Queen of the Gas Station: A Eulogy
Louisa always liked the firemen
Who burned the dim woods,
Who smoked out their truth.
And what remained took to a shadow,
Cast by their unholy light.
When they don’t burn our skin
“They keep us warm”
I wish it still echoed.
Louisa once told me
That she had a dream
That her hair was long again,
And she was a girl again,
That we didn’t know our own cruelty,
And with her carmine lips she smiled.
She told me that those eyes didn’t belong to her (anymore)
They looked back.
Louisa and I sit by the gas station,
It looks the same as this one,
All emptiness looks the same.
We would sit on the hot concrete in our cheap skirts,
And pull at the weeds,
Satiating the need to kill
That all we have,
The ground is hard here too,
But the neon’s far too bright,
But if she closes her eyes,
It should be alright
Louisa lived elsewhere
But I think she died here,
I can’t change that,
And the clouds are dark
And so it falls
I lift my eyes
To still look up,
Looking for a fabled arc
That Louisa would have loved
But it’s just sky
I met you in a garden/Love’s end:
I met you in a garden, as Spring’s heavy breaths warmed the weather, and my mother’s flowers bloomed vividly. We didn’t say a word. You didn’t even look at me. But when, my dear…friend, has that ever stopped me from surrendering all that is myself to an unwitting stranger, who came here for the cake. You lingered in my candle-lit room, on the pages of notebooks, ink, wherever I could hide you in plain sight. It’s shameless, really. You minded your own business, you did nothing wrong. But here I am, writing about you. I’m afraid you’ll never find peace, and neither will I. Every writer knows that to put pen to page is to resign oneself to the world of glimmering fantasy; a world devoid of consequences. I met you in a garden, and we never met again. But Spring’s hardly passed, so who knows? The end.
Nothing of Consequence
I wake up to the sound of trees falling. I hear I-love-yous and I know your blood. Crimson and siphoned through tissue, mostly unseen. I feel the strings of death that tie me to bed. No wonder you can't kill a god. Any kind of end is too quick, too kind, for something of such magnitude, such power. Everything inside me has been torn out, tossed to the corner of my room. There lies nothing of consequence: dust, toys, I hear the screams of a young boy as he runs from his father, Jenna's sweater, CDs from last week, candy wrappers, cars turn corners, racing, running, heavy breathing, hearts pounding, beating, stopping. I can make it stop
I can't sit up but I can make it stop. End. I sense it. But, they laugh and they yearn and they hurt. They live. Somehow. Who am I to strip them of their horrors? Who am I to leave them awake, with all the terror they create? The strings pull tighter and tighter and my veins, my skin, my self splits. Among the floral sheets lies a mosaic of reluctant divinity and blood.
I close my eyes.
Tales of the Cradle: Mother Deerest
Twice upon a map
The Lesser being took its cradle
And rocking, pushing, flipped it upside down
The world cried and laughed and toppled with glee,
Water falling free, rippling sickly sweet,
Tender tendrils reach and weep,
Finding themselves suspended.
No, no, no!
Searching for its halved bright-ball,
Partly lost and shocked and gnawed,
Swiftly, it had fallen, into a cliffish sky or sea,
As neither made sense to our Lesser fellow as it be,
Neither it could touch, and neither seemed to see
How their shifting blues had stolen its clemency,
A crowned guardian sees from further away,
Striped in papyrus, unchanged and unnamed by the new-world antics,
Matronly and patiently,
With a feeling for the end, they must wait.
To destroy and create is fine,
But the start, child-light and this world’s new birth,
Equal promise and danger lurk
To let it consume all would be no good
So the being watches and waits
As any deer mother would,
For the time will come,
When the cradle must crash, and
The Lesser must drown,
Swimming with stars in their land.
The time still passes,
But the Lesser does not grow,
It is stuck searching for its toy-moon,
Lost so long ago,
Its rebirthed world is left alone,
But no world can live with a deity dethroned
So the tentacles grasp, and the chart outgrows
The paper given as a home.
Even still the crowned-thing waits,
And waits again for it to change.
