The Kiss

Her lips were nervous as a butterfly, unsure whether to alight or flit away into the sun. His were the bruised plums she longed to split open and taste, but with all the wariness of a wolf in winter her eyes found the rough, storm torn bark of the trees instead. Doubt was the wheel ever spinning in the cavity of her chest, long since filled with a straw doll that only beat when desperate to escape a self built cage. Wonder was the whistle of the amber leaves in her ears, reminders that while everything falls and nothing lasts beauty and grace come around again. Lipstick stained, crimson pavement collided with the busses who wait in line and forever long to run but lack the room or opportunity. At night they flee along roads slick as tears until the gas that blocks each star has run down and their eventual slow crawl and stop is cradled by neon blankets that cause all that is not silver to glitter and take on a new life. She was flighty and furious as the rats she once called brethren, in a tunnel that has no altar on the faded and crumbling platform but is holy as the dome that need bow its’ head to no-one in a city of splendour and filth.
He was the king of the dark alleys and cobbled archways and moved like a lion against the flood of people: all grace and restrained power, rippling pebbles on a moonlit lake.

The splash seems insignificant but the widening circles have an impact on the deepest parts of the black water. He was a reverse supernova, one that floods the world with fire and light that embraces those he chooses to touch instead of keeping the divine spark to himself. The stroke of his fingers were third degree burns waiting to happen; a sudden flash of heat followed by absence of pain. His words were honeyed and smooth as a finely aged scotch and she felt the same kick in her belly every time he spoke. He carried heaven and hell with him and the scent of smoke; a wildfire waiting to happen with sparklers for eyes and a smile that tore out her eyes. She had never imagined anything like him, and found herself believing he was real only because her imagination was too flawed to build such a dream. With a caress that cut deeper than any sword, he pressed his lips to hers and stilled anxious, overflowing words.

No Fury

if you lift me
into the sky
supernova
I’ll teach you to spread silver wings

you bring roses
I press and keep
as a secret
tucked between sweet smelling pages

they bear witness
to soft kisses
and coffee cups
warming the winter chill we found

loving the lake
cautious, small steps
onto swans’ ice
with willow branches of wind chimes

but you burn me?
I’ll strike a match
you’ll warm up quick
as the bridge of your life ignites

I promised

I promised once
to keep you close
but as fine wire
I was cut by my oath

I promised once
to help you shine
but tarnish remains
lungs swimming in brine

I promised once
to give you hope
but I am a wild horse
and you were the rope

I promised once
the stars were bright
but you draw curtains
burned by the light

I promised once
to never let you go
before the summer
faded into snow

I promised once
I wouldn’t leave
but I trade your suffocation
for an ocean breeze

and without you
I begin to breathe

Remember Then

when the green
has faded
into the grey
a dawn of ash
a mother slain
by the children
she gave all
before columns of smoke
before asphalt choked
the poison
that triggered her fall
when the ocean
has turned to stone
jaded
as those who passed her by
when the rivers turn to dust
forests flake and rust
with unslaked thirst
and forgotten rain
when the world is dry
remember when
you loved your steel
a four wheeled ego
the slim device
tucked into a pocket
that taught you how to feel
instead of breathing
in the air
then
you confined life to a cage
built by plastic
the death of earth
unfolds on a screen
while you wail
and whine and rail
that nothing is fair
the world is ending
while you stare
at worthless fantasy
a banquet for dynasty
while nature starves
because we carved
wounds into her bones
remember then
what you have done
and what you ought have
but did not

Stray cats, stray thoughts

I am real
for the first time
and it hurts
I am tender as
the butterfly that falls
when freshly burst

I can feel
for the first time
sinced the world burned
all I know
is freezing snow
stinging me
as hornets
blinding me
as did my wrong turns

I can see
where I was blind
and my stomach churns
the end of the road
was a circle
woven with sins and clover
that tore at my stomach
as a hungry wyrm

I can listen
where before I spoke
now I find new words
but the fire within
I cannot quench, nor give in
and all that I have learned
lingers as the leopard
in the verdant branches
waiting to tear a throat
mine, or hers?

Doctors’ orders

He told me to scribble

all of my hopes

But when you’re a skeleton

Limbs rattle and clank

only to cause a flood of ink

No real tears to cry

or soft words remain

to envelope bones

Weathered by the years

softened by the rain

He told me to write down all of my dreams…

but there are bats in my skull

and nobody in the world

wants to hear them scream

Some things you can’t say

to polite company

or in general

lest they shut you away

My memories do not belong in words

but in containment

A cage for violence and blood

who flutter as frightened birds

She matters

It’s endless
Phone off the hook
A shark that swam away
but still carries steel
and will close teeth again

before this dawn is over

Receiver held carefully
as a venomous beast
A voice of propriety
brings the doom
Another matter
of lost strays and identity

awaits beneath the bridge

To protect and serve
the rats scurry to and fro
Blinding uniforms and tape
begin to ice the bones

Indifferent to tears
as the snow that fell

and the air
is a paper cut sting
Whip of a thousand wounds
You may throw up
or burst free of your skin
as scent smothers
this new normal

The routine before breakfast

They die in droves here
after all
or thrash and fade in clinical beds
Bathroom tile chipped as their teeth
Broken mirrors
and bloody porcelain
crimson on knuckles

A metaphor, portrayal
of the lives we are forced to lead

or did
To vultures in yellow
she’s a number on faded paper
‘missing’
All of us are missing here
She wasn’t just the shell
of a desperate, strung out girl

She had red hair
curling in the damp nights

She was more than track marks
her soul was smooth, unmarred
She has… had a smile for everyone
except her mirror.
She could charm the devil
or brings angels to swooning
Too high to feel the cold

She loved cappuccinos
She lived in stilettos and stolen bangles
She loved us with a fire
to light the moon
and everything that walked this earth
Another story ends

at the dead end of a road
I feel too dead myself to wonder
if these are tears I shed
or the freeze that fell to rain

Taming Demons

the girl without wings
the monster under her bed
feet splintered by oak
and the savage words she spoke
temporarily
before lightning struck her blind

the familiar
strange somehow, as shadows’ depth
is drawn into cutting edge

the girl with no voice
the beast spinning songs of glory
bedtime tales, bad girls
who throw their stones to break bones
brittle ivory
softened as she is by smoke

the girl who grew up
then learned to leash her demons
at the end of silver ropes

Heart

tie rags to a stick: pack your shit
you took me as a fool
but I’m the rabid dog that bit
the hand that offered vanity
your medicine turns you to stone
can’t catch knives but you tried to throw
when I took aim
I didn’t stop til I hit bone
blood lost along with sanity

life is a barn door you missed
it’s only toads you’ve ever kissed
and I hold the weight of my worth
not in silver or gold
my breaths are paced out by merit
not by the way you measure it
each emotion ‘pitching a fit’
so get off of my boat
we simply don’t have a spare berth

if you wanted to play the game
you should have chosen
a swan with a little more shame
no ballerina wrapped in stars
no princess will declare for you
the faery spread her wings and flew
beyond the dawn
far from the vile, simmering stew
with which you debase the word ‘heart’

missing

I’m the wordsmith
you left tongue tied
Haunted
by a missed sentence
when your breath met mine

I’m the lost girl
who tosses and turns
Poured into an ice cream maker
But it’s broken
and my ice has thawed
into everything
I leave unspoken

Because

I’m the dancer
with battered and broken feet
But then I rose
onto bruised tip-toes
so I could taste your lips