Shadow Poetry

murky

shatter me

against the wall

but I’m already broken


some days

breathing is hard

and the only way

to keep the ink flowing

is by stabbing

the source until my hands are raw

i’m supposed to seem

like a porcelain doll

some days i don’t have a heart at all


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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Shadow Poetry

behind the door

where there’s a little magic

there’s a little more

 

and if you can find a single reason

you can find it behind a door

 

like a butterfly’s wing –

you can’t touch it

 

but if you keep looking

you’ll find a key to fit

 

it isn’t made of gold or glowing

but if you listen ever so closely

 

it will speak into your fear

in wails and whispers, mostly

 

but beware, listen carefully

and start at step one

 

or one day you’ll wake up

questioning what you’ve done

 

in a place you don’t know

with more questions than one

 

like, where is all your skin

and why are you holding a gun?

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Micro Stories

crossing the line

there’s a hollow in the middle of the forest.

we’re told not to go.

but you see, there’s a path made of bones and lace, things long dead and recently forgotten, things left to rot. the way is marked by promises, debts i’ve seen payed off. and every so often, the soft scent of cinammon wafts along in the night.

i’ve made it past the warning signs.

i’ve shimmied under the gate.

i know i shouldn’t be here but the voices tell me not to wait.

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Micro Stories

fleshing it out

i can feel it, swarming just beneath the surface of everything i am and everything i am not. it lurks in a non-committal tone, hazy and misdirecting. there isn’t much to say about it.

it hasn’t yet decided syllables or meaning. context or form.

but it watches. it swims closer as if to break the surface, only to dip back down in a meandering swirl, nothing but the vague tail end brushing up against the topside, sending ripples of possibilities down my spine. sitting on the tip of my tongue, in the curve of my lips.

it won’t leave me alone, yet i cannot name it. it slips through my fingers like so much smoke, a dizzying tease that drifts into

 

sometimes i realize i’m the one staring up, up, up at the sun’s dance as it shimmers atop the waves above my head. waving frantically for my attention, choking on lost words and hopes, dreams i’ve forgotten and silly little stories i can’t quite let go of.

other times i find out too late what it was trying to tell me, only to be sucked into the depths of an unfathomable creature, ten times the size of myself. smothered in the debris of what could have been.

 

and yet, there are times…

there are times that we meet in the middle and i can begin to make it out, my eyes opened, the ever shifting shape coming into focus. i reach my hand out and

all is right

i live for those times

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Micro Stories

bliss isn’t ignorant

they took his hand out of mine. with hired hands that slunk through the windows and carved their hooks into his flesh, dragging him out before he could wake. they left him in the emptiness, riding away in their ivory chariots and stolen boots. thinking he’d fall into the darkness they set as a trap, lynching his options and blinding his way.

their chosen ignorance is their death.

covering their ears and playing mute. they dance without their feet and sing without their lungs. playing pretend and asking for credit for all they’ve gathered off the backs of those they’ve enslaved.

decay is their speech and the dying are their young ones.

they don’t know that he is mine, a creature of the darkness, so very well acquainted with the lonely nights of life, stripped of the sunlight owed.

he finds his way back me to easily, as i sit on a throne of burnt ashes turned to stone.

 

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