Dream No More

Image is my own

https://godoggocafe.com/2021/08/31/tuesday-writing-prompt-challenge-august-31-2021/

Todays prompt: “waterfall wishes”

She will never fall to earth again
After soaring among the stars,
The planets a blur. No.

No.  She will never swim 
In the deepest oceans,
Cavorting with dolphins and whales.  No.

No.  Never will her soul fly,
Brushing shoulders with angels,
Their wings touching upon her face.  No.

No.  Never these things.
Never these dangerous things again.
Never allowing illusions to gain sway.  No.

No.  She will plant her feet firmly in the ground.
Her heart cemented in her chest.  Yes.

Yes. That once mighty waterfall
Has slowed to a trickle
As there no longer exist
Any waterfall wishes.

Gems of Dawn and Sunset

Image is my own

 

If I could gather a handful of dawn and a handful of sunset,

I’d cut and polish each handful into gems

                       For you to keep,

To take out and wear as you would wish,

For there are no stones of value containing beauty enough

To give you but these that are not true stone—

 

Yes, a handful of sunset,

A handful of dawn—

Their beauty ever constant,

Yet ever changing—

Daily renewed—

The only things containing beauty enough

For you.

 

The Gargoyle

Foggy Night and Moon Light over The Gargoyles of Notre Dame in Paris (Courtesy of istock.com)







When the prowess of early morn

And the touch of dawn’s fingertips

Overwhelm my heart and soul,

I am reminded of some story

I heard somewhere as a child—

From a book or cartoon

Or some sitter’s wild

Imagination of bedtime tales,

The story of the gargoyle

Who was beckoned

To a place in heaven

By an angel fair.

 

And there the gargoyle stayed

For a day or three or more

Or maybe a week or three.

For a moment,

The gargoyle knew sweetness and joy,

Thinking, perhaps, for once, just this once,

The universe had smiled down

Upon one of the gargoyle race,

And felt the cracking of stone begin.

 

But the gargoyle, being a gargoyle,

A somewhat silent, stony creature,

Soon bored the angel who withdrew,

Having angel business to attend too.

 

The gargoyle knew. Knew from the start too,

But had hoped it was not to be held true–

That angel and gargoyle were not a pairing to be made.

Such creatures being out of each other’s realm

Cannot last but a season or two.

So, the gargoyle fell to earth again

To crouch forever upon a building,

 Keeping watch upon the city and the sky. 

 

The gargoyle knew this was the nature of things

And thought itself blessed for ever having known

The sweetness of an angel.

For what angel had ever doted upon a gargoyle?

The gargoyle asked.

 

For years, the gargoyle crouched,

Watching the city and the sky,

Remembering, reliving the sweetness

Known of an angel.

Yet wishing such sweetness had never been tasted,

Never been touched,

Forever was too long to remember

The memories encased in stone

Where wind and rain would never touch,

Would never wear them away.

 

Thus, the gargoyle paid the price

For allowing stone to crack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

of stone and blossoms

Image is my own




I am unsure how this happened,
but the stone grew, encasing me,
protective and cold, a walking grave
of comfort for many years.

Now, having grown moss over
the passing of so many seasons and
used to the weight of stone I carry
into the calm of night,
blossoms burst forth from this tonnage
of comforting cold stone,
this grave of a home I have known.

I would like to twist,
turn away from
such blossoms,
yet find I cannot.
I cannot gather dust to me,
creating stone again.
Cannot piece shards together
for there are not enough left
in this remaining dust.

As I rest in this place,
I will tuck these blooms away--
Until they bear ripened fruit,
Readied for picking.

Fragrant blossoms
that they may only be
for now.


A Song Reminds Her

I wrote this several years ago. Posted it and then later took it down. I’ve revised it and worked with it a bit. It’s time to leave this one alone.

 

A song reminds her of all those years ago—

Upon the screen words of “survivor”

And “not your fault” inked upon the forearms of a chorus—

 

In a moment,

All the gains of strength and safety cut,

Sliced by a razor as air is choked off,

And she is held up by the throat,

Feet dangling off the ground.

Then slammed into a wall,

The back of her head hitting first.

Fighting blackness, wanting to yield to it for peace,

Fear keeps her from giving in.

 

When another backhand hits across her mouth.

She reels, turns, struggling to move forward.

If she could just make it to the phone,

To the kitchen, maybe grab a knife.

Her hair grabbed from behind,

Pulls her back, off balance, she falls.

 

“Get back here, you fucking cunt.”

 

Her dog barks, bares teeth, growls.

 

Laughter, “Only have to kick that wiener dog like this—”

She feels ribs crack.  She can’t breathe. 

 

“And I’d kill him.”

 

She finds enough air, tells her dog it’s okay and to go to his bed.

 

“This ends when I say, bitch.”

 

Her hair is grabbed, and she is pulled down the hall to her bedroom.

 

“Now, you’ll give me what you owe me, you fucking cunt.”

 

She is pulled to her feet, stumbling against the wall,

She wonders what her fever is up to now, after this.

After all, she was sent home by her principal

Because the school nurse said a teacher

With a fever of 102 shouldn’t be around kids.

 

“Thought you were gonna get to that phone, didn’t you?”—laughter

“Just imagine, the cops showing up for a domestic disturbance at a lesbian’s

Apartment.  You know those TV cameras would follow.  How’s your job after that?”

Fingers dig into her face, grabbing, gripping, squeezing.

 

She is thrown across the bed, T-shirt ripping.

