Could You, Would You

image courtesy of jens at pexels

Could you, would you
know the darkness too?
Or would you try to erase it
as others do?
Would you ignore it?
Say you wanted it gone?
Say your touch
should drive away
the darkness within?
The darkness is there–
inside me,
it has always been,
I need it, need it to be there,
just a spot or two.
I need it to visit, take a trip with it.
Occasionally—
ride a night, a day, all the stars at times,
sleep and wake with it.
It keeps me strong,
this steel skeleton of my heart and soul,
keeps me whole,
makes me who I am.
My darkness does not need
some antidepressant elixir.
My darkness is a shit pile of things,
years, and incidents I keep
tucked away–
a part of me.

Could you, would you
know it?
Keep it, if given?
Or tell me to let it go and get over it
like others have?
Could you, would you
understand how happiness can be had
and yet keep the darkness
for creating, repairing,
reinforcing the steel railings
of my spine,
my soul,
my heart,
my mind,
my all that I am.
Could you, would you
understand, without the darkness,
I cannot give you all that I am?

Scars of Flame

My scars flames–
The sides of my back,
pock marked brown
drying dark
if not daily oiled in
the red, orange, white
of flames,
trailing once welted scars,
faded, now barely.
if even seen–
Feathered flames
enabling flight,
if I should like,
or if I so prefer,
burning back past paths
behind so I may fly
to places I wish,
keeping promises
to my soul.
My scars flame–
Only I see
and only I know
the power contained
in my flaming scars.

How to Fix a Valve

Image by Amorphisss on DeviantArt.com
How to fix this leaky valve?
First, a mild little
Drip…drip…drip
But it’s worn just a bit more
To a moderate
Drip, drip, drip
And on so it goes to bleed out
A smidgen here and there,
Muttering and stuttering
About things it could once contain.
Nothing a spritz of WD can’t fix.
Maybe some plumber’s tape round the edge
To help the seal when it should close.
Maybe some solder to narrow the band?
Or use the iron to apply that stitching stuff
To hold a hem or two?
 
Or perhaps,
              Just rip it from my chest.
              Throw it to the flames.
              Watch it shrivel, turning black
              And then to ash.
              Who knows? I may be rewarded
              With a bird of feathered flame,
              Clutching in its talons a burning heart
              To place inside my chest.
 
Or, if not, I could use the ash
To mark my empty breast
With an X.

My Toddler Sleeping

I watch you,

My daughter, my little one,

Sleeping in the middle of the night,

Such innocence,

The face of a toddler,

Dark, long lashes resting on your cheeks,

Mouth slightly agape, full lips sleep swollen.

Yes, the face of a toddler still,

Washed clean of makeup,

The worldly expressions of an adulthood

You were so eager to grasp, to snatch

As if it were the golden ring.

Now, at twenty-one, you’ve decided

I am not so bad.

Perhaps it was all a mother/daughter thing.

In the morning, I’ll wake you.

We’ll go about daily things.

But for now, for now,

I’ll watch my toddler sleeping.

Next time– Get a Dog

pexels-photo dog
You should have gotten yourself a dog.
              No, really.  I mean it.  Instead of chasing me
              Until you caught me.
What you thought you’d found,
When you found me—
And that’s what you wanted me to be—
              A rescued dog—
                             Full of gratitude and loyalty for the perceived rescue.
                             With no record or memory of previous owners,
                                           Ah, an extremely important part.
                             A wagging tail at every word or look from you.
                             Sitting at attention, waiting patiently for you.
                             Desperate for any command you should happen to give.
                             Dutifully complying with each command, each wish
                                           You should ever express.
                             No friends, no family, no loves.  No needs
                                           Other than you and to serve you.
 
That is what you wanted
That is what you needed—
              In your own words—
                             To be my number one at all times.
                             After all, no one would love me better.
                             No one would give me a better home,
                             As you so lovingly liked to remind me.
                            
 
Next time get a dog.
She’ll feed your ego better.

Dreaming of You

Medusa

Image from lostgirlmyths.wikia.com

I dreamed of you the other night.
A dream in color and complete.
We both know I rarely remember dreams.
But this one I awoke from—fresh
With that it felt so real feeling.
Imagine my surprise
when I realized
this dream hadn’t dripped from reality.

We sat, it seemed, at some café
In Dallas or Houston,
Or perhaps, we were strolling
The streets of Provincetown,
Walking across the Golden Gate,
Hiking some trail up a Colorado mountain,
Riding the subway of Manhattan,
Driving the traffic jams of Baltimore or
Los Angeles. Perhaps, we watched the whales
Out on the Pacific or maybe it was the Atlantic.
For in the dream, the background shifted like
A chalk drawing on the pavement in a rainstorm,
The colors bleeding, fading, sliding into one another
The way we used to do.

The place doesn’t matter, in the grand scheme
And all, of any such dream.
You talked away as you always did,
Leaving me no room to breathe
Or even catch enough air to say a word,
Squeezing the freedom from my soul.
Your eyes glowed, shining sapphires with no rain.
Your golden bleached hair blowing wild in dream wind.
Your words twisted, tangled in on themselves,
Doing a contortionist’s dance,
Snaking their way into my ears and on toward
The inner working of my heart and brain,
Slithering under the door to my soul.

Once there, your words tried to bite away,
Injecting some poison into my heart, my brain, my soul
To twist me into saying all the things
You wanted me to say–
All the things your ego needed—

Like that oppressive August afternoon
When you argued nonsense to get me to say
I was to blame and beg to stay.
I never knew a slither of words
Could slide and twirl so many ways
like those ribbons of a gymnast, circling this way and that.
As you saw a snaking pattern wasn’t working so well,
I watched your frustration rise.
Your back straightened even more so.
Your eyes narrow almost microscopically,
Your thin lips disappear completely.

I woke then, laughing.
I think I startled my dog.
I laughed again—
To think the last few days I had been missing you—
To think I had once thought you beautiful as a goddess–
Even wrote Botticelli and Byron got it wrong.
Now I see Medusa
When I think of you.
It’s a bloody wonder I, myself, am not stone,
But the well of my hope is another matter.

The Garden

I gave you all my roses,
The many colors I had.
Cut them all from the bushes.
I knew there would be no more,
And I cut them for you.

The last few dozen blooms
I cut them down for you.
The bushes are dead now.

They will bud no more.
I double, triple checked.
The limbs snap crisply in dryness,
Easily between my weakened hands.
No supple green within.
A single snap finishes each limb.
And so finishes each bush.

I am done, a gardener
With nothing left to tend.