The fantasy held by someone else

il_570xN.690115987_nnkdNever been good at receiving, prefer to give, in all things …

I gave you everything I had left, it wasn’t much, a persistent hole, had formed long ago and I was seeping out.

I look whole, but that’s just mythology. I may outwardly appear, to stand upright, but in truth I sag, even in wind.

If I had more I would have given it. You believed I did, as many before you did. I call that the capture of delusion, you see in me, what you want to see, not who is actually standing there.

And if I were a pirate, I’d have a wooden leg and a parrot. If I were a dragon, well hell, I’d be a dragon (and yes, I really want to be a dragon).

The doctor said I had a flabby heart, and still you believe me an angel. But angels play the lyre with taut string, not my kind of slack gut.

It didn’t really surprise me, at ten years, on the gym mats I recall my calves like moon cows, soft and milky, against tight sun-honed legs of my friends.

I remember when he took my blouse off and exclaimed; have you had children? A euphemism for losing the fight with gravity (even then, so long ago). Or standing on a chair, in the student dorm, to see orange peel running its fingers down my legs.

You never knew these things, you built an image of me from Ralph Lauren advertisements and The Blue Lagoon. You added my French ancestry and your own penchant for leather, making me an exotic bird I never was. Though if I had feathers, they would be tropical-coral.

It was addictive, to be seen through your lens, though I knew it faulty. Whom among us, does not want to be special and rarefied, if just once? And like an addict, I couldn’t wean myself far, from your camera, I didn’t want to go back to being, the flabby-hearted, plain- faced fish in the sea.

Try as I might, reality never lives up to the dream, or possession of desire. These are self-fed lures and we,  the hungry carp, falling for our own tricks, being pulled from our refuge of water, lain out, gasping on shore.

As we lose the ability to breathe, in this strange land, oh how we rue our former vanities, and wish for simple love., laced, hand over hand, without deception.

The trickery we employ, to appear just fleetingly different, running from our truth. as the stowaway is always found in the storm, hiding behind bottles of rum, drunk on themselves.

I confess, I’ve never known how to be loved for this husk, the multitude of ordinariness. True then, it is hard to be loved if we loathe ourselves, we who are giving, sometimes do so, because we are trying to give ourselves away. Scrub the history of us, remake the self, becoming for a day, the fantasy held, by someone else.

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We believe

Use your long words

describe the smell of memory

antiseptic

there in your transparent igloo

born to incubate

smoke before it’s legal on your mother’s habit

bequeath me the tendency

to live without need

from pockets we pull

the nurture the seed

sprouting in defiance

when everything else died of frost bite

against the ire of a late Winter storm

gusting itself into white rage

through the glass you see

yourself being re-made

in the eyes of old women whose wrinkles

make a universal puzzle

and the swell of hills

cast over with violet

a heaven of sorts in setting light

glazing countertops

for foot prints of unseen beast

leading off into nearby copse

could we will ourselves

another go around?

stepping backward into

infancy, chewing the umbilical

surrounded by potential like

a wet firework strains to explode

would it be any different?

your hands, molding my shape

DNA

the type of pasta eaten

over Lake Como the day

of conception

holy was the love that bore the wish

lost in steepled weather vein

glistening against straining light

a mockery of control

just out of reach

there she is

eighty years from now and

just re-born

in unfurled leaves and first sprouting

green a forbidden thing

among the white ushers and

dark flitting ponderable

marveling we can be conscious

of ourselves and of nothing more

than a stream aching to unfreeze

creep closer to living

inch by inch

two warm bodies without a thing between them

aside the shame of knowing

we live both futile and richly

worming our way into the meat

and tender bruise of absolving

those things we believe we need

Full

f64c917f731235b5604b2779ecb5e01bMy hand

resting a top yours

the same size in our shadow

you with little feet and longer ties

inheriting portions

 

I see in your eyes

the easement of life

as if you are in slow motion

falling gently behind yourself

going back in time

I think of the local cinema

being old enough to see over the railing

a film about a man plugged to a machine

all his memories flickering in retreat

until he is a fetus a heartbeat a blip

so far back he does not exist

 

is that you?

dissolving, reducing

I watch bread rise and moon’s sink

wonder at the circular motion of things

how I slept with a light on

now you remind me

not to close the door

my chest aches for what I long to give but cannot

 

it is as if you were born of me

my longing to love

I cannot make sense of why

but you were always the only one

my arms reach at night for your surround

 

