To a Father,
please, don't bury her. she is afraid of the dark.
From a Mother.
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Fragment #4One thousand black umbrellasunfurl, nylon wings spread &shadow strange faces: theworld fades, grey.
within her lies a weightwith hazel eyes shuttered,she feels the thunder roll over her senses;it is in this moment that she is beautiful,though her space is emptyand there is nothing to witness it,except an apple tree too shy to bear fruitand a handful of disgruntled red hens.she waits for the rain,her face upturnedand impatience throbbing in her bloodstream;rain has been one of the few comforts in her lifeand she revels in its tang still.slowly, as if to tantalize her,the rain falls to strike her facein a quick, bruising flurryand within moments it coats her eyelids,blue with sleeplessness,and her mouth,half-pursed and wilting from disuse--but oh, we are not here to watch it rain upon her.no, we are here for something more,something that lies deeper,something that she does not let linger--we are here for the shyest of souls.below the soft,tanned flesh her body writhes,ever moving in its desire for fulfillment.this need,though primal,is far from sexualand she does not desire the c
some things aren't solid outside the mind.you couldn't knowthat the boy sittingbeside you in AdvancedEnglish was going tofetter himself to the oceanand break the sound barrier (andhis mother's heart) with hisscreaming.you couldn't know that the girl sitting threerows back in Computing One-oh-Onewould fall so deeply in love withthe colour of the sky that she would spend a summer practicing knots just tomirror the pale, bloated hue.you couldn't knowthat the man walking byat seven a.m. with a briefcase beneathhis arm was on his way toblow his world apart, along withhalf a dozen strangers.you couldn't knowthat the woman rushing throughthe supermarket was on herway to drown her sorrowsin the eyes of another womanwhile her husband was busydrowning in himself half a mileand a gunshot away.you couldn't know.
alcoholism is the last to blamewhen you don't drink,you can't blame the mistakes you make on inebriation.instead,you have to hold them close to your chestand pray that nobody else sees them before you prepare your defence,before you scratch away their most soiled partsand spit-shine the rest,and even then you spend your lifepraying that nobody will ever look any closerbecause spit and hope can only conceal so much.
The Anatomy of a Teenage SummerThis is not a poem about youand me, because; It is not about the collision oflips, or the wild stirring of young heartsthat beat in tandem. It is not about the whirlwindbetween the sheets, or the emptiness ofyoung lungs after a skin to skin marathon. It is not about eight fingers and twothumbs meshing together like a flesh and bonezipper, or the way whispers caressed premature scars. It is not about mussed hair the color ofburnt oak, or the way clothes never quite straightenafter being tossed aside in a frenzy. It is not about kind words and clammypalms, or the childish innocence shed below theboardwalk in forty degree heat. This is not about you and me becauseit is no love story. It is a memory.
straw housesi.there are mice in thewalls. i share mysecrets with them inyour absence.ii.you left a mugof cranberry tea on thewindowsill and the local antshave made a swimmingpool of it -- their bodiesleave a dirty,red-browntrail across the bencheach night.iii.i didn't bother tofeed the cat and shehas calcified, tortoise-shellbody wrapped around theonly pair of shoesyou didn't take.iv.the neighbors collectyour mail because i refuseto scoop it outof the old postbox younailed to the fence -- thespiders are at homewithin it.v.your mother calls. itmight be once aweek or everyother month, i'velost track. she talksabout seeing me, cookinga casserole or threeand force-feeding me: ihang up.vi.you aredead or goneor both and i can't afford thepower bill.
Fragment #5There are sea shells in my earsand they are dripping with the sound of thesea; it whispers, let me be,let me be.
