It’s best to count inwards from the outer rings, all these layers of bark around my bite too often gone unseen by those deserving of my sharp teeth or even sharper words. Evening is the best time for taking stock. When sunlight settles softly across my back and you have to really look to find the lost marbles rattling loose in drawers. I can reorder the library as much as I like. It will be out of place soon enough. Each new volume stacked into shelves I will never truly fill.
Flesh parts so easily when pressure is applied. Tongues often prove more effective than crowbars. They break past words like ‘No’.
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.
Was I a plaster you slapped on to cover the burns left by your family? Something temporary, to hide the harm. Was he water? More than you’d seen all in one place and so inviting you were willing to drown. Did you lose me on purpose? Or did the currents just pull us apart? Either way, did you notice that I was gone?
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’.
March turned into a slower month than planned for me and I’m not entirely sure why that was. Perhaps it was the expectation for April and NaPoWriMo, or the relief of getting my submission in to The Poetry Business for their Book and Pamphlet Competition. Either way, I didn’t really write much in the second half of March and I feel a little guilty for letting myself slip into old habits for those two weeks. On the other hand, I’d managed to be pretty productive during January and February in terms of submissions to journals and competitions, and March isn’t particular busy when it comes to deadlines, so if you’re going to pick a month to kick back, March would be it. April has been busy with NaPoWriMo kicking off and the first week is just about to come to a close. So far I have managed to post a-poem-a-day for the prompts provided and unlike some years, I’ve found myself connecting with the official prompts. Previously I’ve sat there staring at the screen wondering …
If I was her I would be somewhere else. A marathon in front of where I am now and the path would not look so broken. I would know how to walk it without creasing at the knees, each time the ground shakes. I would be someone worth taking a chance on.
We did not so much fall as… saunter vaguely downwards, wrapped up in each other. You brought the sky along, strung like a child’s balloon. We did not so much fall as… Drifted like seeds let loose, wandered a little lost, wrapped up in each other. Settled, we marked here a strip of green we’d found, we did not so much fall as… Play house and families. Make believe until made real, wrapped up in each other. Whispered this is what souls are made of. We did not so much fall as wrap up in each other. Day Five’s prompt is to include one of the following (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way. Now I’m aware that this is not a perfect Villanelle. I was halfway through the draft before I’d realised that I’d forgotten about the rhyming scheme but since I’m not a fan of rewriting to make something rhyme I decided to …
I’m weighing words. Counting them like beach glass. Trying to judge how you might distort the light through them. Most I will slip back inside my hollow throat. Swallow, like tablets or seeds. Ignoring the fizz as they hit my gut, sprout up, and wrap around anything else there is to say.
Does it count as taking your time, pausing between each item fingers on clasps, heartbeat a tempo dancing beneath the skin in a skip, skip rhythm I felt against my breastbone. Slid my foot along the seat of a chair like the one I sat in, bare skin cold against the plastic. Counted the buttons, two, four, six, stopped when they ran out and fabric hung loose from my shoulders. Open. Parted my thighs the same, slow, or maybe fast, the motion of it blurred in memory distracted by your face close to mine. Open mouthed. Kissed you, slowly. Open legs. I won’t say what we did next.