i am locked inside my Timshel,
ground down by the substance
that demands my artifice
draped about my shoulders
like an iron cloak given
the appearance of red silk.
and perhaps my dark is within
the tiny vessels in my blood,
my cormorant’s shriek (dying)
ringing out like a malady,
like a death-rattle symphony
as my minor devils rub bony hands
together in glee.
but in each separate desperate
whole and holy night,
i feel like a widow and a bride
finding sevens of things anew
while he dies as i stumble
over her broken bones.
my praying hands are muttering
blasphemy inside her.
my singing-hallelujah tongue is
forming desecration inside her.
and i cannot help my moaning bones.
S’s Note: I really love this. How lovely.
Natalie walks through the mind like silk curtains,
Holding a smouldering kindle of cancer,
Smiling eyes on this girl are unheard of.
Natalie could be an excellent dancer,
If only her legs would move just a tad quicker,
If only her life was a little more fair,
She’d stop getting lonelier, sadder and sicker,
And wear flowers and lace in her hair.
Let’s sit against bookshelves and read the lines along each other’s hands, let’s hold to each other’s simpers and fade into the air. I want to feel your breath on my shoulder through the fabric of my shirt, I want to lose track of the time and cling onto every story that spills from your mind. We’ll let our eyes forget their focus, and fold beneath the touch of fingertips along the surface of our arms. Let’s fall asleep amidst unfinished pages and envelope beneath the tired lights.
S’s Note: This is breathtaking.
I’d like to take you
to the ocean
and tie a balloon
around your wrist
fingers would brush
as we shared
in a salty kiss
if we hold on tight
and grasp the line
we’ll float high above
and wave goodbye
to the shifting tide
S’s Note: Lovely.
I remember kissing you
beneath the yellow maples
Casting sunlight of their own.
I remember the stars streaking
Through my veins—
The rush of us I would come to miss.
Side note: I mostly scroll on when I see long posts (sorry) but I’m really glad that I stopped to read this.
I still remember the day I stopped believing in God. It was a night just like this, seemed chaotic and obscene. The stars never gleamed as if they knew what had happened and were in mourning. I was in the bed with my wife until we saw the police lights and dread spread through our bodies. We heard the knocks and at first we didn’t want to go down. We didn’t want to face the reality of what was about to happened. My wife started to cry before we even left the room but I put on my pants and went anyway. My feet were heavy and my arms were just limbs. My harsh breath was the only sound in the house, I tried to be strong. I opened the doors and my wife soft hands came to my growing abdomen.
We knew before they even said a sound. Pity marked their eyes and there was this sense of melancholy wrapped around their fading souls. I broke down as the syllables that would mark my life thereafter fell to our ears. My wife and I just held each other as if were two sailboats lost at sea and we had only each other. The cops just watched as we cried with a remorse written in their face, and then told us we needed to identify the body. Just to make sure they said, as if wanting not to give us hope.
Everything after that was just a blur. The identification, the cause and the funeral. It was like as if life was meshing and the colors had gone. My wife would cry every day and lock herself up in my daughter’s room. I would stay in our room left with nothing but memories and charades of a life that seemed long ago. There was this monotone colored sheet that fell between my eyes and I knew no more of what transpired. They told us she was with friends and they were hit by a drunk driver. Killed her on impact they said. I still remember the curve of my wife’s cheek as she wailed and cursed all.
I would go out every day after that leaving my wife to grief alone because I couldn’t bear the thought that I could do nothing. I was a fifty year old man with a job I hated and now the only anchor I had was gone, my wife as good as dead. She never touched again after that as if afraid that I too might leave her alone. No one understands the loss of a child, how fundamentally you are shaken into merciless lullabies. All your friends pity you but they are secretly happy it didn’t happen to them. There is this intricate balance you never knew there was in your marriage and when it is hit so hard, it breaks even without you wanting it to.
The sudden loss of my daughter made me reevaluate my life but as I analyzed I realize how much I hated it. Never did what I truly wanted and now my marriage was hanging on by single thread. That is when I found solace from this pain in a bottle.
Every day after I came from work I wouldn’t even look at wife, I would head straight for the whiskey. I would drink until I couldn’t stand up straight and then I would go to her room. I would cry as if the devil himself had put me on fire.
“Amelia why did you leave? Your mother and I still need you. You were supposed to grow up and get married. Bother your mother with recipes that you could cook and tell me that you were happy. Then we would grow and we would die, not the other way around!” I wailed myself to sleep that day, cursing everything. I slept in front of the picture we took when you graduate, your red flaming hair and your bright smile.
I never knew how indulgent I had grown in life. Never questioning what was to come only knowing the pleasure of life that I had never stopped to thank. In one of my drunken stupors my wife came to me asking me to stop. It had been two years and she told me that I had to move on. It wasn’t healthy to drink myself into oblivion. Until one day she just had enough of me, I had lost my job that month. I think that was the last straw.
“William, I can’t do this anymore… I just can’t. You can’t let her death define you.” She told me weeping.
“She was our daughter how can you tell me to forget her!” I screamed at her, rage pouring through my body.
“I know but this has gotten out of hand. You are letting her death define you. You never use to drink, you lost your job and you don’t event touch me anymore. Have I lost my appeal that much?” She whispered the last words to me.
I still remembered when we got married, her hair a vibrant red brown color, her eyes held the future. Her lips the only water I ever needed. Now she just looked tired, her hair was dull and she had eyes-bags that painted a story of sleepless nights and endless tears. I looked at the door and saw her suit-cases, I broke. I shattered because I was being left alone now by the only being that shared my pain. She could still smell the whiskey from last night and the river stains in my cheeks. She caressed my face one last time.
“I’m sorry William but I can’t take this anymore. The papers will come tomorrow, I am divorcing you.” She said is so softly I thought I must have heard wrong.
For the next few months I lived on food stamps, my once grand house was empty and foreclosed. My soul was bleak and the world was just this monochrome glass that was hazy and not mine. That’s how I began to understand nostalgia, how my memories would sustain me but they could for only so long. The day I was set to die with the gun of my father’s father. The whiskey was right beside me, my faith on the floor and the gun in my mouth. As I try to squeeze the trigger I freeze. For the first time since that fateful day I could have sworn I heard my daughter’s laughter.
I threw away the gun and go to the storage room where I had put all her belongings. Everything that was ever hers and everything that would always fracture me. I searched for her, tears streaming through my face. My heart hurting as if it were reliving the day of her death. In a ray of light was her picture, her smiling beautiful face. I went to my knees and wailed like a newborn. It hat moment I knew what I was look for, forgiveness. Complete and total sorrow ripped through my throat that I could not speak for days after. Until the next day I woke up lying in the middle of boxes that contained her. I looked at the ceiling and knew that I had found peace someway, somehow.
That day I found my will to live again.
Prompt: a man has a mid-life crisis after his daughter dies, he becomes an alcoholic and loses his job… his name is William. —ian-the-recluse
side note: i feel this.
Pale black sunrises greet my eyes these mornings past, since your laugh has faded so too have the hues that permeate my sight. Remember when the air was alive with our laughter? How the hours lit up while we filled them with chatter? Was it a reflection I thought I saw? Writing that you erased off the wall? Scattered in-between the fallen leaves were our memories but they don’t seem important there, just smears on a sliding glass door.
S’s Note: Such a lovely poem.
Love is an ocean
raging inside of me
endless and unyielding
to a whispered wind
on a chilled morning
when you reached in
and kicked up my sand