Monthly Archives: January 2011

tremulous and tender

this is a soul;
utterly senseless somehow
and yet every sense winding together,
breath raising in tendrils like steam
but glowing and living in the night,
air twisting from our lungs and being exhaled as
translucent life sighing all around in the dark.
you are my phantom heart.

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i won’t be afraid to admit

i decided today that i will do a lot of confessing this year because the things i will not admit are the most important, and i realized i have no reason to lie anymore. when she said she thought i always shared my opinion, i laughed a little but decided that if they thought i could do it, i would not be the one to underestimate my strength. i discovered that vanilla smells like a slap in the face, and that i can turn the other cheek, and when the sting becomes evenly distributed, i can stand it.

i’ll admit that i have not thrown my letters to him away like i said i would, and that there are days where i find pictures of him laughing in the places where i used to be and am no longer, and my heart still aches with all the missing. it’s as close as i get to self-inflicted harm, now- the days where the looking hurts and i choose not to avert my eyes in spite of it. i tell no one, but when i sleep i still feel his lips softly but brutally bruising mine, unwelcome and yet desperately wanted, and i still curl up tight into myself, striving and failing to hide in the darkness.

i wake up with blood on my tongue the next morning, and someone new and yet so familiar washes it away before i can look into the mirror and remember the full force of it all. we don’t try to pretend that my lingering pain doesn’t affect him, or that i treated anyone the way they deserved. we find new songs to drown out the old ones when they wear our ears down with sadness. but it’s when we stand in the silence that i learn to remember how effervescent and lasting love could be.

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your city, my city

so today,
we drove downtown,
and i guess it’s actually pretty big-
after all,
they just built the chandler city hall there
in all of its light blue and shining glory-
but to me it still feels small and
unique.

as the modern architecture begins to eat away rundown auto shops
and crowd against diners,
adult stores, libraries, bars,
and hidden-away antique shops
there is a sense of being personally invaded.

they say
(whoever the hell ‘they’ are)
that they are bringing new energy to this ‘historical town,’
and instilling pride into the residents of this great community
(i suppose by that they can only mean people like me)
as if i could feel any connection at all
to the towering complex with its sleek glass windows
and the new bus stops along the street
with their futuristic artwork hung above each bench,
although maybe my tax dollars
count towards my participation in its construction.

‘they’ have clearly never felt the overflowing satisfaction
of walking along the concrete walls in front of the old library
back and forth, back and forth for the very first time
without falling,
never wandered
among the mismatched buildings to find the right shop,
searched through every old item to uncover
just the right china doll with a dress that smells of age,
danced in a pink ballet dress behind the old buildings
and thrown tiny matching flowers into the fountains that hide around corners,
driven past the fire station and gazed with wide eyes
into the windows of the brick building at bright red fire engines
and smooth white floors.

their pride is in their handiwork and
my pride is in my memories of the tastes, the smells, the sounds,
the chihuahua races, the ostrich festivals,
the annual tumbleweed christmas trees
of my rundown and timeless city.

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cigarette shadows

tonight
i hurt.

it’s not pretty.
i won’t draw it pretty

he said
but i think i will simply
not draw it at all

because
you painted in my cigarette shadows
yourself that night
and there is enough ugliness in this world
without us putting any more
down on beautiful and white
stretched canvases.

~~~~~~~~~~

ten points if you know the book this was inspired by.

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