Shadow Poetry

betrayal

don’t thank me

i might’ve stepped on you

had you strayed


don’t try to change me

i’ll take from you

if your lie is true


and when i’m done

your lungs will empty

and your heart will pound


you’ll call for me

but i won’t be found


by Daphne Shadows

Micro Stories

behind the curtain

they weren’t really listening but they saw the truth anyway. it looked, for all its effort, like a lie. came wrapped up in a story they didn’t understand. but they only stuck to the surface, wanting a laugh, wanting a smile, wanting a fake face and a comfortable tale.

and so the truth slipped into the unknown, alone and lost and wondering why so many walked by, shrugging at its apparent sounds of struggle and pleas for help.

but then you happened upon us.

one silly smile and the world was alight with sun globes and sparkles and all those little pieces of confetti that were thrown away at the end of the parties. gathered up and stuffed in our pillows, because you happened upon us.

 

it’s not just that you sauntered on by. it’s that you stopped.

in the stopping, you breathed in, like a dragon with a belly full of fire, waiting to soak in every moment, notice every tiny detail in a world impermanent and ever-changing. a momentous shift in the state of things, nothing more than a spec of a second to you, the gem at the corner of your eyes.

a blink, and what’s what has changed for you.

yet you paused, a galaxy worth’s of memory, and you saw us. smiled, and reached a scaly hand down, down, down into the depths of what most ignored. their sideways glances bringing hurried steps quicker and quicker, further and further away. wouldn’t want to have to deal with it. wouldn’t want to have to change or help or stoop down to lend a hand.

but you dipped your claws into the muck and the hidden, pulling the truth from behind the curtain, and held us in your hands like the most precious of treasures.

 

we realized then. the truth isn’t what’s written or noticed. we didn’t need them to see in order to be. the truth is the truth, no matter the trappings. and you showed us the cost of accepting is brilliancy untold.

 

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Shadow Poetry

when you get lost

when you get lost, pick up a pen, a pencil, your phone, keyboard, paintbrush, chisel, hammer, loudspeaker, break open your chest and rip your heart out.

whisper to it scream why you’re still here why you will not give up how you are too stubborn to just die you are too glorious to accept this misery this lack of life.

force your heart back in refuse it’s radio silence, sew yourself back up, one foot in front of the other into the garage, hook yourself up to the jumper cables and step behind the curtain, take control of the command center hijack the speaker system, scream like you mean it until your neighbors believe it.

dig up all your broken bones, peel off your empty dead skin, collect the blood and hours of secret tears, chew it up spit it out, push the pads on remove all the metal, stand

CLEAR!

bring it to life, fashion it into rope, make an incision, tie it to your gut find your way home, crawl back into who you knew you were always meant to be who you want need to be, because this drowning in a walking flatline only ends one way.

you don’t need advice until you know where you’re headed.

the man on the moon doesn’t know, put a glass to your ribs and listen, you do.

pick up an ax, stalk the brokenness out back to the post you’ve been chained to, throw the strongest link on the chopping block and SAY CHEESE annihilate them.

take a flamethrower to your slave masters, use their ashes to create your own garden because you can feed yourself.

this is about you, sit in the fire and when you open your eyes push magic through your veins like electricity, a closed door cannot stop your flames.

and if you’re feeling cold, warm yourself with the licking of lashings scarring your insides where no one can touch you, make it all better.

make it all better.

you’re going to burn. burn true. heat cities. grow multitudes. create mammoth atoms to spin within your own sphere, always pulling you, holding you home.

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Shadow Poetry

I’m Not Waiting Any Longer

And I sit there on the floor

Legs not crossed like a lady

But crossed like I’m four again

Sitting at school on the carpet

Waiting for the teacher to explain.

 

Okay, I’m ready.

