Ashes


my hands smell like cigars
and the cigar box smells like you
your knock-off Rolex has some tarnish
it’s charred hands no longer move
my lungs are full of tar
and white smoke fills the room

my hands smell like cigars
and the cigar box smells like you
your silver zippo lost its polish
as your fingers searched for truth
the photos all wear fake smiles
and the eyes are empty rooms

my hands smell like cigars
and the cigar box smells like you
my handwritten letter sits in folds
words unspoken split in two
my lungs are full of tar
and white smoke fills the room 

you slipped through my fingers
like the smoke that filled the room
my hands smell like cigars
and the cigar box smells like you
these memories are ashes 
and this cigar box is a tomb

-image via Pinterest

Advertisements

Drown

words, words, all around;
what was lost, now is found,
I took off the shroud

that’s how my spirit feels;
diving deep, keeping it real,
my heart offered, your next meal

devoured with skimming eyes,
white lies, no replies,
the ‘like’ a disguise, bleeding me dry

why?

sometimes I drown in this digital sea;
can’t see the real me,
lungs choking on hyperbole 

-image via Pixabay

Silence

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” ~Brené Brown

“No.”

He’d heard her, she was sure of it; his face was so close to hers, she could feel his whiskers on her cheek as he moved, like the stab of needles tattooing her skin with unwanted ink. 

“No,” she said, again, a little more forcefully this time, the word scraping the inside of her throat, which was beginning to feel constricted, pure panic coiling itself around and around, from the inside out.

All she saw was his eyes. Blank, as if he was looking through her, his eyes spoke for him, they gave his response.

Pinning her down, one arm crossed her chest as the other pulled down his own pants and ripped her black panties aside. His full weight upon her, he pushed her back further into the couch. She tried to push back at him, to wriggle beneath him to get away, but her own muscles weren’t working like they should. 

Her body went cold. She could taste his scent in the air, a toxic, slur of smoke invading her lungs, fighting for what little air her lungs would allow. Absorbing his vile presence, it was black sludge melting into every pore, her stomach twisting and wretching. She could feel her body’s resistance in the rigid freeze between them. 

But, she didn’t scream, even though her friend was just upstairs with the other guy. She didn’t struggle. Fear kept her quiet, and not just fear of him. She was immobilized by her own voice. 

Fear of her own voice.

Jerking his head upward, he looked into her eyes again, and she felt his muscles tighten even further. 

No,” she whispered again, reminding herself. 

He invaded her. His hips worked ferociously, grinding and impaling, his elbow digging into her chest.

He took without apology. He took and took and took. 

Behind her eyes, it all slowed, each slam into her, every recoil, in slow motion, his elbows becoming knives, his arms boulders, and his incessant body the evil, leaded blanket reminding her of her own silence, of her smallness. 

He took what he wanted.

When he finished, she stood and quietly adjusted her clothes, never looking at him or speaking a word.

Walking up the 18 stairs, her feet made a shuffle-scraping sound, and she knocked on the blackness of the wooden door until her friend answered. Thank God, the look on her face must have spoken for her, because her friend followed without her ever needing to speak.

She walked back down the 18 stairs and out the front door. Automation took her feet toward home, still in silence. She was halfway home before she realized she was only wearing one shoe. 

Along with her shoe, she’d left behind the last of her voice, the one which spoke up for her. 

It would be years and years before she began to find it again…..but she did.

~image credit waleoladipo.com; #metoo 

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

Quotes by Brené Brown. Let’s kick shame’s ass, Warriors.

Full Moon

the voluminous moonlight shouted from the blackness of the quiet sky,
it’s breath reaching the gray drapes in a billowed, flowing sigh,
coming to rest on the rooted, age-woven fabric of you and I,
and casting its healing shadow over worn flesh and entangled, tired souls before retreating in a silent goodbye

-image via Pixabay 

Weary Bones, a Quadrille 

I hear my weary bones a’creaking,
 the slap-flapping of valves
   working overtime,
     ‘cuz they’re leaking

I feel the slowing tempo
 of waves receding,
   the acquiescence
     of my spirit weeping

I hear my weary bones a’creaking,
 but I can’t give in –

my soul’s still seeking

-image via Tumblr, source unknown; written as part of dVerse Poet Pub’s Quadrille prompt

Static

There’s no music in these headphones,
No rhythmic beat a’playin’,
There’s no cool lyrics to sing to,
For dancin’ or hip swayin’

There’s no music in these headphones,
No recharging chord,
There’s no lullaby for comfort,
When times get really hard

There’s no music in these headphones,
There’s no power supply,
There’s nothing but the static, 
And the tears that have run dry

-image via Pixabay; Mental Health Awareness Month; submitted for inclusion in the dVerse Open Link Night

Fate

they say all that will ever be 
is written before it happens;
there is nothing we can do to stop it –
but I tried

my soul became raw from fighting against itself;
everywhere I walked, my fate walked with me,
dragging along, crashing into my heels,
a suitcase with two broken wheels

they say all that will ever be 
is written before it happens;
there is nothing we can do to stop it –
but I tried

lugging around that suitcase, 
I told myself fate was that which nestled itself inside,
and the only way to outrun it, 
was to keep that zipper closed tightly, 
and to fight like hell

they say all that will ever be 
is written before it happens;
there is nothing we can do to stop it –
but I tried 

what they don’t say,
is that fate is a living, breathing thing,
which is not static;
it grows and evolves along side us,
wisdom lying in wait,
a fairy godmother with no wand

they say all that will ever be 
is written before it happens;
there is nothing we can do to stop it –
but I tried 

what they don’t say,
is that truth and love are magic,
and seeking it is our fate,
and the only way to find it,
is to stop fighting against it,
to unpack,
to listen

they say all that will ever be 
is written before it happens;
there is nothing we can do to stop it –
so I stopped trying 

-Image via Pinterest; submitted as part of the dVerse Open Link Night #207

Snow, a Quadrille 

once, her world sagged 
under the weight of the storm 

today, the storm is finally receding;
rain’s long, wet fingers caress,
hope falling in chilly droplets,
cleansing in goosefleshed trails 

there is something peaceful about her,
as if snow has settled inside her soul

-image via Pixabay; created and shared as part of dVerse’s Quadrille Monday

Don’t See Me


opportunity doesn’t knock, it slithers,
it wriggles and burrows with its chattering teeth,  
until it tunnels down, down, down,
clawing and eating away at my insides –
and I feed it

I nourish it with eyes that see, but pretend not to,
with haunting excuses hovering in wait, 
gathering to lock fingers and create a wall no human could possibly scale 
alone

they hide my most precious secret

knees to chest, arms wrapped tightly around, 
and eyes unable to meet yours – 

don’t see me

I am not what you think
(I am not what I wish I was)

-image via Pinterest