Ghost Hands Part I

In that darkened cellar where she remained captive, she had but two companions: a pair of hand-me-down, light-up sneakers, and James, her imaginary friend.

The Master kept her tied there, restraints meant for wrists were too big to fit anything but her tiny neck, and the musty darkness enveloped her. She kicked her tiny heels together over and over, the blinking lights a momentary respite from the darkness. They illuminated the dank, confining walls, and reminded her that she was in the Earth. It somehow comforted her. She thought about the worms she had studied under a broken microscope and how they retreated to this same earth every day, knowing it would keep them safe and warm. And in those moments, the earth was a part of her, revealed by tiny strobing lights, and she shivered a bit less.

Eventually, after many trips to the dungeon, the shoes lost their brightness, the batteries finally sighed in defeat, and all that was left was James. James was tall and warm and protective, things reality had not provided her life with. When she would lie there on the dirt floor, rocking back and forth to the beat of an unsung melody, he was there behind her, coiling lanky ghost limbs around her and whispering promises of bright spaces. When the Master came down and tried to break her, he cried for her, held her small hands, and told her it would end.

Eventually, they moved away from that house with the red door and the dirt cellar, and the Master lost interest in re-breaking what was already broken. And soon, James’ hand became faint in her own, and she tried to forget everything about that time. Even him.

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wasn’t there

did you know
that when the corners of the world fell
(for who can remain right-angled
when looked upon by theory)
and drew together like the purse strings
of a healing wound
so those who looked for the edge
came up empty
and thus
stumbled upon the pale-skinned promise
never being capable of walking
beyond the earth
so we created the spark of darkness
in repeating the trek
to the edge
that wasn’t there

the tower

the mark of the monster
just might be the color
in the antiquated world
forcing you to squeeze the very lemonade
that (poisoned) you sip
we’ll make a day of it
(he said)
an old-fashioned family gathering
(until I slip some arsenic in these printed glasses)
running far on a borrowed motorcycle
seems the better plan
(he’ll find you
sweet, pale, innocent one)
best have hidden together
the dreams that are promised
(false though they may be)
far outweigh each brick
the stone tower constructs
around you

Fever dream

Filet my live flesh
Using your tongue against my pores
As if you’d bought me flowers
Then use what I have
To make us false
Stockholm-syndrome
Friends
Set those computers aflame
And remove those dissociative identities
From the record
Break apart the chairs
That our DNA left behind
And set the pieces as kindling
To step upon
-You thought we were friends?-
Texting our saviors
And waiting for
No response

my forgiveness

an eel
like quilts in the heavens
unfurling
and swooping down
conforming to my 10-year-old frame
pinning me to the ground
its stitches suffocating me
until my feet are clasped
and pulled free
only to set my religious-commune dress
aflame
sky-fish gnash their teeth
to save myself
i kill the arsonist
the sins of the children
must be eradicated
so on my trip
to the natural-grown gallows
i take my severed flowing braids
and tie them round a stone
to take to the wrinkle-laden matriarch
begging that she take my sin-laced stone
and plead with heaven for my forgiveness
my last errand done
i climb the tree
clasp the noose of pearls
round my virgin throat
airborne
mother superior wheezes
no forgiveness
that isn’t deserved
my stone sinks in the sea

Insufficient

Tired eyes and old moments of flame
Should either be revived?
Little paperback lovers
Held tight by exhausted hands
Wait for warm bodies
And flavored cigars
Open windows with too-strong heaters
Cursed when radiators break
Not-to-scale models of castles
Sunk to the bottoms of glass-walled oceans
Matching mugs of cold coffee
(He never drank his, anyway)
And posters that didn’t fit
She followed him into the dark
Not knowing that his eyes could see
And she was the only blind one
The quiet of aquarium filters
A welcome
But insufficient replacement
For words of blessing

Bag lady looking for rest

superhero postcards
graceful curves of industry
driven on by wisps of asphalt
another stuffed animal for the pantheon
held in a red laundry basket
that makes her a bag lady
house to room to couch
wandering in search of rest
but when he isn’t there, she can’t
an animated picture of everything she thinks
they hold together
makes her weep
as little spots of brown blood begin their descent
waiting for seminars on working together
as the continual checking of grades
moves her picture up a step
and brings a half-tear of relief
lighting like a prison
wall hangings can’t fix
waiting for her sacred rest
a day removed, to come
so naked she can intertwine in something
like peace
residue left on pale, pale skin
until he can return to her