Hot As Hell And Then Some More

We warp in the heat,

buckle beneath the buzz

of thick cut air

pressing in on all sides.

Can’t blame trains

for stumbling.

As unsteady on tracks

as we are.

Yesterday they seemed

straighter, smoother, solid.

Today everything is

melting,

running into gutters.

I would stop too.

Choke my mixed signals

and lurch into whatever

station offered refuge.


Poem for the hottest July day on record.

Man Up And Carry On

His mother is an echo in the tread of his soles,

smaller

her steps swallowed up by the forward march

of man up and carry on.

She sees her own father

in the square set shoulders,

spine now a rod

to be turned into a weapon

when sadness finally stews into anger.

 

He will tell people how he’s never hit a woman,

because that is the same as respect.

His mother raised him better

than to paint a girl’s skin with fists,

so he’ll call it love

when he uses words to do the same

where it’s invisible,

and call it consent

when he talks the ‘no’ away to a half yes.

 

When the glasshouse eventually does break,

he’ll pretend away the damage.

Not realizing that you can’t

until the last pane shatters.

Bravery mutates into desperation,

shame,

escape.

Nothing else seems to fit

when the world is framed that way.

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An Ever-Changing Beast

‘We should really address the elephant in the room.’

Those were the words you tossed out over coffee,

like spare change or old candy wrappers,

bits of pieces you were bored with carrying around

and deposited on my living room table

between the books and the plant pots.

There didn’t seem to be much point explaining,

your elephant wasn’t in this room,

or hadn’t been until you kicked up dust clouds

into a grey silhouettes.

I kept my silence on the matter,

much like you had kept yours until now,

too cautious about the fall out,

about how you might have to hold me together

when all the pieces broke apart

and ran for the corners in the skirting,

white mice abandoning ship

at the first sign of storms.

I let you think you were the only one

holding out a hand,

while you explained why I was sad

and how it could all be fixed

if I tired hard enough

and put in the work.

You can learn how to listen to the some speeches

without really hearing them.

It’s the same trick you used each time I tried

to put shadows into sentences,

when the doors opened enough

that I could see you were there.

So I nodded

and I pretended

that all this helped me some,

and then I let you leave smiling like a hero

while I went back to face the storms.

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Written as a response to Diana W Peach’s speculative fiction prompt. I was going to write a piece of flash fiction for the prompt of a short story, but this poem so of found its way out instead.

Early Morning In January

The plastic widget wakes me. Pressed into my flesh, nerves along my arm dead and heavy against the sheet. Asleep in the way the rest of me should be. Instead the rest of me is restless, and churning. Feet, clumsy, hit the laminate like dumbbells. Followed by ankles, calves, thighs, hips, waist, breasts, shoulders, neck, head, arms, wrists, hands, all sleep stricken and wonky. They uncrumple reluctantly, each one an exercise in memory, coordination. Rag doll woman with sand-bag limbs.

In the bathroom I want to lie my head on the edge of the bath, lean it there until the room stops spinning, until my skull lightens to a point where my neck is not creaking. Instead I dig my fingers into the composite. Notice again how it bows out too far. The edges don’t fit flush. There are marks where the veneer is chipping. I fit my body in much the same way. Badly. Not at all. But that’s nothing new. It’s time to check the clock, count the hours left before I need to be somewhere, be someone, work out how to function like a human again.

Night came in too soon,

Day did not have time to clean

all the cobwebs out.

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I now remember why I don’t wear that particular pajama top to bed anymore.

Tonight Kim is at the helm over at dVerse Poets Pub, and she wants us to write about what January represents for us. Unfortunately I tend to find myself wading through treacle at this time of year, and the long nights don’t do much to help.

This piece actually fits with the Rag Tag Community’s daily prompt for the day lumber.┬áThis was somewhat unintentionally but I hope they don’t mind me adding a ping-back for that prompt as well.

I almost added the following haiku at the end of this piece but decided not to as I felt the other went better with the theme of the Haibun.

Sun comes in new sizes,

fun, mini, small, and absent.

Only out in glass.

In the end I know that the blue patches are only temporary, but at two a.m, with a dead arm, a bruise on my shoulder, and my head spinning, that sort of thinking takes a bit of finding.

Shadow Of A Sin

In the calm of an empty room

I found Pride behind the mirror glass,

and coaxed it into daylight.

I fanned flames from ash

with a slip of red silk,

slashed open white to the skin,

bared like orange pith,

small defense against an outside world.

Like water,

Pride slipped from me at a doorway

and in the mirror

was only sin the colour of shame.

Grey again in the ruins of an inferno,

I told myself

no one was looking at me anyway.

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