Pretty Women.

I am Woman.

Woman doesn’t tear.

I bend backward, bend forward, bend universes.

my scars are lingerie, worn beautifully.

worn hidden.

worn away.

I am pretty.

pretty has no tears to streak her pretty face.

will you sing this pretty woman love songs?

songs unfinished.

trace them into my back.

I won’t complain of pain.

because I am Woman.

I carry loads,

yours and my own.

the grit of my teeth.

my hands wrung.

wrung red.

let go. let go.

pretty women have to be happy.

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Lies

Do lies hurt?

yes, I think they do.

But what if I lied that I loved you?

what if my hands lied to your face, my lips to your ear, my eyes to your soul?

if a lie wrapped you in its arms and lulled you to sleep when you didn’t want to feel alone?

when the truth would wrestle you to the ground, punch you in the gut and run before you could ask it “why”?

when the truth would belittle you, steal your pride and cause you to stay up at night and cry.

The lie, oh the lie…

a lie steals the lesson.

Stunts your growth.

Never can stay hidden from you.

So I find that there could be no response more true:

“Do lies hurt?”

-well yes, I think they do.

 

 

That Place…

You know that place.
The one we are all terrified to go to.
A place between barefoot renegades, water gun hands, ice cream smeared mouths and your body laying next to mine.
A place caught between time.
Red ribboned braids stretching down skinny backs, offering roots to anchor your adolescent whimsies- because even at that age, you learned the world isn’t fair.
For far too long, you’ve felt stuck between kiddish dreams and grown-up nightmare.
Gone from finding swirling universes in the puddles that form after rainstorms, to trying to conceal the universe of emotions swirling inside yourself.
Painted a jaded mask with the trembling hands you used to tie up your Mary Janes.
You aged beyond your tender years.

Still… You should go to that place.

To the place where you and I rough house, play house, make love, make war, make walls.
Walls made to keep out the past.
Walls to throw people behind- people who have seen too much.
Walls of our own prisons.
We are paying bills in one motion and paying for our childhoods in the next.
We resort back to fetal position, back to your hand across my face.
Go back to where we were waving goodbye to overalls, saying so-long to captaining a ship on the rocks in your backyard.
Goodbye to dreams of one day being a princess.
Or of ever being your wife.
Because no man who barely loves himself has enough love left over for anyone else.
This place, where we left the ghost of a broken child, where we learned how to love, or that we never wanted to love again…
a place so raw, it strips away at your defenses and leaves only vulnerability.
I know it’s hard.
I know more than anyone.
But, go there.
To the place between angry words, and insults breaking backbones.
To the place where a memory can send the skyscraper that is your ego plummeting to the ground, sprinkling dust and demons amidst the debris.
Go.
This place is an abyss, and you’ve left it open.
We all leave it.
Open.
Go there to close the wounds for good.

Crisis on Cadieux Bay Island: Writing Prompt

(Crisis) Prompt of the Day:

Hail pelted the windows on my tiny red two-door as I raced through tar-black fog towards the only available port. All of the residents of Chespia County were used to the rain. The tiny county was one of three on the quaint island of  Cadieux Bay- and water, whether in the form of rain, snow or mostly sea, was an integral part of daily life. Once colonized by the French, and the subject of many a sea-sick wanderer’s sonnets, the island was now better known for its exports of fresh cod. Residents here were scarce, activities even scarcer, but cod abounded and was the center of the island’s world. A huge statue of a French conqueror holding a cod above his right shoulder stood in the middle of Chespia town square, as if we needed a reminder of something our lives already revolved around.

I often sat in the attic of my tiny shingled-roof home when it rained, to hear the noise reverberate around me- a staunch echo in an otherwise silent and dull abode. Rain mostly evoked no emotion in the residents here- it neither helped nor harmed – just simply was. But I always loved the rain. It was the sweet tears of the gods after too many days of supposed happy sunshine. I detested the pretentious smiles of my neighbors, and their gleeful waves as they headed out to the harbor to mount their fishing boats, or into town to arrange their cod at the fish markets. Some of them grew vegetables to sell, or wove baskets, or made elaborate plates to display-what else… cod.

