Sticky

the air between us was thick,
dripping honeyed cravings too delectable to escape our lips,
and when flesh met flesh,
it was magic,
a tragic deliquescing,
catharsis in the confessing,
bodies colliding to tell stories
no words could possibly encompass

they were sweet moments
spent with you,
so preciously self-aware,
they stripped me bare,
no room for anything but you and I,
a binged-sugar high,
that won’t quite let up

I still feel you,
sticky,
there, and there,
and there

-image via Pinterest, original source unknown

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Martyr

stone-faced, she stood there,
loading the dishes for the second time that day,
mind a cluttering of thoughts,
and she sighed,
a bone-weary and exhausted sigh,
checking boxes and crossing things off a mental list that never seemed to end

it was like every other day –
she’d just cooked dinner,
readied tomorrow’s lunches,
laid everything out for tomorrow’s breakfast,
tidied the house,
worked ten hours,
slept too little,
dreamt too much

she heard his footsteps behind her,
and with a tender hug from behind,
his arms came around her as he whispered,
’I love you’, and asked if there was anything he could do to help,
as he often did

of course, she said no;
she always said no

she knew it was crazy,
but she’d rather be the martyr;
she always was, she had to be –
it was this black tar that surrounded her heart and made it unable for her to accept help or choose herself above any other,
to let go and trust

she simultaneously didn’t feel worthy of the help, as if she had to earn love,
and didn’t actually want the help,
because he’d do it wrong anyway

so she was stuck,
always playing the martyr,
with the tar in her chest that made it difficult to breathe,
made it feel as if she were on some overbearing and perilous journey that went on and on and on,
and if she stopped,
even for a moment,
if she needed the help,
deserved the help,
trusted enough to accept the help,
if she sat down and allowed the black to crumble and wither to dust –
if she allowed herself
a breath –

she might never get up again

-art is The Martyr of Solway, detail, by John Millais, 1871.

Fraudulent

she often had this feeling in the pit of her stomach,
more often than she cared to admit, actually

it was this marrow-deep disconnect,
this soul-withering fear,
this uneasy sense that she was somehow faking a life for them,
giving them a pretend childhood

instead of listening to her gut,
instead of allowing her soul to speak,
she often asked herself –
what would others think?,
allowing that thought to guide her actions

and that left her feeling like
she was wrapped in cellophane –
this protective barrier meticulously put into place,
meant to shield her from the hurt she so intensely feared,
but that barrier was useless,
a transparent facade

because no matter how hard she tried,
there it was –
the fear, throbbing behind her eyes when she knee-jerked a guilt-inducing reaction,
tingling in her fingertips when she felt the anger hide the fear,
an empty feeling thrumming in the center of her chest when she resisted her true self

and she couldn’t stop the constant
real of regret that played over and over in her mind –
there was something so fraudulent feeling about this way of behaving

the rituals weren’t real,
the smiles weren’t real,
the kisses weren’t quite real

real was right there,
in front of her face,
but she couldn’t (wouldn’t) quite reach it

and worst of all,
she sometimes felt like they were going along for her sake;
they could see right through her

and they knew they were being shortchanged

-art by Johanna Harmon

Grace, a Quadrille

I don’t know if I can go on;
your words haunt me,
a constant murmer,
ringing in my ears

I miss you
the world has dulled,
and everything has gone gray

I just keep thinking –
true strength paints itself
in the colors of grace

-created in response to the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge #201, as well as the dVerse Poet Pub’s Quadrille Challenge, Murmur; image by Kyle Thompson

Ablaze

with a single, brisk flick,
and a slow, deliberate draw between those inciting, wet lips,
you set me ablaze,
a deep, amber smoulder,
not unlike throwing tinder to ember still seething under ephemeral ash

the air around us is an oscillating rhythm,
a familiar pulse my body can’t help but remember,
the one that makes my belly flutter in anticipation,
a sensational humming, a rising vibrato,
a thrumming high

it is pure fire radiating outward,
a slow, but ferocious burn,
aching to be stoked by you

hovering above, there you are,
chest heaving in swells,
looking down at me, all-consuming,
addicted,
commanding me with those rapt,
hungry eyes,
in them the reflection of all I’m willing to give,
reminding me exactly who I am

I am your eager sizzle,
I am your infinite ache,
I am limitless want and wrecking need,
I am unfiltered surrender,
the slow, savored-with-your-eyes-pinched-shut drag,
inhaled into your depths,
never to leave

I am yours to balance between nimble fingers,
to inspire and expire,
over and again,
until the only tangible part of me
is where your fingers grip,
where your lips surround me,
and the rest is just smoke,
billowing in the wind

-image found via Pinterest, original source unknown

Treasure

I want you

I want the force of your wet lips against mine,
the crack-crackling of fiery tongues dancing around us,
their hungry heat howling up, up into the night,
as our midnight breath wafts in heaves and echoes amidst the cool glow of the winter moon

I want your unyielding body enclosing mine,
the safety of your arms shutting out the world,
our only witness the twinkling of the gods tracing, with precision,
the vast blackness of the night sky

I want the sturdy firmness of Mother Earth beneath me,
she my grounding as our bodies gnash and claw, becoming one,
our unrestrained spirits rising, intertwined with the heat of the passionate blaze

I want to grab a fistful of that wild, consuming energy between us

I want to tuck it away in my pocket,
a treasured remembrance I can stroke with wistful fingers,
when my heart needs you nearby

I want you

-image found on Pinterest, original source unknown; rewritten older poem