Then come clouds, with their lofty highs,
Smoke and fire burn their eyes,
Some stranger sings into the madness,
And dust stirs up,
Beating the pillars into blackness.
The guardian sighs, and claws its calves.
There remains a glitter in the celestial bath.
It bares its throat, and calls upon the Lesser
Who refuses to come, so the being enters,
It calls the night and dark and murders the storm,
No clouds to come, no fire to warm,
It rips the charts and steals its ink,
Flooding the cradle, the godly bed sinks,
Until the waters are black
Every void turns red,
When the Lesser itself twists its head,
No longer a child,
No longer bright-life power it holds,
In cold empty hands,
Its world is no more
The Greater being has done all
As it knows it would have done most.
And it waits for the world to dry,
And the next Other to be lost,
And amidst the red, and the black and the little blue,
It sees a moon in the primordial stew.
Death’s light glitters like dew
I wished for a summery death.
There was nothing sweeter.
To lie in a gentle shade, and die alone,
Watching distant clouds sailing home.
The ground is hard, but the grass is warm,
Mist runs to dew, and a fairmaid lifts its head,
Softly burning, the white turns red.
Once, I lived to love,
And I loved alone,
But from me those days have flown,
The far-off sleep glistens,
With a chanced-upon glow,
To turn away from the blissful image
Is to scorn newer friends,
Changing newer ends.
Spider-nets encircle my now gossamer-gaze,
To turn away is to break the thread,
When I turn away,
In the meadow
you will find me
Shivering reeds are ember green, bronzing in new-world delight,
The virgin quiet has its garden picked, apple-heavy breezes thick,
Laurel sap quick, mixed with something brick-red,
To wait so pale, we abide by a flickering moon,
Awaiting a green-world, man-shaped still,
We don’t fit.
Slipping a simple summery spell, it shifts,
A wren made poppy-red for a marble chant,
Feathery voices yell.
The river swallows and swells,
Every gathering of sweet madness chained by a knell,
Winter suffering is akin to hell,
Every soul is made pure.
Blue-faced dawn breaks that bell
For all is all,
And all is well.
Neptune’s night, your birth was bitter.
Ink-eyed child, you,
Find another to kill.
With a drowning voice you rape my dreams,
The path is branch-crooked but clear.
I think you would float
Your hollowness bringing you closer to God
than you’d ever let me be.
You left, following the scent of petals from some other meeting,
Some other matrimony,
Some other life.
I’m left with eyes and skies oath-dark,
A kind of anonymous light you'd never see.
Will you die heavy, fulfilled?
Is it much brighter there?
Are they much sweeter?
Your spawn more human?
Did you sink?
I know the place but it’s filled with such black anger that I cannot
…Do you remain?
I was pretty okay with being a kid.
I sat still and soaked myself in the lulling waters of childhood. It's empty now. I didn't want to be older. The haze of girlhood--something to be penetrated and dissipated--was unknown to me.
There are hollows in the ground from where I stand still and look back.
Things may change, but they still sound the same
Crow-dark and crow-hoarse,
Sweeping black trees bend and break,
With a crack they fall,
We walk on,
A river corpse-deep and sure,
Thigh-high grass wilted,
Crack! They freeze,
To grasp with hands,
The feeling is lost, somewhere by a friend,
Somewhere, not close, is this the end?
Dare I hope for more? Or do I wait for it to-
Crack! Another falls, another walks,
I hardly hear them when I step on my own.
Crack goes our hope,
And the sighs, long and known, were soft once,
Not now, now they are hard and they Crack!
To the ground, to the mud,
The rain is new, so the grass rots, and the mud grows,
And the dreams drown,
Heaving one final sigh, one final Crack!
A crow yells, the first person ducks,
The rest follow, the sun is nowhere to be seen,
Footprints, footsteps, ice, dark,
Crack! The crows dive, and
We all fall fast,
Eyes closed, air cold and black,
Crack (is this the end?)
In Pain We Trust
May was not the time to blaspheme,
With smooth glades of ache to drown
The alizarin voices of hate.
Their hard hands,
A swirling crescendo,
Pummel all passion
Into a lasting shower of pain.