Monday, January 14, 2013

When you smile at me,
metaphors metamorph out of
thin air and the light that shines
from your tenderness;
and like tendrils they creep
up my spine, graze my ribs
and grow to the very ends of my limbs
to hang like soul-shaped fruit,
ambrosia on the poetree.
Your smile tastes like water on the parched lips
of a desert traveler,
like life,
cupped in strong but soft hands,
hands that make fists
to knock on doors,
then hold them open,
then hold themselves open
so that I may find comfort in them.

I haven't seen your smile in a long time.
Haven't felt that warmth like the breath in my body
and I'm staring to wonder if these chills
were of loneliness
and not ecstasy.

It's not easy for me
to sing these songs,
and not know
how long the silence
will echo when I'm done.

Eternity isn't even a whisper on my lips-
I only wait for my next heartbeat,
afraid its faint rhythm will fade completely.

Sense and logic betray me,
curl away like so much smoke
I use to choke the rising sound of war drums in my chest.
When I let go, the resulting wave
crashes through dam(n) and all debris
and I frantically try to
scoop gray matter free before
it scrambles into a beautiful delusion.

I am no stranger to insanity, or
its artistic qualities.
The way it paints dreams
into the daytime,
interrupting rational thought,
unapologetic as hunger.
The yearning and grieving
for imaginary feelings
never fades into the backdrop.
Small melodramas of the mind
play themselves out center-stage
of my 4-chamber opera house.
At performances' end, the atrium fills
with a bitter taste,
sharp and metallic like a knife's edge
that I hold between my teeth when I smile these days.

I gave the soft-edged ones away,
along with the better parts of my head.
I may have made you up in their stead.
Turned you from flesh to a
foolish girl's poetree.
Thought I'd cling to your idea like limbs
to a support a weak reality.

I grope at twisting vines
and when I open my eyes
I freefall,
pray that my roots
are strong
but soft enough
to catch me.

Nov./Dec. 2012