Hello blogosphere. Long time no see. Unfortunately, when the work grows mountainous the blog has to become the last priority, the neglected middle child. But sometimes a person has to stop and write. The following poem poured out of me this morning in a manifestation of all that has kept me silently marching along, eyes to the ground, ears tuned to the orders of an omnipresent yet unidentifiable drill sergent. So here it is, for you.
I told myself I would never bow to this.
I would never bend my back into a broken branch
to hang over dead leaves and frozen ground.
I would never shape myself into a chiseled arch
to tower above a city of men and women
who’ve lost their freckles scars grey hairs fat ankles
to the travel section of the New York Times—
I swore I would never bow to this.
my hips ache when I wake each morning
and my coffee no longer tastes of reflection
but of reaction
to the alarm clock beside my bed.
I bought it when I was twelve
to wake me up when Momma was states away
and couldn’t be there
to tickle my eyes open.
Since then it’s been interrupting like a school bell
to tell me to comb my hair a little more
to clothe my body a little more
to study my books a little more
a little less.
And still I press it silent,
my hand falling heavy on the sound waves
like a gavel to choke dissent—
I haven’t remembered my dreams for eight years now.
That’s two thousand nine hundred and twenty empty nights,
with few exceptions,
You are one of them.
You come tumbling into my sleep
like a stone rolling onto asphalt and I swerve
but there’s no avoiding you.
You end up lodged in the exposed metal of my engine,
speeding along with (in) me toward the alarm clock.
When the invasion arrives
you do not retreat,
you do not jiggle yourself loose,
You burrow deeper and the heat of my whirring engine
welds you to my rib cage.
that’s not a safe place for you.
Those bones are failing.
Slit the bark a little with your fingernail
and you’ll see the wick is a ghostly shade of hardly-green.
One more winter without sun to the melt the snow
and it will be dead altogether.
Those bones will snap soon
and tear through my skin,
the grey, rubbery bark protruding like a plank for you
to jump from.
Leap, my love.
Do not fear the icy water below.
Know that once you slice it with your outstretched hands,
the heat of your body will make it bearable.
Maybe someday we’ll find each other there,
wading in the water,
turning to coral from the waiste down
and doing our best to keep our hearts above the surface.
It’s a nice thought—
but I can feel myself folding,
and my body is molding itself into a bridge,
not a diving board.
If I put my foot upon that bridge
and you see me start to walk over life
like a Parisian crossing the Seine
without taking a moment to appreciate
the wake left in the iridescent river
by beaten souls seeking inspiration—
Call my name.
Cry out to me and tell me
to search my blood vessels for my pulse.
Tell me to taste the particles of carbon dioxide
that dry my sanded-smooth tongue
and turn to phantoms in the cold.
Tell me to cross my eyes
and wonder at the oil that shimmers on my nose—
And tell me to scream.
For once I hear the crash of my vibrating vocal chords
shattering this white-noise world—
I just might stand straight again.
This post is only a draft. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions below! Your input is appreciated!