Now. Now is the time to fight. She reacts—flailing—use anything,

Nails, elbows, fists, knees—anything to connect, cause pain,

Then open a window to get away.

She feels a fist to her jaw, tastes blood.

A fist to an eye.  It’s hard to take a breath.  Her side hurts.

A hand at her throat.

 

“Stop it, cunt.”

 

Something in the timbre, in the octave, in the venom,

Makes her stop then.  This can’t happen.  Can’t be.  Her thoughts stop.

It all barely registers after that—

Teeth biting, something tearing upon entering, a fist to the face again.

 

“I said kiss me, you bitch.”

 

She tastes blood again.  She’s rolled over when she doesn’t comply.

 

“Think you’re better than me, you stupid cunt?  I’ll show you.”

 

She thinks she must have screamed

Because her hair is pulled and used

To shove her face into the mattress.

 

Then it—stops.

She doesn’t know if she passed out or not.

Rumbling.  A crash.  Cursing from the kitchen, then the living room.

It’s best not move yet she thinks.  And she doesn’t know if she could.

Then she hears the front door slam shut.

Movement returns to limbs.

Swollen faced and bleary eyed, she struggles to the door.

Lock the dead bolt, chain latch and all.

Hurts to take a breath,

But she must clean,

Must wash,

Must scrub,

The apartment and herself.

Erase, erase it all—

All the traces, any trace

Of what happened.

No.  It didn’t happen.

It did not happen because it could not.

As she steps into a scalding shower,

Wash away the blood,

The touch.  Memory.

The she realizes more soap doesn’t help

The bleeding between her legs stop.

Then she realizes there is bleeding

from her anus too.

She isn’t sure now what to do.

How could she answer

The questions of a doctor

At a hospital ER?

 

She sinks down in the shower,

Thinking of what she must do.

Call into work, they expect it.

She is, after all, sick with a flu of some sort.

Break the lease,

Find a new apartment,

Movers are required, no time to wait on friends and a U-Haul.

 

Begin to rebuild, to regain.

Only to wake,

Weeks later,

In a new apartment across town,

Hiding with her dog behind clothes in a closet,

And she knows she needs to do something.

She won’t live like this.

She didn’t work to overcome

the damage of an abusive alcoholic parent

to live like this.

 

Find a therapist and begin

To pick the shards of shattered safety

From the wounds,

Find the strength and begin.

 

“You’re going to have to admit what happened to yourself.”

 

Listen to the therapist’s litany for a moment:

            Facial bruising and swelling prevent returning to work for nearly two weeks.

            Bruised, if not broken, ribs from being kicked.

            Bite marks on the neck and breasts.

            Vaginal and anal bleeding for over three days.

 

“What does that list of injuries sound like to you?”

 

Her words tumble, fractured,

Broken by a truth she thought to scrub away:

            …what you’re trying to get me to say…red flags

            …addicted to speed or cocaine…so I cut it off…

            …showed up at my apartment with soup… since I was sick

            …became irate…still said no to seeing each other…

            …hyped up on something that night…couldn’t fight her off

            …so damn strong…couldn’t fight…another woman, for God’s sake…

            …Not the same…

 

“Was anything that happened that night consensual?”

 

“Absolutely not.”

 

“That’s the definition of rape, isn’t it?  Not consensual.”

 

In the admission,

The rebuilding, the redesign

Of strength, of safety, of taking back control,

She recalls the words:

All the words she has fought,

Words flung at her by friends and girlfriends who claimed to love her—

 

            –One woman can’t do that to another.  Lesbians don’t do that to each other.

            –It couldn’t have been as bad as a real rape.  It was only a woman. So, get over it.

            –You must have done something to make it happen, to push her to that point.

            –Women don’t rape.

 

Yes, so she thought too, even after it happened to her—

At least for a little while,

Until she admitted it was true.

But she learned to stay silent,

Trusting very few with the truth.

 

Even after all these years,

To have survived, regained control, found safety

And know it wasn’t her fault,

Intellectually inside,

Yet deeper down,

There remains a tiny pebble of shame

Since her community said—

            It wasn’t real

            Since it wasn’t a man.

            It was her fault

            Since she refused sex after six weeks of dating

            And wouldn’t continue to date her.

            It never happened

            since lesbians don’t rape.

 

She stands, watching the video her daughter shares a second time.

She finds herself close to tears at seeing the words “Not Your Fault”

Inked upon an arm.  Her daughter wants to know if she thinks

It’s cool.  She says it’s great.  It’s empowering for those involved.

She quickly turns away.

She can’t tell her heterosexual daughter

That it happened.

If her community couldn’t accept it,

How could her daughter?

A risk she cannot take.

 

If she moves, twists, walks a certain speed or way,

That tiny pebble of shame bruises a little still,

As if yet rolling around in her shoe.

Perhaps for those in the community her daughter’s age,

Things are different and they hear, if it should happen,

            Lesbians do rape.

            It was real.

            You did nothing wrong.

            It is not your fault.

 

It is her thought.

It is her silent

Reverent, fervent prayer.

 

 

Upon the Morning Air

Image courtesy of Melinda Fawver@Dreamtime.com

 

A scent upon the air this morning still

 

At least in these wild imaginings—

 

With the colors of sunrise muted

By the humid haze hanging in the air,

My eyes close to better see the glow

Of white skin by moonlight,

To better catch the scent

Of her in the slight breeze–

 

And then—I do not know—

 

It seems I feel the touch of angel feathers upon my face.