Poison

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Into my ear you slipped poison

words that ran off your tongue

and clung

to me for years.

Thirty years

of fear,

it’s origin I had forgotten

until today, on my way to a place

of life, not death.

But death is what I thought.

And death is what I believed,

a death delivered by a fork-tongued hag

who was dead herself .

 

 

Bottomless Sea-Infinite Sky

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When I was twenty

life offered infinite, though imagined, pleasures.

And, as I delighted in dreams of my future,

I floated upon the bottomless sea of fantasy.

But years passed

and I found my feet set firmly

on its sandy floor,

chin thrust upward,

gasping for breath,

looking into an infinite sky

an infinite void

an infinite nothingness

and I wondered if, when night fell,

sea and sky would become one.

But now

in this glimmering twilight

the sea is shallow

drained of dreams

and I am dry.

Only my toes remain in the well of possibility.

But the sky, still separate from the sea of youth,

I look to it and wonder.

 

 

Happy

“Are you happy?”

they ask every few months

or so

it goes

that their investment in your well-being

is an investment in their being

well

it is understandable

given that your unhappiness makes them

unhappy

people make conversation uncomfortable

because they address

feelings

are best left unsaid,

best left to settle to the bottom of the

well

it’s dark there,

an appropriate place for dark

thoughts

are thoughts because you keep them to yourself.

You do not share them with people who are

good

people are happy people.

They are bright and light and they avoid people like

you

don’t tell them you are scared and sick and angry and sad

because they could not be

happy

people need you to be happy

too

 

 

 

Lead

My darkness covered you like a blanket weighted with lead.

But I didn’t know.

I didn’t mean to shroud you

with me.

 

In a moment of clarity, I saw it all

the horror of it all

the confusion of good intentions

and miscalculations

and foolish actions

the incapability of a mind full of chaos

to move toward the light.

 

Instead, I carried the heavy weight

of fear

dragging it along

and laying over all I touched

crushing all the good

the hope.

 

And what now

if I lift this leaden blanket laden with all my darkness?

What remains?

The broken remnants of what could have been;

who could have been?

Or is there hope buried beneath the withered remains of possibility?

The Monsters in My Bed

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During the day,

I’m equipped to keep the monsters at bay.

But at night, when I’m asleep, I’m helpless.

Naked.

Stripped of saber.

and strategy.

So the monsters crawl under my sheets and, when I wake,

their talons are wrapped around my throat.

 

Sweet dreams are easy.

Sweet awakenings are another story.

Monsters

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Your monsters are slick

like movie villians

-they always get the the cool costumes.

They smoke cigarettes

and lurk in dark alleys.

They hide behind trees in forests.

They creep into your houses

and into your daughters’ dolls

to make their heads spin.

They hide in your basements

and wait in the darkest corners

for you to go downstairs.

And

when they are ready

they arch their backs and scurry like crabs

up walls and onto ceilings.

But my monster is different.

She crept in between my thighs

after I had a cocktail

or three

and slipped inside, warm and gentle.

She swam through my veins

until she reached my brain

where she curled up

and now the two of us

sleep together

and wake together

and think

and act

and stay

together

even in the sunlight.

 

 

 

Complacency

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It is impossible to be unhappy on this beautiful day.

The sky is clear and blue

only blue-the perfect compliment to the newly sprung leaves of verdant green

under whose canopy I sit and appreciate

the gentle breeze and glorious sun

whose rays sneak through this lush umbrella

to kiss my skin

-softly, gently.

*

It is impossible to be unhappy.

Is it not?

*

But the breeze-it lulls me to sleep

a dull dreamless sleep

which I do not wish to enter.

*

I long for a sharp and bitter wind

to jolt me awake.

*

My eyelids are heavy.

My limbs carry the invisible weight of complacency.

*

But it is just so pretty

and comfortable

sitting here.

Just sitting.

It is impossible to be unhappy.

 

This poem was originally published on June 3, 2018