end up back here again dazed wondering who cried the tears on your cheeks or left the spire of rage in your chest? who took the wind from your sails the breath from your lungs? left your hands mere shards of bone with your lips sewn shut?
i get tired of this place i know you’ve been here too how can we all feel so alone when we tread the same footsteps until the ground is more worn than our spirits
is this it? an endless loop
a trudging march to the beat of whatever drum happens to hold our reins a constant gasping above the surface before we fight not to drown once more
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
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.
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.