Pieces broke away, pebbles and stones chipped from a boulder. The edge of a pane of glass broken off, no longer smoothly square, but rough ridged like a broken thumb nail, begging to be filed away.
Pieces broken away, missing in wordlessness, cannot be found. Jig saw together the rest, glue, duct tape, what is left, never to imitate new, unbroken.
Broken, hollowed parts, make for an ever incomplete, an always abyss to fall headlong into, always a scratchy roughness to scrape a knee, an elbow, a hand. Always a sharp edge to slice open an abdomen, an arm, a femoral artery, a throat.
No. No. No. Everything, everything at once, best kept at arm’s length. Never can such wounds be allowed in the here, in the now.
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?
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -That perches in the soul -And sings the tune without the words -And never stops - at all -And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -And sore must be the storm -That could abash the little BirdThat kept so many warm -I’ve heard it in the chillest land -And on the strangest Sea -Yet - never - in Extremity,It asked a crumb - of me.
Yep, that’s what Emily said.
I beg to differ.
If it perched in my soul,
The cat ate that damn canary
Before it finished its tune.
And let me tell you,
I never heard anything sweet
During a pissed off hurricane.
That dang bird knew!
Away it flew
While the winds whistled
Away my roof.
I sure as heck didn’t hear
Some sweet little bird chirpin’
As I froze my ass off in the northeast.
And all I heard as I sweated buckets
Under a southern sun was some damn
Squawking big ass crow.
In fact, I think hope isn’t a bird at all.
It might be a well. That might be more apt.
Yep, wells aren’t dug or drilled deep enough,
And I would imagine
Much more can go wrong with a well,
Like a pump runnin’ dry.
Oh, hell! A well can even be poisoned!
But this here well,
It’s so dang dry
There ain’t even any mud
At the bottom.
Looks like some cobwebs too.
Whatever it had,
It done dried right up.
So whatever hope is--
A bird, a well,
It isn’t always there.
It doesn’t stick around,
Unless you feed it
Before the feathers
Before the water
I knew how to dance once. Didn’t have to think about the placement of feet, a way back when the movement of elegance and grace, of heat and passion, of fun and joy was all rhythms I could hear and follow, Reveling in the feel Before a shoulder snapped out of joint, Hanging limp at my side, And I unlearned the lessons of dance, Unlearned all the intricacies Of the Argentine, Unlearned the grace Of the Viennese, Unlearned the joy Of doing double time.
Unlearned everything of dance Until I barely remembered I once knew how to dance.
Then I tried to learn The Texas Two Step And failed and failed and failed Couldn’t feel the steps and glides That looked so easy, so fun And I wondered if I ever had known How to really dance. Maybe once, a long time ago, I could have mastered this, This Texas Two Step dance.
From the shaking dirge cries of birth
To the desire for ease in the between,
Before the elemental breath rattles at death,
We are lost in cacophonous sighs of daily life,
Choosing to turn away
From moments appearing as iridescent sun rays
As if God's fingers reached
Between the clouds
To touch the earth.
Yes, we turn away,
Pick up kids,
A trip to Wal-Mart,
And to work,
The mundane of every day,
Yes, it must be done,
To hurry toward the waiting,
While living holding sand,
the elemental breath before death.
Aesthetics of skin, nails, knuckles, bone Does not exist in The beauty of hands Lending help when needed is seen. Pulling a bloody tourniquet tight in the midst of battle, Swinging a hammer to build a house, Raking earth to plant a garden, Painting a work of art, Cradling a child to sleep, Caressing a lover’s skin. A lifetime of doing is the beauty of hands.
Set out years ago
Some no bigger than dust particles
Of the soul
Along the roads and paths
Thought I’d find my way back,
There’d be time
There’d be years
Left before the sand
Absconded with the hourglass
To find the trail of dust and crumbs
Sweep and pour them
Back into the soul
Add a few ingredients
Create once more
From the beginning
But birds and squirrels
Feasted on the leavings
And I’ve no desire
To return to where I started.
Trash by the curb
Cardboard boxes nested
One within the other
Standing upright, resting
Against the edge of the smallest,
An old collage Walmart picture frame,
Old photos still within the frame,
A wedding, a first baby then a second,
Graduations and first cars,
Pictures telling a story of a family,
Colors faded by the sun
Having spent years by a window
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