he wasn't a lost boy
he was simply lost
hands grappling with the darkness
as he searched for the star that would
take him to neverland
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wednesday's childit is the third of october
and i am building a castle for us
out of feathers, bird bones,
ocean waves and library book pages.
anything to keep our feet from
touching the ground.
you are sin, he whispers
and his fingers trail cold fire
down my side, scorching flesh
and freezing bone;
brittle pieces of me shatter
as they hit the stained linoleum floor.
don't wake me from this nightmare.
i whisper a nursery rhyme
as i walk down our
kamikaze leaves fall, trailing
fire as they throw themselves from
the branches, down, down,
to cold pavement below.
your words echo in my mind
a constant reminder
that i am sin
tigers and wind chimescoffee smells like coming home
but this time there is no home
only cheap, styrofoam cups
and a boy whose eyes do not
remind me of a supernova or
the tidal pull of the moon or
wind chimes in september.
They are not poetic;
they are tiger-sharp, jagged
razor wire promises inscribed on
a storm-cloud sky:
i will hurt you. i will destroy you.
and then i will leave you.
i tell him i am not afraid
and for the first time
i am not.
one and the samei have a monster inside my head
frozen, shaking fingers claw against colder skin,
seeking purchase, fingernails drawing blood.
get out get out get out
but my monster just laughs
imagined breath puffing against the back of my neck,
thick with the stench of death and madness.
it whispers in a black-velvet voice,
"we are one and the same, love.
you cannot escape what you already
as a flower of the fieldi learn his name after the funeral has passed, and the family retreats, packing their grief with them in paper wrapped boxes -- tucked away, but always within arms reach, all too easy to open again. i imagine they cried, and my mind refuses to stop picturing a coffin lowered into cold, december earth, covered with a blanket of snow and dirt and might-have-beens.
every time i close my eyes i picture him lying against icy pavement and sparkling glass and i wonder what it's like to die alone.
later, when all is over, i light a candle and watch as the orange glow curls itself in the hollows of my collarbones and try to compose words to turn tragedy into closure. i trace my fingertips over my wrists and choke on my own selfishness -- the words refuse to come.
i don't know those he loved or who will carry his memory -- if he was a sinner or a saint -- but i remember his smile and his laugh.
This Too Shall Passi.
so I whisper my confessions to the secret spaces between my rib bones
and fingers trace my wrists, feather-light, the rosary of scars
I offer prayers for each stark, white line but I know even that cannot take me to heaven
so I beg absolution and utter penitent sighs with unclean lips
no coal will ever touch
you hate in the name of love, wrapping your judgments with white ribbons
and pretend you carry salvation to the world on the back of black stained wings
and the blood of those who fell to the cause
all you leave are red footprints on history's pages and
echoes of the unquiet who refuse the silence of death
reaching, grasping, I pour myself out like water over stones
I cannot hold onto them and you and remain but my eyes refuse to accept the blindness
and I cherish the way the wind whispers the secrets of the world
too much to set fire to the fields
her blue eyes
only to see
how others are all free
she is trapped inside herself
tries, but unable to be freed
she is stuck, she cannot get away
instead she stays unwilling to escape
on clarity, seeing yourself as you arewe're all hypocrites here.
and we're all artists.
we paint ourselves
onto someone else like
it isn't painful for them,
like it isn't killing them
in the process. we give them
ownership of our failures,
we lay our flaws under their
tongues so when they speak,
more often than not, we hear
some distorted version of
ourselves. we expect them
to love the way we love. we expect
them to fight the way we fight. but yeah, we're
all fucking artists, right?
and we're all individuals, of course.
we're all on our brave, one-man
trip to enlightenment,
we're proud of the way
our word has been shaved
down to feelings, and moments,
mood swings, and oxy
off the bathroom sink.
well i can't be the only fucking
one who's tired of being an artist.
i can't be the only one tired
of seeing my skin stretched out over
everyone i know. i am tired of watching
my reflection shimmer and fade in their
smiles, in their wrath. i am tired of becoming
silver in one moment only to tarnish in the
next. i am tired of asking
That I am not myself
I am the faceless waste of my influences
That I obey the media like a god
And society like a saint
That I am one of the crowd
I do what is expected
What is wanted and what is told
Even when I know it is wrong
That I cannot think
I am a walking machine
That has given up freedom and thought
For the sake of a simpler life
That I hate based on color
On sex and religion
Unless it is popular
To say I love instead
That I am a murderer
A thief and a scoundrel
I witnessed the greatest crimes of our time
And stood by in silent admiration
That I hated because they told me to
I killed because I wanted to
And lied because I could
But worse, I let others do the same
That I'd do anything they'd allow
And everything they'd want
That I prefer to hate myself
Then for them to hate me
All this I confess
tocophobia.the world of pregnancy and childbirth
has been boiled down to the white,
neurologically healthy babies
in pink and blue knit caps.