a time to rise, and a time to fallI have never asked her what it is that she misses so much. Whatever it is, it turns her eyes blue mid-winter and chases the heat from her cheeks. The truth is, I never thought it was my place to ask: after all, I'm nothing but a stranger in her quiet heart. And even now, years after we first met, I do not ask her. She stretches one morning, all smooth edges and warm spaces. She looks at me as she always does before she tumbles out of bed, and her eyes are blue. Again. The weeks melt away and I am staring at six years worth of winters, all rolled into one. It chills me and my teeth chatter. She doesn't say anything but I know that she has caught me looking, has inhaled my shiver and tasted old winters in it instead of fresh laid snow. There is no fooling her, there has never been any chance of that: she always knows. I give up all hope of further sleep and step out of bed and onto rich, plush carpet. It is a violent hue, bu
The Problem With Elia.she could have been a violin;born a week too late, she hadmelancholy in her bones: doctor lizbettook time out of her schedule to pluck hernewborn strings - calloused sanitation againstmottled pink-and-yellow flesh & thrashing limbs.in three more years, she will havenothing in her bones at all: doctor estairdiagnosed her with iatrophobia to fuel herinstinctive chords - ripple-free shells of liquidlobotomy & a capsule to callous her pink-and-yellowflesh against the thought of just getting over it all.ten years after that, her mother willfind her face down and thrashing: her dustbunny bones will flex as she retches up her memoriesfor display - lawyers will spend the next few years pawingthrough them with clawed hands and heaving breathing untilone day, they find lizbet and estair huddled amid the rubble of her bones.
eleven reminders to love yourselfi. When I talked to myself inkindergarten, my teacher caught menestled between crayons, and towers of neatlystacked voodoo drawings, darting to findthe perfect color, saying, "Mommies f-f-feedtheir babies through the b-b-belly button;that's why I have one. But they cry,I c-c-cried, because I came out of my mommy'smouth." My mother was called to schoolthat day; the teacher explained thatI was s-s-stammering a lie and it neededfixing. Ineeded fixing, so my motherhalted my stammer in its tracksand didn't hold back when she said,"With a head that big, you never would'veleft my body, darling."ii. The gold of the sun ispainful to me; I'd rather let the Margalla-exhausted monsoonwinds, subtend over its study of yellowand blue to give me grey, (which once mademe cry because the color wheel saidgreen was right) and I'd ratherlet my scarf darken under the reign ofa lightning-mustachioed sky,bellowing a thunderous roarof victory.My melanin levels couldn'tdampen me on s
Funeral WeatherMami touched my back,reminding me to kneel. The prayer lasteduntil the rain stopped pouring,the pallbearers standing by the casket,white gloves on white wood.The grass was wet at the cemetery.Papi told me he didn't want a Catholic funeralwhen he died."It was right for him,"he whispered as Abuelo descendedwith his red roses. Papi squeezed my shoulder,trying his best to cry like he had yesterdayand the day before.I held the printed obituary. It promised,"He was born into eternity."Now the priest rambles about communication,how kids today don't bring situations to their parents,and tragedies like these could be preventedif everyone just opened up at the dinner tableor at least sat together.I know when to kneel,when to stand,waiting for Michael to move his headso I can catch glimpses of the pretty girlwhose picture has been cropped and enhanced,blown up into a portrait that looks more watercolorthan photographic,unlike the flesh and bloodof Jesus Christ o
here is my heart, and here is my home.i am done writing aboutblood. you can find mein the "new beginnings" isle, splashed with scar tissue and pale skin--i amwhole. dear child, open youreyes: there are stars, a galaxy, andthere is breath in your lungs. the past is neverforgotten, but you have lived through it,swam through it andmaybe died a little through it, but youcame out on top. when this winter ends, itwill end harshly;but spring comes every year,and i hope that youremember that;i hope you open your eyesto rain and i hopethat you fall in love with it, and i hopethat you let life movelike i had to.
ScabbageCrust clings to skin, puckered edges spreading redOn elbows and knees, shouting out where you’ve beenRaised white lines across wrists indicate attemptsSalvation, damnation, maybe just blissful sleepFog rolls in your eyes, bees buzz in your headYou paint the world bright and colorful, sarcasticallyBecause all you’ve ever known was darknessAnd you do like your primary colors to dream inWalk down the street, head hung low, mumblingExpecting nothing from the world, and getting itKnives in your eyes and poison on your tongueBorn to be crucified; who am I to deny you?Love does not conquer all, not the likes of usFestering wound souls finding a moment’s solaceBefore the wind howls our names againI am you, you are me; together we are weBriefly opening the coffin lid to daylight’s touchYou raise your head high for me, and indicate loveClasping hands, we jump together into the maelstromLeaving two hearts carved on an aging tree
CheatsThe light makes cheatsof us both,so we change clothesin the greedy darkwithout lookingor thinking twice.We do not touch,our skin afraid to loseor breathe too close.We pass in the streetbut do not acknowledgeeach otherin buildings'reflections,in the glare of taxi cabsor the stiff pull of elevators.We do not rub elbowsor let our shoulder bladespress together.But I would know youanywhere - any placethe sun is uneasyand the skin of uswears thinor strangers are toldto breathein another direction.