I was a desperate writer, who had come to this desolate island to immerse myself in my latest mystery novel. Coming here was a great idea and all, but I hadn’t planned on staying here this long, with only six chapters of a crappy, stereotypical murder book completed. I had been here three years when the crisis happened, one ordinary, lifeless night. I was just contemplating how much I abhorred cod, whilst eating a dish of stuffed cod and potatoes when I heard the first gunshot go off. I should say, at the time it occurred, I didn’t know it was a gunshot, because why would anyone on Cadieux Bay Island need a gun? Boredom, gossip and complacency all settled and found comfortable homes here, but not conflict. I had never seen any conflict living on the island. I startled outside upon hearing the noise, confused. “Thunder?” I wondered. “Had the Markson boys brought fireworks from the mainland again?” Then I saw the body. Mrs. Nettles, sprawled out amongst her beloved magnolias, with the clear evidence of bright red blood streaking her moonlit face. And before I could make sense of what my eyes beheld, a second gunshot. A third. I ran into my house, picked up my phone to hear only dial tone, and began frantically running about to lock anything I could- doors, windows, screens. Except nothing locked. Who needed locks on such a friendly, pleasant island? I tore on my shoes, grabbed a bag and packed it with the closest clothes and toiletries, just as I heard a crash. Another gunshot? No. This time- actual thunder. And then the hail began. Hail like I had never heard before, ravishing the roof, punching at the sides of the house, wailing and screaming on windows, threatening to break in. As the first strike of lightening lit up the front windows of my home, I saw him. He was looking back over his shoulder at me, and although his silhouette was nearly void of any detail, I was certain he was staring directly into my eyes. Then, with another flash, he was gone. A sharp pang of fear stabbed my stomach. I raced to the living room, tapped the keyboard on my open laptop pulling up my unfinished murder mystery and began reading- chapter 2, paragraph 3, first sentence.

-“Mrs. Nettles lay in her beloved garden, watering her flowers with her own blood, when the residents hear another gunshot go off. This time, it is Mr. Smith, the town physician who has been slain by two whizzing bullets into the back. He didn’t even stand a chance.”-

My heart fell from my chest to my belly, color drained down my face and into my hot, beating chest. I grabbed my bag and ran like hell through the falling pieces of sky and into my car, then began racing for the nearest port. I had to get off this island before the rest of my novel came to light. In my isolation and depression due to this cod filled, monotonous island, I had written myself into the novel as the next victim.

Run-ins.

I saw you today. You passed by me as I was exiting my apartment building, and upon seeing you, I found myself having to reteach my legs how to walk.
“One after the other, one after the other. Come on! What the hell is wrong with you guys?!”
I felt like my whole body would collapse, or perhaps… I’d melt under the heavy midday sun, like the ice in my now not-so-iced coffee. Buckle, knees first, slowly slouching, head over shoulders, shoulders over waist, waist over thighs, and puddle onto the cement sidewalk- evaporating prayers that hopefully you didn’t see me. See that you still affect every part of me, and the evidence is very tangible.
Probably sensing that my legs couldn’t, my heart began to run- faster, faster, faster- the only thing propelling me forward, keeping me from passing out. I instinctively held my head high, out of view of passersby, as to not allow them a glimpse of the thoughts galloping in and out of my mind. (Apparently everything had legs except me.) Thoughts of my hand on your face, our bodies lying in the Californian sun, how walks around Midtown with the right person could make you feel like wanting to walk forever. I thought you may have glanced over at me, as you strolled past, casually throwing your jacket over your shoulder- walking like a man with purpose, somehow making me feel like a house cat in the presence of a lion. Only you could make me feel so small without even uttering a word my way- make my lungs simultaneously faint and expel all their contents, cause my hands to tremor like tambourines. And just like that, you were gone, leaving me feeling weak, emotionally and quite physically.
Like I said, I really thought I could just melt right then and there, and a huge part of me hoped that I would. But I didn’t. Instead, I walked chanting silently, “One after the other, one after the other.” The motto for anyone who has felt that they couldn’t continue on, but did.