Fire-dwarfed we all sit, stand, wait, drawing along timelines scythe-eyed for news or perhaps revelation that this is all just a dream, a joke. Dust-tongued our words dry up like sand through an hour glass. All gone and past leaving only empty air. A promise cracked apart. History pour out, breaks the damn of grief and dark-vowelled words, replacing now with then as what will be already spread its roots in the tear-culled.
She was legs, hips, breasts, and bone. Same as a cow, worth less perhaps. Dredged up words from the dark well of your mouth, not ancient, just old. “Ace” a hiss, curled around the syllable. Careful, you are wearing history with no place here. Tonight’s Quadrille prompt from the bar is the word ‘Ace’. I did a bit of a google search and discovered that in the middle ages, the word ‘ace’ could be used to be ‘of no worth’ or ‘bad luck’.
You have to swim here. Kick to keep afloat, and scoop the water into yourself, with arms winged either side of a weightless body. Dug out by the flow, a pool deepened by cascade. A bridge masked by track and concrete. This place is thick green almost jungle. Clear right to the sand, easy to pretend I know this place. Too well to be tricked. Safety in confidence I say. Water washes all clear away, but to where, and when, will it come to shore again? A prompt mash up tonight. Ending on a question for NaPoWriMo Day Two and ‘Cascade‘ for dVersePoetsPub poetics night.
There is a collective misguided assumption, that we know the words. Singing like rusted taps, gargling and spluttering our way to the chorus where enthusiasm trumps experience, and pipes swell and burst so all is noise and furious revelry. The wave of it crests breaks, washes us along to the next line. As real as the misting of our breaths as we sing. The cold is not felt in the thick of it.
Someone says panic attack, adrenaline spike, low, calm, and confident, laying a diagnosis out like a challenge, while I sit here, stumped, all root and no branch to climb up, to escape by, not a spike but a stake pinning me in this place.
I gathered the stones myself, stacked them before you like a temple offering, my skin the sacrifice as I bared it inch by inch and asked for a blessing you denied me until the pile was fragments and my flesh peppered with your approval.
My sister and I are taking about family and afterwards I write about Wonderland. The way in which it frightened me as a child when Alice falls, and fall, and falls, and falls, and all the while the world is whirling upwards, downwards, outwards in patterns whorled inside each other like carnivorous flowers, too consumed with consuming each other to notice she is screaming. Someone asks me if I’m mad, without asking that specifically, because you know, that would be unkind. I tell her I’m not delusional. Reassure her, don’t mention again the shadows I keep seeing out of the corners of my eyes, my white rabbits flitting out of sight each time I turn. Put it down to an over active imagination. Tell myself the same. Spring plays peek-a-boo, the white rabbit’s ears twitch twice, I am clinging on.
When you arrived as the snowdrops melted, pressed cherry blossom to my breast, told me love is like a flower in bloom, already closer to an end than the start. Pressed cherry blossom to my breast, found thorns that left their marks, already closer to an end than the start when sorrow grew from these seeds. Found thorns that left their marks, taught me how to cut out dead wood, when sorrow grew from these seeds pruning became vital to overall survival. Taught me how to cut out dead wood, told me love is like a flower in bloom, pruning became vital to overall survival when you arrived as the snowdrops melted.
So I blamed you, because it was easy, sweeter on the tongue. Didn’t have the bite of admitting I could have been wrong. I’ve just been writing up three longish poems so I felt something short and sweet was in order tonight.
Instead of speaking she breathes across the skin of her coffee. Whispers, the words unwanted to an empty chair across and closes her eyes, sips her drink, when nothing is said in return and blots a last goodbye on a napkin from the counter.