what to do when he doesn't say it backa)you will give all of yourself to a boy who won't know you at all.he will recycle your parts, make you stationary, bind you intopaper that he will gift back so you can write poetry about him.you, too, say i love you quickly.when he doesn't say it back, evaporate.b)he will kiss you in places you didn't know existed.until him, you were a peasant in your body's palace.he crowned you princess, broke the lock of your castle's gates.when he doesn't say it back, load your cannons.c)you are a fountain pen.look him in the eye when you write him letters on your skin.when he asks to read them, surrender.you have always been this way: too eagerto make wildflowers bloom inside of him.when he doesn't say it back, trim the stems.d)when he tells you that your eyes remind him of tree bark,show him that your gaze is sturdier than nature's limbs.without breaking eye contact, slowly back him into a wall.when he expresses discomfort,ask if he knows what choking is like.whe
.when her love left, it leftthe house emptyand she saysi hope one day it'llcome back to me,cos i don't keep this shotgunon my front porch for nothin'
On Wanting Everything to Be RightYou got too comfortable,forgot he could make mistakes,and set your consciousness asideso he could mend the thoughtswhich have remained disorderedin your fumbling sobriety,despite the years of learning to copewith the pace of regularity:scraping the mailbox with his key,dining out every Sunday,setting the thermostat to sixty degrees,and changing despite every effortto remain apathetic about his plans,how your name became a constantin his living equations,the variable which defined the function.On the morning you leave,only your luggage and body will movethrough the summer shadowsof oak leaves shaking in a breeze,and only your barest senseswill know the satisfaction of hearinghis footsteps behind yours,cicadas composing another song,a car door slamming shut,the engine firing up,though your muscle memory isn't enoughto bring you peace or independence,money or place or dignity.When you turn onto Justamere Road,you'll picture the nightstandon your side of the
GreenwareGod took a pottery classand could have spun perfectpots from the store-boughtclay the instructor found halfoff with an expired coupon.He could have thrown slendervases on a rickety wheelor molded leather-hard discardsinto elegant tea cups.The glaze on his biscuitsunblistered; His earthenwarefree of crackle; no shiveringto be found on His mugs.God took a pottery classand made sure every piece was flawed,and called them perfect.
can you remember how it used to bei.when our world shattered, i wasn'told enough to know. i knew ourmother cried at night and clutched the sheetsuntil her knucklesturned white; that you shutyourself in your bedroom and turned yourback on what was breaking;i only knew for sure the day hesaid it's only temporary, kiddo, that itwas done, a permanent fracturein glass already strained. my world was ending,and i could only watch.ii.our father didn't count ashome for the longest time. he wasn't areplacement for themother we missed during the days, and he knewit, i think.i think it broke his heart.that first christmas was half a tree becausethere wasn't enough roomin the duplex for a full one, decoratedwith bud light coastersand tiny ornaments strung on with unfolded paperclips. a lot of them broke whenthey were flattened, and i never saw thesymbolism til my childhood was gone.iii.i think mother lostherself for a while, there. i knew shewasn't sleeping, but an eightyear old doesn't know h
Darkness vs. LightDarkness creeps so slowly,I am caught by surprise.Somehow my world plunges into unending sorrow.All it takes is a song,A poem,A nudge.Then I am falling.Silent screams echo in my ears.I struggle to find a light bright enough.Something to fend off the darkness like a sword.It isn’t fair to face the darkness knowing there is no escape.I will not die.I cannot.Life clings to me against my will.Where is my other half?My soul mate?My light?I don’t want to be alone,Facing down my demons without a shred of hope.Need me.Find me.Shine so brightly I will be drawn to you.I can’t forget I need to shine.I just feel as if my light is dimming.How will you find me if I am swallowed by my darkness?A light.A flame.A spark of hope.I need a way to defeat my sorrows,So I can help battle yours.Please.Just a glimmer of hope?
