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it’s a beating in my lungs and a shrieking on my tongue–
there’s no denying its infuriating siren song,
birthed in the thought of a hypothetical circumstance.
i can’t get enough of this blissfully ignorant abuse;
even though you’re killing everything i stood for,
i just can’t get enough of you.

Who I Am – Take Three

I am a wisewoman,

dishing out spiritual medicine to my flock.

I feed them the ashes of my failures,

ignorantly choking the weak of mind

with this inevitable dissolution

of their idea of a perfect and sane world.

 

I am a shamaness,

and I spend my days in a temporary state of death.

My rebirth comes at night:

invoking the stars, eyes wide and all-seeing,

my feet stamp out a song in the dirt

dragging the moon down with dreams, curiosity, and a war cry.

 

I am a child left behind,

nothing to my name but the shadowy haunts

of a distant, far-too-surreal past.

I tempt those stronger than me with hooks and bait–

not out of malice, no,

but out of the crushing loneliness

inspired by this graveyard of hopes and prayers

that I’ve dwelled within since the beginning of my time.

 

I am a mother without a child of my own.

Guide, protector, beloved and despised,

I give away my strength until there’s nothing left

but brittle bones and dried-up ink

in the sandpaper veins webbing beneath an ashen husk.

I give everything but Myself:

a gift for no other, a wish unmade.

For I may live without mind, body, or soul

but who am I if I give up my heart?

“Utter silence…
A world without you.
Something so natural.
Something so simple…
Yet here,
where my heart once was,
something burns;
an ache long forgotten.
Here I stand,
lost and alone,
a world fragmented,
a forgotten land.
The source of your heart
and mine.”

i’d like to smile
and tell you
i’m fine.
i’d like to say
that what i feel
is simple.

in a way,
it is.
what i feel is something removed,
torn from me.
see here, and feel for me:
press your hands to blackened lungs,
draw your fingers
along the cracked and burnt arches
of my ribcage.
discover the chips in my spine
from the forceful blast.
touch your lips to the ashen husk
that still flutters,
weak and terrified,
a splatter of red and azure.
see the wreckage of my collision with life
and feel with me.

what i feel
is simple.

… it is the acceptance,
the understanding,
that is so complex for me.
i am too young to handle these thoughts;
i have matured, but i still cling
to what i should have been.

i can’t count for you
how many times
i’ve awoken with these fears.

there are difficulties to schizophrenia.
love is a cure.

i don’t have it here.

my first night in this desert land
was a foreboding one.
i awoke some hours after midnight,
though the watch read six.
not yet have i turned back time
to adjust myself to this new “home”.
pain. that was what i felt, then.
a burnt searing in the back of my head,
and the horror-
to awaken from your nightmares
and believe you are drenched in blood!
and what is worse-
what is worse than this
is when your voice is lost,
as though some wintry spirit of the night
stole it away.
and instead you’re left to cry.
alone, battered. modernized technology?
none of it for you.
the batteries are dead
and the communication is desiccated.

there was nothing and i was alone.

i said nothing.

what right do i have to speak?
to tell another that my fears chased me here
and warn me now
of something that isn’t real but will come?
none.

yet that is not what feeling i was to speak of.

it’s a simple thing-
at the heart of it, at least.

my thoughts complicate it,
branching out,
drawing forth recent moments.
like a hound starved for days and released,
i seek out my terror within an exhausted frenzy.

……

pitiful.
scrabbling in the darkness for a light that wasn’t there
and now that i have it,
my fears are chased to dark corners and crevasses,
slipping outside. a smile, broken bones creaking against the window,
those eyes. those eyes.
you do not know fear until you meet something
that is born entirely of yourself and manifests
with a busted grin and bright eyes,
watching your every move, criticizing you.
when your anxiety gives itself a body
and takes on a personality of its own,
whispering, gray claws scratching as i speak,
as i write,
against the window outside,
trying to reach within.

you do not know fear.

… what i feel is simple.
it’s simple in the fact that it isn’t there.
if it is, i don’t know it.
i want to.
don’t ask.
i want to feel.
what i feel is simple.
it’s on the brink of my conscious-
i understand it’s there,
but i can’t reach it
without the fear
that it’ll take that last step
and fall into the unknown.

what i feel is simple.

