This Will Be Our Drug

Across town, he lies in bed in an upstairs room in the darkness of early morning, trying to write out a poem entirely in his mind. He is anxious, sweat seeps from his bare body into the soft white sheets. The trouble is he can’t help who he is.

Sleep doesn’t come so easy. Writing helps but that, too, seems elusive these days. When your mind runs in every direction, the subject of your work is impossible to stabilize. He is always somewhere else and he is always racing to get there.

The world spins desperately slow. If only he could rush it along, get to the next thing. He doesn’t know when he lost his nerve. When he let himself off the hook for building a life of adventure, wonder.

It’s in the words, he knows that much. Every castle, every love, is in the words he is dying to write if only the shaking would stop. If only he could stop the self-abuse. The sex, the drugs, the drinking, the smokes. It all wears him down, gets him off, drowns him out.

There was a girl once but she passed away long ago. In dreams, she stands off to the side of his visions, motionless, eyes as wide as the many turning moons which orbit his head like a halo.

He can sense what she feels by the shape of her mouth. That mouth, that sensual sinister moving mouth, how it would thrust him right out of his mind.

One by one the stars burn off like so many glittering deaths. The cyclical nature of the universe is the pulse in his veins is the measure of sanity throbbing in his snuffed out brain. Night always gives way to morning. And the words do not stop not coming.

Peeling off the covers, he rises to peer out the window into the first swellings of dawn. Across the sky, a pink ribbon, faint like smoke, a shifting mist of rose water over the crystal blue horizon.

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Photo by Shannon VanDenHeuvel

Moth to a Flame

Lying back in the grass, her body is covered with butterflies. A thousand tiny spiracles breathing out and in against her warmth. A quiet host of countless wings, still wishing she could fly. Away from the cold earth high up into the evening sky, higher and higher until with her own eyes she can read the dark secrets written in the crumbling caverns of the moon. The mysteries of time and love and eternity all revealed before her, resonating with a part of her which had already known, which had always known, but she had forgotten so long ago. All the many truths which had been taken from her, returned. As the night drapes over her, the tiny creatures take flight, leaving her one by one, flittering off into the ether until she is covered only in darkness. This girl with the flashing golden nocturnal eyes. Out here away from everything, nothing ever questions its own instincts. To hesitate is death, to doubt is a lethal compromise, a final and devastating mistake. The natural world respects not greed but vigilance. The songs of her soul in the blackness of midnight number more vast than all the stars strung out against the sky and she knows in the way the night wind is moving across the field that she belongs only to herself. That the choices she makes from the depths of her heart are all that was ever meant to be. Her body, her bones, her skin, her hands, her lips, are all the ancient texts ever written into being. In her nakedness, she runs freely, she swims in the moonlight, she presses herself to the roughness of trees, the coolness of rocks, she carves her name into the fallen logs by the stream. Her footsteps are offerings upon the earth, her scent left swaying in the willows. She takes herself in a bed of blood red roses, blooming in the dark, pulsing with the heat of a thousand suns, breathless. And by the first pale lights of the promise of dawn, she’s vanished.

// This Chaos It Suits You //

Morning rain is gentle and steady upon my face as I huddle into myself, thankful finally for a day without sun. For the most part, I find daylight too harsh. It interrupts my sense of what is beautiful. Who could I ever tell that shadows help me find the most dazzling silhouettes of light.

My mind is wandering (which, really, sounds too calm because my mind, she whirrs and trips over herself and cascades to places I would rather not say). I do not speak the way I am supposed to, I speak too much like fire and ice and volcanoes. I do not understand the language of the stars which birthed me. I do not speak words bred of tenderness anymore without turning this tongue into blades.

Rewards become punishments.

To sink is to swim.

It’s now and it’s never and it’s always in-between.

If I lose track of who is winning will you still let me in? I get so tired of keeping score. I get so sick of counting doors along hallways which never seem to end.  (What are we counting for?)

All these floors hidden underneath the scaffolding around your heart, all these thick windows which slip away from me fall and crash and descend as I am cut, I am bruised, I am a shattered face on the inside of the muse.

But if I look deep enough, there is you. And you just keep rising up and up above dark clouds and I wonder why we try any more to place these blistered feet upon the ground. Will you run, will you stay, will you break as I have. Who will save us now when the walls are oceans splitting in half.

As I write this, all the lives I have since let go of drift off and I remember a time when I mistook the perfume of your secrets for nourishment. You who collects hearts in mouths and swallows their tears one by one, slow.

You the one who digs the claws of adoration in like furious flashes of heat across the summer lightning in my veins, you could have me and it breaks my heart you don’t want me anymore. When exactly does that shift? What rock face crumbles away from my self disclosure against which you suddenly decide if this is madness it suits me, not you.

And somehow the chaos appears to reduce you only slightly.

And somehow I have become the one fading from view.

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