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

Shadow Poetry

alchemy of the soul

mmmmmmm… that breath, right there.

i can pinpoint it in a pinwheel of daggers. all lashing into the downy feathers of tomorrow, sending hiccups of blood into yesterday. i can play with the leaves until morning hits, sweeping the sky with the last of my patience, brushing my hair off my lips.

you didn’t remember the sunspots on the forest floor. but i did. i painted them rouge with every last little dovetail of spilt time. there were eyes on us then, strangling the ocean tide through needle point.

i miss you.

by Daphne Shadows

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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Micro Stories

Dark Blue Whispers

sometimes the handlebars are underground

and the only way to find the map is to go back to the liquor store and make a different decision

that’s where they found us

trading in an old life

for free will and laughter

the choice to make our own mistakes

instead of suffer the consequences of theirs

 

their boots shook the ceiling

the threat of return to where we used to be

sending blood through our veins in a fiery dance

because we knew

there was no going back

 

we found the back door beneath the closed sign and ran, never looking back

if we did

perhaps they’d convince us to stay, that we didn’t need our tongue anyway

and our eyes would only mislead us

we could use theirs

for a price

but no

we ran, eyes firmly on the blurry promises ahead of us

hand in hand, because getting lost is so easy

when all the signs forgot their arrows

 

it was only when we made it past the river

under the cover of the places they call forbidden

knowing full well

(they always knew the truth)

our cure resided here

it’s only then we realized

we can breathe fire

and hear the trees

whispering in darker hues of blue

 

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**this micro story was named by a patron 🖤

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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