“that one,” says the tearful father.
“she’s beautiful,” says the nurse
while the mother rests.
but why is it
that the default image of motherhood
is a white middle-class couple with a picket fence
and a golden retriever?
let’s postpone that cruise to the caribbean
and make a baby.”
what about the prostitutes
who get pregnant?
what about the girls in africa
who carry their rapist’s babies?
what about the babies left on the firehouse steps?
what about the welfare mothers
because they can’t pay the hospital fees?
who have heroin tracks on their arms
(like stitches that can’t hold them together)
where the patient bracelet is snapped on?
what about the 500,000 american children
waiting to get adopted?
what about miscarriages and women
who can never have kids?
we preach for the
...Speeches cut off before they start,
Hurtful truths that stay in the heart.
Under grins they'll stay
Stored ever away;
Hidden, but they never depart.
Midnight Thought ProcessPerhaps the trees live so long because they have no idea how long they've been around.
I stood with my wine glass and cigarette staring into the night as I heard the sound of fireworks, I wondered if the giant tree before me knew it was new years. There is nothing different from 11:59 to 12:00 yet we feel like it's a world away, because we judge many things in time, and we keep track of time in years.
I sat hugging a pillow, watching a 4 month old baby sleeping during his dream-feed and I wondered if the baby knew it was a boy. There is nothing different from a boy baby and a girl baby yet we feel like we have to define them because we judge others in life, and we keep track of others by categorisation.
Perhaps we should forget what year it is, and what we are…and just be.
© Rocio Belinda Mendez
the wateri almost drowned a few years back that december.
you were making waves before i even hit the water
on a hill in hartford and elsewhere out east.
it's crazy to think we never would meet if it weren't for me
losing my cool and now i can't kick it, but fuck it.
it's as if it we're meant to be and you were meant for me;
both broken, we push it, and smile, and bullshit.
sometimes i skip rocks and she sings songs.
the tide turned sometime when you hit a different dialect,
a different tongue, my stomach turned, lines blurred,
i wanted to run or at least push myself into the pool.
sink or swim, crash and burn,
it's all the same, i live and learn,
but what's there to gain when the mistake isn't mine
and i'm still doing time staring at the water,
staring at the water,
staring at the water, i remember
i almost drowned a few years back.
8 Things I Learned Before I Turned Sixteen1. you are stronger than you think
and when you tell other people this,
do not be offended when they start talking about muscle mass.
they will not understand until they wake up
one day and are disappointed to find themselves
2. reading books about thin people
doesn’t make you thin
just like writing poems about happiness
doesn’t make you happy.
3. make new year’s resolutions. even if you know
they won’t last longer than the shower
you make them in, do it anyways because
you’ll love the idea of the person you were
washing off of you with the dirt.
4. you’re going to fall head over heels
over ankles over fingers in love with a boy.
this does not mean that you have any right
to keep him.
5. someone won’t always be there to tell you,
“hey, good job on getting out of bed today.
good job on going to school and doing your homework.
good job on surviving today.”
but good job anyways.
6. change your hair color. change your s
The Elevator ManEight hours a day, five days a week, for forty-one years he had pushed those buttons upon command. His place of employment - The Jansson Grande hotel in New York City. It was one of those hotels that had five stars for everything; suites, service, food, entertainment. Quite simply, it was the "best of the best."
But no one ever seemed to pay much attention to the little man who operated the elevator, the main one located just off the lobby. Occasionally he was mocked, derided. No one ever treated him with respect. From the time he was a child he was treated as someone undesirable, someone you would and should avoid. He was always smallish in size, nervous around people and quiet as a mouse. He never looked anyone in the eye, always kept his cast to the ground, even when spoken to.
His daily routine never changed. At exactly six o'clock in the morning he would rise, fix the same breakfast of one poached egg, a slice of t
All Here For A ReasonI turned onto a shady, well-manicured driveway that, for all intents and purposes, looked harmless enough. Maple trees lined both sides of the street, and a parade of Canadian geese marched across the road to a wide duck pond with a flamboyant fountain. There were blooming crepe myrtles and rose-of-sharons, and as I grew closer to my destination, neatly trimmed gardens with neatly trimmed bushes.
I stopped to let the geese pass. They looked at me; one hissed. I honked my horn and moved around them.
At the end of the road sat a collection of grayish buildings and a number of signs directing me to the appropriate parking lot. "Welcome to Ten Creeks Hospital," said one of them. "Please enjoy your stay." I parked in the visitor's lot. Surely I wouldn't be staying.
I was shaking when I got out of my car. I had spent the morning getting high. One foot in front of the other, flip-flop noises, hot sidewalk. Mulberry and magnolia trees, freshly shaved grass. A bench and pan for smokers. A set o
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