Beneath green water
below lotus blossoms
old stone soldiers
needing to wring
they remain motionless
delicate as doves
When I can’t sleep I gaze out the window into darkness, nothing but a sliver of a moon casting a haze over the water and the soft rush of waves in and out, I wonder about the sea creatures, do they dream? Do they sleep? If they get separated from their kind do they sense loneliness, do they weep? Down the street I see a lit store, night shift behind the counter. A man leaves with a brown paper bag , stands out front and drinks from the bottle. Is he like me, so afraid of that moment, that crossing over into unconsciousness, or perhaps he is not like me at all but a monster who would harm the elderly store keeper or the young whore sleeping in the door way across the street? I keep watch should I need to call out to their rescue. I lose focus and my mind wanders where I am so afraid to go and to what I do not want to remember. I have turned my eyes to other lovers but you still burn just below my surface, a flame beneath my skin. I try to refocus by staring into nothingness. I miss the feel of you, the sound of your voice, your eyes that I sink into. I want to sleep, I need a reason to get up when morning finally rescues me. I want to forget , not give a damn about you.
Having just come from reading D. Wallace Peach’s experience with her new stove ( I highly recommend you visit that @ https://mythsofthemirror.com/2016/10/25/my-oven-saga/) I was reminded of a young girl barely eighteen, living abroad on her first Thanksgiving as a married woman, no where near as domestic as one (or even two) might desire became material for research in force drive evolution. The taming of this rather fragmented creature was priority in establishing the hierarchy and setting the dynamics of control essential to sustained domination, the proven building block of a solid marital foundation. To enforce, validate, or refute, the facilitator went forward with a blind experiment intended to affect the behavior of his subject, gathering participants for which the young girl was to prepare an elaborate dinner. The experiment was not defined as failed nor considered a mistake as it resulted in a new and unexpected result by determining at what point the very flammable experimental subject would undergo spontaneous combustion.
You are perplexing.
Though I pretend
I have yet to figure you out.
Slipping slyly into me with tender poetry,
some kind of voodoo,
or hold me playing gentle
with your tiger paws,
teeth at my throat.
One thing I know for sure,
you are skilled at
breaking and entering.
I have unfolded us like origami,
dissected our borders.
The shadowed corners of secrets
I have forced into the light to mourn
like the small bones of birds
I have renamed us where every memory
is not an ache beneath my ribs
and thoughts are not assaults on the dead.
I am the flush of peony,
the shades of healing scars.
The man seemed out of place, standing by the water in a frayed sweater, well-worn shoes, an impressive attaché. I had noticed him there every day for the past week. Inexplicably, on this day I followed him, was actually close enough to reach out and touch his shoulder. He turned towards me and smiled, his eyes were deep set, the pupils wide portals that gathered the autumn colors, dilated pits of shadow even in the midday sun centered in glacial irises that softened when he smiled. Sepia outlines against the landscape we stood together watching a swan, graceful ballerina, glaze the water slowly leaving no sign of a wake. So intrigued by this fated figure I could not resist sitting beside him. He reached into the briefcase and offered me an apple, barely suppressing my smile at the irony, I took the apple though I was not hungry. I fought the temptation to arrange his unkempt hair and run my fingers over his unshaven cheek. I had the unsettling suspicion that he knew what I was thinking. We talked about how quickly summer had passed and the beauty of the fall leaves. Suddenly serious he confided that he came to the park to kill time, that he had lost his job and his lover had fallen to the irresistible lure of the black dog. As though I were listening in on a private conversation I felt overwhelmed, resisting the urge to take his hand. I sensed the danger and instinctively pulled away and unceremoniously stood up to leave. He asked me if I would return. With no intention to do so I told him I would come back.
Haunted by the unorthodox stranger and somehow sensing impending peril I was unable to sleep, finally giving into sleeping pills with a sip of water. Eventually falling into a state of suspended consciousness only to waken drenched from an erotic dream. I cursed softly and found my way to the bathroom in the dark to avoid disturbing his sound sleep. At dinner I considered telling him about the man, even going so far as to mention how inexplicably drawn I felt but refrained, bewildered at its significance; not wanting to explain it. In the bathroom I stood under the shower, letting the cool water spill softly over my face and down my throat, cupping my breasts, imagining his elegant hands upon my body. Back in bed, I closed my eyes tasting the salty tears that slid from them. Drifting off I promised myself I would forget about the encounter at the park, never go back there.
From the window that overlooked the rolling slopes across the way, I saw him, his hair tousled in the breeze. I tried to look away but was compelled to observe his every move outlined against the grass, the long stride along the path leading to the lake, I settled my view on his silhouette and the glow of sun on his tanned face. Tossing my sweater across my shoulders I hurried along the path toward him. His eyes lit when he caught sight of me, gleaming as brightly as the clear blue sky. We sat on the bench beneath the large birch tree that came alive with bird song. We were destined, surely as the sea meets the shore and my subconscious began to vibrate for him and that for a smear of time kept him sane and grounded, loves tender sentiment. Retrospectively I knew exactly when he began to slip away and there was no way to hold it back.
Since our death I haven’t been the same. Washing pills with cognac, my world a void of absence. He is at a loss, doing all he can to bring me back, feeling I may dissipate like card ice. I have fallen out of love but haven’t the heart to tell him. How angry he would be if he knew of the man in the park, of the very marrow of life that we shared without shame. I must be ashamed, my face feels hot whenever I think of him and when I allow myself to wake, I am a whirl wind of wild emotion sinking back into drug induced amnesia where my shell remains a possession of suffering.
The earth is stripped of its color. Where is the sun that burned liked fire? The park is blanketed with ice, brittle branches offer bleak shelter to the silent birds, their wings pulled sharply against their skeletons. A woman tugs her coat against the wind, its rough threads guarding a lifeless heart. Her eyes are dead things, no longer vibrant, reflecting the grey clouds. She is caught in the shadow of the park where a sparrow falls lifeless to the snow. She is lost, unable to find her way among the snow banks. Somehow she welcomes the sorrow, the pain that reminds her she is still alive.
A winter park bench. © Colline Kook-Chun
I cherish every beat,
every emotion of life.
I am weary of vigilance
and need to grieve the lost.
I want to start a fire,
distinguish love from
a cunning scheme.
The days are a flinch of the eye
and these tears a healing balm.
I will to rise to the light
but tonight I need to start a fire.
I’m as cold as the midnight moon.
“Woman on Fire” by Jacqueline Robinson
In the sweet release of freedom
my heart bleeds an extract of
flowers until each captive is a
petal loosened from my hand.
A whisper against my skin
that I am more than mountains
or specks of dust or the sever
of flags divisive as tongues.
The wing beat of a dove
reverberates with choice,
an open cage resounds with
the symphony of life.
Soon it will be winter with its
steely cold sheets beneath
the shiver of uninhabited bones.
We were new in January.
Reticent hummingbirds, we
circled around us approaching
with the quiet sigh of wings.
Our core became skeletal cardinals,
their song diminished with giving.
You were an ever present promise,
gentle me reluctantly yielding,
the harsh me an impassable fire of bridges.
What is preordained will endure,
leave its mark, take revenge?
I am sentenced to your furrowed brow
and the never ending winter.
Shane Artistry at Deviant Art
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