There is a little black raven
that lives inside my chest
and he does what scavengers
are known for doing best;
he sits perched behind my ribs
eating my held-in words
picking over wormy carcasses
of sentences I wish you heard.
I know I should not feed him
getting quieter as he gets stronger
and he is getting restless
he won’t stay still much longer.
I’m afraid of my own silence
of the words that once were mine
lest the raven burst from my flesh
trailing bloody syllables and intestine.
And should the raven fly away
and I lay in the shadow of death
I will regret the words left unsaid
down to my last breath.
Home may be where most hearts are
but mine is an iron anchor
travelling the world affixed to myself
providing me the luxury
to render home where I want it to be
and that even if I choose to leave
it will keep me steady while I stay.
I can’t pull my hand from the flame
no matter how badly I get burned
and I should have known better since
I heard that you were the goddamn
Prometheus of breaking hearts
but I hope someday I’ll learn that
where there’s smoke there’s fire
and any love worth possibly having
won’t make you sift your heart from the ashes.
Leave me at the precipice
between what has been and
what will yet come to pass-
behind me only tombstones
and before me only air.
I don’t know where to go
only that this cliff is steep and
rocky in its sharp descent;
my only hope is to climb down
slowly and oh so carefully
and hope my ghosts die in the fall.
We lived and we died
in the space of a moment
and the universe laughed
at our inflated sense of
indulged importance and
the monuments we erected
to remind the future
who it was that ruled the past.
It wept when we loved as if the
world depended on our racing hearts
to keep spinning on its axis
but when all is said and done
I would prefer to have blazed
and illuminated rather than to
have smoldered in the embers.
Live once and live well-
the universe does not own your time.
The only way that I can describe
a woman like her is to say
that she reminded me of a
ballerina dancing in a minefield
her performance was a manipulation.
I watch her slip into her pointe shoes
(not comfortable but they accentuate
her legs to a particular advantage)
and she wipes make up across her face
until she is perfectly in character.
She dances without looking at her feet
her chin up and every movement is specific
solely executed to get something that she wants
and most of the time she does not realize
how close she is to detonating the mines.
I wonder if it is all worth it;
the practice and commitment to her character
when I know she could find actual love without
having to create a façade she thinks the
audience wants instead.
I watch from balcony seats and the spotlight
focuses on her as she leaps and she spins
and the ticketholders in their finery lean forward-
gasping as the ballerina loses track of steps and music
we know that the finale is always an explosion.
(image courtesy of https://capstonerealty.wordpress.com)
Sitting by the window while it rains
listening to Edith Piaf
(just barely audible so I can still
hear the rain and the thunder)
writing in my notebook that smells of
the lavender we pressed between the pages.
Perhaps ‘perfection’ is a paradigm of
time and space when you can feel
completely and unconditionally yourself
pushing a pen across lines of paper
while the lightning strikes outside
(and Non Rien De Rien plays inside)
is where I most truly exist.