I hear your voice on hungry chime of wind

all the pain blooms around me

like cancan girls frothing their scarlet hems

I remember bougainvillea climbing up the walls

can see you with your hair slicked back from the bath

steam rising in dark breeze

 

you made a circle of me and wore me around your neck

where I lay far too still listening to your heart beat

now we are divided by wire and thread

two half-made mannequins

no matter how far I stretch

I cannot reach your gaze

it stared listless at angry waves

as they build and recede

in the abyss of your memories

redemption

freja-beha-erichsen-hedi-slimane-fashiontography-3history said

Go back

years ago

Go back

you are not wanted here

this is not where you belong

walking behind yourself

catching the depth of your tread

hang up your effort

string failure to dry

you leave your hope here

take one bag

get on a train

without a ticket

without windows

and in your musty closet

transform

to the dark bird you were

before you knew to fly

to the passenger who came with outstretched arms

seeking relief and quantity of blood to let

so all that nourished from you could

fling you away once done

the fille cruel said …

if I could plunge you head first

into the brink and keep you there

until you swallowed your dreams

amidst river water

I would have done so

but I am paying the price of karma

for destroying you I must suffer

though I claim to be a woman of God

pressing my palms together as tight as they go

all this that comes now to nail me shut

the consequence of my cruelty

you may lose your way

you may be set out without light

holding an empty bag told

again

go you are not welcome

but I shall die first and certain

without anyone to witness

for those who seek to harm

pay the longest price

for their one-way ticket

the survivor said …

when I learned to dance

at first my feet hurt

they did not fit narrow confine

bleeding through satin

staining effort

blistering I rose and challenged

the nails the stones

dancing over hurt and beyond

you cannot harm what you do

not understand

the broken will rise

taking their music sheets to far corners

letting go of caged songs

fed by the nourishment of your need

to damage and quench them

their feet shall defy the pain legacies in wood

long the sound of blood shall fall

after they have moved the world

turning in time to the beat of

desire inhabiting the stage

go on, further than possible

entering hallowed ground

where all who stumble climb back

toward the master who believes inviolate

his dreary manacle

made unsteady by their motion

they are

you are

no more than breath left behind

when the dance is done

and lights dimmed for tomorrow

we shall again begin

without you

such is our dream

woven throughout movement

in swaths of redemption

That made us three

wdfgI did not question my worth

I did not say stop this is not necessary

ego needs no increase

it is not an egg to crack and drizzle

leaving bright stain on good intention

we lived

on the breath work of shared emotion

they loved me and I knew

where afterward I could not duplicate

in any drawer in any sea

as if all the stones that made us three

were thrown too far out

a necklace reliant upon string

to loop meaning

 

she became an actress

of a stage for one

and he

continued to wander

until he ran out of doors

and I

gave away my legacy

and my dancing shoes

thrice mended, never substantive

we all of us turned to leather

under a foreign sun

wondering

what became of those three souls?

who linking arms

laughed with heads up high

thinking all the time in the world

was theirs to choose

(for D & J)

Frozen music

16003205_1833113303616542_7912161581201337846_nThe ice storm

swallowed sound

as suddenly as calm was lost

trees became music

weighed with the tongue of cold

if there is one time I should think

letting go and lying down

to bathe in clarinet wonder

it would be after ice

has swept clear our pretense

that we are in control

that our little lives are not

at best

fragile

liable to

freeze and thaw

by the whim of storm

Uncommon

c51e6bc5e98678539d061ac9c04667afNot afraid of the usual fears

obscurity

ageing

indifference of lovers

I bought a pair of scissors

snipped out the dead bits

threw away the glamor and beguilement

seeing through gossamer trappings

yet I am still fearful

of uncommon things

dissolution and repetitive days

adding up to waste

working in a cubicle

coming home to warmed up left-overs

hanging washing on weekends

mowing lawns iced with Ready Grow

chores belaboring chores

like sore throated choir singers

duck behind pulpit for a shot of whiskey

I do not fear wrinkles earned

or sagging parts hidden beneath thick coats

those were with me before they were

lines on my days as I sat

20 years crossed legged

eating chocolate from vending machines

watching others my age hurl themselves

from one moment to the next

like waves that meet and

turn ever wilder

I preferred to roll my own

invite the boy who couldn’t form

complete sentences

but wrote

pretentious appealing poetry

with tight muscled drummers arms

back to my whistling dorm

to break the wood we were born upon

and his idea

he was in control

back then

carrying in my linen womb

the next twenty years

I developed an inkling for scars

battle worn and tired before

my knitting bones caught up

now you can’t scare me with your rebuke

I’ve lived beyond the yoke and tenderness of youth

but put me in an office, tighten my straps

affix the gag reflex

and watch me come undone

like a latch that appears well adhered

will spring suddenly

contents spill out aborted

across washed floor