LifePlease grab my hand before I fallAnd pull me back to youI feel I'm slipping after allOr maybe breaking throughJust take a shot and save a lifeBefore I'm gone for goodI vow to you I'll hold you tightThe way you know I shouldIf I should fall I'll die beforeI ever hit the groundAnd I'm not waiting anymoreI'm drowning, let me outYou have the choice so make it rightAnd lead me back to shoreWithout your hand I lack the fightWithout you I'm no more© Jarrett Douglass DeLude
BrokenI tried so hard to put my faithInto your waiting handsTo let you bear a bit of weightTo help you understandI gave my trust as if it`s freeAnd not too hard to earnI let you past the gates to meAnd then the tables turnedWithin my walls you tore me upYou chewed and spit me outAnd when I fell you kicked and punchedYou knocked me all aroundAnd then you left, without a wordNo sorry or goodbyeAnd here I've laid, both bruised and hurtAnd still I wonder whyWhat did I do but give to youWhat you had wanted mostWhy did you tear my heart in twoAnd put it on the roastI heal, but questions burn withinI wish I knew the truthBut in the end I guess you winI'm broken, just like you© Jarrett Douglass DeLude
DustThe picket fence is worn and brokeThe swings have turned to dustThe flowers died from all the smokeThis dream is far too muchThere's cracks in every sidewalk hereAnd through them grow the weedsThis beauty just a thin vinearAtop the lives we leadThere's vines that grow on every signDisguising what they sayThe bricks have stood the test of timeBut every one has greyedThere's not a tire left intactThey've all succumbed to rotThere truly is no going backBack to the life we soughtIn every broken windowpaneI see a broken dreamI walk across this empty laneIt`s splitting at the seamAnd so I leave this empty placeThat once was full of lifeBut in the end there's no escapeAnd no one else in sight© Jarrett Douglass DeLude
Tapestry of TimeParting ways is natural.No one stays close forever.Love is the stuff of dreams and fairytales.Friends walk away.Love takes work.Life is full of surprises.Beginnings.Endings.Sadness and darkness.Beautiful light and glimpses of joy.Forever is a really long time,But can pass in the blink of an eye.All together,Life is a beautiful tapestry,Shimmering with possibilities.
train windowsI.in Appleton, Wisconsin, there is a boy named Caelwho dreams of Copenhagen and draws demonic flamingo.his spine is curled the wrong way from countless years of binding.his parents do not approve of his gender. he loves them anyway.II.in Bay Village, Ohio, there is a girl named Roxywho sleeps with her eyes open. her dreams climbup her purple bedroom walls and sprinkle into her hairas she watches, wide-eyed. she smiles like sunshine.III.in Salem, Oregon, there is a boy named Andrewwho writes poetry about the laws of physics.he is going to college to learn how to be a professional.he has ramen-noodle hair and soup in his veins.he told me once that sometimes, love can swallow you.IV.in Farmington Hills, Michigan, there is a boy named Jordanwith big hands and a smile that makes him look 6 years old.his favorite word is cumbersome because he likes the way it rolls.he kisses like a firework and hugs like a fireman.i look for him in everyone.V.in Pawtucket, Rho
we've never been experts on anything else.i've never beenas much as they told me i would be.i've always believed in the sayingthat you would whisper to mein the dark, that"a whole is always greaterthan the sum of its parts,"but what happenswhen the damned parts won'tfit together?what makes these piecesinto a whole, anyway?do you know howto attach the uneventiles of a mosaic into aportrait of a mindlessyou and i?am i supposedto model my completed puzzleof a soul after you,you masterpiece of dust,you constant constellation?i've seen you.i've watched as youglued yourself back into anillusionand i listenedwhile you screeched your wayinto my chest and held yourselfin contemptwhen the dried bloodthat held you togethermelted.i could feel you breaking apartwhen you burrowed into one ofmy fragments and gripped tightlyas i clutched at that empty holethat you always wanted to fill,and i knew that when you appeared to me nextin the mist of night,clenching your broken fingers intofists and crumbling
Fragment #3To a Father, please, don't bury her. she is afraid of the dark. From a Mother.