you used to be a woman of your word
words that swore you’d left
the weeping woods for good,
for placid meadows,
for a most pastoral tableaux
you swore you’d wait for me there,
but baby, i came calling
you were gone,
nowhere to be found
amongst the wind-swept clovers
in your place, Disappointment—
casting shadows on the grass,
circling as the hawks do,
i whispered a prayer for you,
baby, we could have woven wreaths,
danced like fairies,
we could have been free,
free as gypsies,
swimming in truth,
humbled in its marvelous light,
lighter than feathers, transparent,
weightless whilst watching hummingbirds.
we’d have been squealing, laughter spilling,
running from the wicked honeybees.
tumbling to the ground, breathless,
tasting that decadent rush
that only fear can bring—
melt-in-your mouth adrenaline
dripping down our chins,
unaffected by our messes,
but you fled.
you left your shoes,
subtly as a symbol,
like an author in her allegory,
your shoes foreshadowed
the approaching recklessness—
i didn’t follow you.
i’ve long stopped summoning such search parties.
i saw it coming with bookish eyes—
you reeked of cigarette smoke and despair
when we last spoke,
but I didn’t stop you.
you were hacking
with heavy, labored lungs—
if only you’d see that
breathing could be easier.
you’ve always colored outside the lines
run barefoot, you used to love pink
and spending hours in maple trees
they’d cradle you—
you, harmless as a baby bird
caught in the gentlest nest—
the trees, the trees now carry
stark, dark new connotations,
and pink has lost its innocence for you.
you, you are less than innocent in this shift of diction—
your hands boast a bloody red.
…for you planted a wilderness,
swallowing the seeds
and you’ve gone there again.
it is refuse,
it is rubbish,
it is wretched.
it is a menacing forest,
with pretty little pink trees
they are dying, lying
atop one another in heaps—
round, mauve corpses
in brownish yellow bottles, nearly opaque.
sold as bottled balance,
caked in fine print deception
i saw you lick the lies off your fingers like frosting once—
you laughed, said it tasted like lotuses;
it chilled me to the bone,
my marrow grew cold and frozen.
you have now joined the Lotus Eaters,
pupils, wide as saucers,
no wishes to return.
oh, with such remarkable ease
did you barter wisdom for folly,
birthright for the blandest stew,
and i hope it was worth it.
taste the contrast—
it is a chasm far too large for scaling.
stir the steaming cauldron,
season your betrayal, swallow it whole
like a wayward glutton.
your lips are dry, cracked desert,
peeling like the yellow wallpaper—
you claw at it
with rabid animal savagery
a most unreliable narrator—
i’ve stopped believing your stories.
you deem your deeds
necessary for your balance,
and the irony is astounding—
when will you understand
the magnitude of your teeterings?
your speech is whiskey-kissed, and your gait is wobbly.
you wobble like a tired old polka dancer with two left feet.
darling, you are more than see-saw ideology,
more than broken playground pleasures
and merry-go-round wishy washy existence,
awaken, O Sleeper!
this circus, your forest,
they are in flames,
a grass fire gone viral,
and you are ill-equipped for its quenching.
you are volunteer fire department,
faces ashen, bodies tired—
it is roaring conflagration.
you are no match—
it’ll certainly burn to the ground,
and you, you make a most hopeless underdog.
it burns in the hues of
the youth you lost
when you freed your balloons—
the strings snagged,
they were caught in the
naked, angry tree fingers—
you cried like mad.
oh, to feel such righteous passion
oh, to free yourself,
oh, to teach yourself,
the craft of climbing branches.
have faith in your limbs,
begin to climb,
limb to limb—
your muscles do remember.
maybe you could climb
until you felt capable,
cradled in your familiar familial maple,
maybe you could climb
until your dilated eyes
could kiss the gentle sunshine
once more with the new proximity.
though you’ve grown
pale, seasick green,
lungs, blackened, blue,
conscience, dull and bruised,
baby, there’s still
meadow inside of you.
baby, there’s meadow
just beyond the dead wintry trees,
a place, safe, smelling sweet like spring,
where you’d smile with ripened nectarine cheeks,
where you’d feel new as baby knees,
a place where you could practice balance,
where you could stumble like Bambi
and it’d be perfect in all its clumsy rediscovery…
you could move like a polka dancer
with two agile feet—
we could be lighter than feathers.
so let your forest die,
let your wilderness wither,
let your woods
bid them farewell.
condemn the house,
nail the boards, i’ll help you,
i’ve a hammer and two willing hands.
i’ll be waiting for you
like an expectant mother
like a prodigal’s father
like the dawn, waiting to unveil its sun,
and the dusk exercising a similar patience
like seventy times seven
as a woman
adorned in floral wreaths,
as a woman
clothed in words she keeps,
as a woman
draped in a most exquisite pink
eyes wild, curls unkempt
solid, sagacious, steadfast, strong—
return, and sleep amongst the wind-swept clovers.