Float

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Photo Credit : favim.com

She floats
on an undulating sea,
her body numb
from the cold waves.
Her mind wanders
from why she ended up adrift
to how she found herself
lost in an ocean
of unknown.
Is it her precipitous shift
from calming waves
to truculent storms,
or could it be the danger
of the foggy future
that has her back-peddling
towards the past?
She closes her eyes
and sinks into the unknown.

Blurry

Hazy.
A good word
to describe
the memories
of your face
or the smoke filled room
we sat in.
Dim green light
reflecting off
your cheekbones,
I could see the stars
in your smile.
Foggy fingers
of time
fold me up
in your arms
and I wonder
how tangible moments
become elusive
and distant
and so hazy.
Your tan skin
sprouting sweat
in the smokey darkness,
and your hot breath
misting my insides.
You are blurry
and my hands
trace your tattoos.
I can touch
who I thought
you were
but the rest fades,
recedes,
leaving only
hazy.

Quiet

When all the noise
stops,
when the talking
and whispers
and screams cease,
I hear you.
Your voice floating
through me
like warm bathwater,
soothing the weight of words
I carry in my swollen hands.
When there is only silence,
your laugh
consumes me
like a fire eats the air.
Your fingers
graze my cheek,
a buzzing on the breeze,
and I hear you inside of me,
surrounding me,
burning me up
with your quiet.

Humans

I’m seriously stressed out. I have a school of fish swimming inside my brain, squirming around and chewing on my cortex. It’s insane how much one person can endure. As a teacher, I see kids suffer through chaos and heartache and pain, and not just the normal, teenage angst. These kids have problems, but don’t we all? I can’t find focus because of the stacks of papers I have to grade and the book club book I didn’t have time to read and writing a speech and graduation obligations and letters of recommendation I need to write and lessons I must create and I have to move in the middle of it all. These may not seem like huge problems but they are for me. And I can’t stop thinking about you and the aching I have to hear your voice. I try to drown it, smother it with lists of priorities and papers, but I always come back to you. And I seem so insignificant in the face of the odds set against my kids and I feel like I shouldn’t complain. But maybe that’s what makes me human, makes them human. Our worries and fears and doubts and stresses are our own to bear, to share, to witness with. I know what my students feel because I remember how it felt to be them. I feel the same now but with bits of peppered wisdom. They don’t tell you this when you’re young–we never feel grown up. We are always that young girl madly in love with the dangerous boy whose skin is inked with rebellion. No matter how many bills we pay or how many jobs we lose, we will always be who we started out to be, we will always feel like our sixteen year old selves, in wild love and wide awake with eyes towards the horizon.

Dragons

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Photo Credit : theartorder.com

Maps used to say,
“here where dragons lay,”
but they don’t anymore,
even though
the dragons
still exist,
hide under every layer
of sand, skin, and street.
They no longer
provide unsuspecting travelers
with cautionary advice
on which paths
lead to terror
and which to happiness.
We must take our own risks
and keep open eyes
wary of danger
and pernicious people.
We were once warned
of dragons and
used to carry maps.
Now our footsteps
drift towards the precipice
of regret and pain
and our knees shake
and our fingers fumble
through the darkness
that lurks.
It seems as though
princesses and dragons,
evil witches and kings
manifest into our reality.
Yet no one is truly saved
by a shining knight
or a charming prince.
Instead we seek mundanity
and mistake it
for safety.
I know I can never
be a princess
but does that mean
I have to stop believing
in magic and
possibility and
true love?
Isn’t there
a Great Perhaps
somewhere
and shouldn’t we all
keep reaching for it?
The dragons
are hiding,
waiting to strike,
but I can’t keep
hiding and pretending.
Can you?

Make Believe

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Photo Credit : hypknowsys.blogspot.com

You are impossible
to forget
no matter how hard
I might try.
Like the summer winds,
you sweep through me,
lift me up,
and launch me
into the space
between heaven and ground.
I tell myself
I can’t sit here pining
for a make believe life,
but words only mean
so much
when the sky turns gray
and the breeze tangles
into bitter winds
creating ice crystals
in my heart.
You are my summer,
my warmth.
Maybe it wasn’t
an imaginary future.
Maybe we just
haven’t found
the chance
to make it come true.

Do You Know?

Do you know Johnny?

How can I answer
that question?
How is that answer
so simple
yet filled with
ambiguity and perplexity?

If you know him,
send him a friend request.

If it was that easy,
I would have done it by now
instead of trolling your site
like an animal laying in wait.
I know you.
Or at least I did,
way back in the mystery
of years gone by
and the memories
fade to nothing.

Do you know this person?

I knew how your eyes shined
when you won a challenge,
how your fingers
clutched your arms
as you slept.
I knew when you would
laugh at a joke
or if you needed a drink
after a bad day.
I learned you quickly,
memorized your love
of mafia movies
and metal music,
your strange obsession
with chicken wings
and Mountain Dew.
I studied your skin
and its scars
and curves
and inky pictures
of pyramids and outlaws.

Do you know Johnny?

Why yes I do.
He used to own my body,
his fingers guiding me,
knowing me,
molding me with his strength. He knew me, loved me,
crawled inside of me,
and never left.
Why does a button
cause so much pain?
A button you won’t push
and you don’t know I can see.

Fractured

Floods
of fractured photographs
cascade
through fumbling fingers,
and I’m afraid
because all of your faces
are sifting,
shifting
through time
and I can’t quite know
your fragile features
like I did
on that bright shore
so long ago.
You are shaded
in grays and sepia
and I wonder
if your chin holds
the same curve
and if your hands
have hardened.
I feel your aftershocks
shaking me,
reminding me
of your flawed beauty,
your asymmetrical eyebrows
and your deep mahogany eyes.
I am washed away
on the flash flood
of your love and leaving
and I can’t find a foothold.
My fingers scrape
and bleed crimson yearning
along the rocks
of the flood path,
my knees knocking
against sticks and stones,
and my bones snap
under the weight of wanting.
Water sucks
the atmosphere
from my lungs
and I’m drowning
in memories
of fractured moments
dissolving in my fingers,
floating
on the waves
of the folly of real love.

Phantoms

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Photo Credit : writerscafe.org

Shards of a shattered mirror
sit beneath
my bloody feet.
I can see an eye,
a finger,
a slice of skin
reflected in broken pieces
of a crumbling life.
Voices echo
through the surrounding darkness,
screaming
to take another look
at a past turned to dust
and a future made of ghosts.
Each labored breath,
each weary step
reaches out,
grasping for something lost,
something not quite tangible.
Phantom memories
of fingertips
and smiles
and whispered kisses
grip my heart
in a doldrums,
and I am frozen,
at the mercy of words
you cannot say
and lines I can’t help
but pen.

In response to the Weekly Writing Challenge –Poetry

Edge of Chaos

I tried to tell you.
I perched
on the edge
of chaos
and boredom
trying to balance
my ten ton heart
on a pair
of white wicker legs.
We perish
in a moment,
our brief lights
echoing in the
smoke and flame
of the past.

And I tried to tell you.

We were always
spilling over
with destiny
and perfection
etched out
in the dirty
and painful days
we call life.
And “meant to be”
was so cliché
because ours bore
a special mark
of forever,
tattooed on our hearts
and our bodies.
Our scars
parallel our
mirrored agony
and I tried to tell you.

But you didn’t listen
and I didn’t yell
loud enough
for the world
to stop its footsteps
and freeze us
in the moment
where we loved
and the world
disappeared
in the clear blue clouds
of forever.