Croibhín, sweet ionúin,
my heart is yours.
I seek you in moonlight,
burning bright as a star.
Your innocence is blinding
and your wild soul secure;
come from your nest,
my little croibhín,
and knock on my door.
I’ll save you from hunger;
in my keep you’ll be warm.
I’ll clothe you, I’ll feed you
with wisdom and mirth.
Civilization won’t mar you,
safe in my hold;
nor will violence take you
as you struggle through dark –
a darkness in your eyes,
instinct of the plagued
that empowers, drains,
leeches and breaks.
I beseech you young ionúin:
set free these beasts
that so savagely tempt you;
they’re blooded, but weak.
Trust me, dear lioness,
and let rest your head.
In dreams, forget your burden.
I’ll fight in your stead.

“my shadow’s
shedding skin.
i’ve been picking
scabs again.
i’m down
digging through
my old muscles,
looking for a clue.”

you’ve invented the impossible,
draining our lives
for the sake of this gorgeous science.
like a thief in the night,
you’ve taken away all i believed in
but what you don’t know is
that i can play that game, too.

beneath the callouses and bark,
i’ve enhanced myself to live in this new world;
it’s here within this steel carapace
that i’ve learned to live and grow.

so here i am, wordless in my lack of dreams,
alone and willing to fight —
for faith or for disbelief —
regardless of this coffin lying in wait
with open arms and a mind of its own,
waiting for the slip-up
that’ll bring me to its spindly embrace.

“you’re lying to yourself again,
suicidal imbecile.
think about it:
you put it on a faultline.

what’ll it take to get through to you, precious?”

Slip! Swish! Slither! Zap! Zip!
Across the room and down the wall
we run, all smiles and sunshine,
soap at our heels
and monsters in the bed.
Nobody cares in a topsy-turvy world
where the lesson of the day
is staring at the sun with wide eyes
before we skedaddle to have tea
with Mr. Ladybug in the backyard.

Swish! Slither! Zap! Zip!
Nights spent under cover of sugar plums
and nutcracker skirmishes.
There’s not a limb I would donate
to your dreamtime cause,
but that doesn’t translate into dislike.
Why, when the hummingbird buzz
mingles with the sizzling scent of charred rubber,
I’ll dare to say, “I love you!”
and you’ll know it to be so.

Slither! Zap! Zip!
Holly–holy–happy days
full of spare time and empty space
where we might dilly-dally
for a moment or two,
or ten, or twenty! Certainly not so few
as to give us time to catch our breath
when–truly!–it’s our little lungs we’ve lost.

Zap! Zip!
To cause a storm, all firecracker
and lightning bugs, is a childish memory
that is better off checkered and uncharted.
Our playtime courses are coming to an end
and the insects crawl out from beneath the glass.
Where, then, is the darkening of the days
when you knew him and he knew me and I knew you–[not]?

Zip!
Crag-eyed bells and silver shells
scattered as they shattered in the shadow of the shallow
behind the foyer where the river
carried farther the names of our fathers
to a land of bubbles and disasters
that never caught us; running faster
than the wind that pushes onward
across the earth, from grass to sand,
tree to cactus, needle to thumb–
away we speed, tender hearts
and butterfly kisses
into adulthood’s Great Unknown.

It doesn’t help that you’re a callously ignorant,
self-centered bigot
suckling at the teat of your faithful idiocy.
Don’t judge me like you know;
you’re far too blind to see
the deeper meaning in my faceted quality.
I can taste the scent of your condescending attitude,
cleaved to your self like a woman’s perfume.
Your accomplishments are nothing, gray hair,
and your past a haggard elder
dogging you around
and begging for the scraps of your filthy memory.
You don’t understand the path
from whence I fled.
Call yourself a professional, then,
but the notion is truly laughable
in comparison to the true makers
of this metallic world.
Your inability to truly care for
the temporary charges
placed in your farce of an office
says enough about your character
for me to write a novel
with you as the main focus.

Here’s a thought for you, sir:
Have you ever taken a moment away
from your constant assumption
of my retardation
just to contemplate…

… that I might have a reason?