For you to let down your wisdom

Breathe the secret into my ear

Pull back the curtain

Ignite the barren emptiness

Of not knowing

 

Only

I sit there, on the floor

Waiting

Rubbernecking like nobody’s business

Wholeheartedly believing

Now I’ll understand

Now it’ll all make sense

I’ll get it

Understand

I’ll know what this life is all about

What I’ve been missing

 

I’ve lived into my how-to manual

People will come rushing through the terminals

Hard earned years of enlightenment

They’ll bustle in their hurried fever

Of needing to get on with their lives

Because they have so much to live

What, with all that understanding

Due to age…

 

Only

I sit there, on the floor

Realizing the room is empty

It’s a stage with polished floors

And vaulted ceilings

Rows and rows of chairs

The nice cushy ones you might’ve fought your grandpa for

When you were four years old

 

I look around and see

The lights are off

I’m the only one on the stage

The crowd is empty

Those nice soft seats, void of any life

Any know-how to impart

 

That’s the first lesson I really learned

About everyone else,

Outside of my skin.

It didn’t knock off any innocence

I wasn’t shiny or brand new by then

That got rubbed off before I could speak

But I’d kept some silly hope that when you said

“When you’re older you’ll understand”

…that you spoke the truth.

 

You did not.

The truth is

No one knows.

 

I found this out, sitting cross-legged

Like a child

Vibrating with enthusiasm

And excitement

Ready to warm my hands

At the fire of everyone’s experience

 

With the heat of age

That’d crept into my body

That everyone told me, made me

Better, somehow

Like numbers of lived life

Ups your worth in some cosmic game

And so you earn more lives

And redeemable information to trade

For a bunch of useless tasks, you performed…because….

 

Still sitting on an empty floor

Holding a ticket that leads nowhere.

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Photo is property of Daphne Shadows

Shadow Poetry

Something Whispers

 

Filled to Empty

Once Again

Just so you can

Poke holes in me

 

Shaped into something

Beyond

Recognition

 

Soft thumps

Abrade the inside

Of my rib cage

And something odd

Flitters through

My chest

 

It isn’t life but tubing

Left there from

When I hated myself

A little less

 

Electronic beeping

Reminding me

To pretend I am alive

 

I am not.

Not today.

Not inside this skin.

 

Not inside

This mind

That falls down

So easily

 

Sometimes it seems

So silly

That I ever thought

I could be real

 

To walk without oiled joints

Or charged lights

Behind my eyes

From which everything

Was stolen

 

(by me)

(something whispers)

 

I forgot

I was the one

Behind the mask

Wearing the gloves

Leaving no trace

 

I forgot

I was the one

Who let this happen

Who roused from slumber

And did nothing

Who watched from behind

Serpent eyes

And let you die

 

I wonder

If it would hurt less

If I was never human at all

 

Simply a stain on the porcelain

The sand slipping down the time

Shivering down the hourglass

 

I forgot

How to tell the truth

Or which it was

 

I forgot

How to speak

Without a tongue

How to see

Without a spine

 

Can I walk

Knowing the many times

My very breath crawled

 

Why?

Why do we torture ourselves?

How many of us are there

In here?

This one little body

 

Pieces hiding

Shuffling about

Slipping behind curtains

Fixing smeared mascara

Redressing so no one notices

 

Their stories

Are shuttered up

Dust chokes the sunrises

Moonlight can’t hide

The shadows

 

I forgot

How the tip of a fingernail

Could hold so many

Dead skin cells

 

They aren’t all mine

 

(yes they are)

(something whispers)

 

And I deny everything

Black lipstick that doesn’t

Smudge

Or leave

Photos behind

 

And no, I wasn’t

Made by accident

Why does everyone ask?

We all clamber around

Waiting for a story to be

Unfolded

It wasn’t an accident

We remember

I shake my head

We know

Our skin

My skin

We feel

 

It’s like they can see

I’m made from

Different coincidences

Kissing beneath the

Atom bomb

 

Waiting for something

To change

Or someone

To notice

The shadows

Etched into my bones.

 

(can anyone see me?)

(no, I don’t think I can)

(something whispers)

 

By Daphne Shadows