Daguerreotype girls are all children,
dressed in white bows atop silky black hair,
more often than not clutching to
I was born at a county hospital,
and I never had the good grace to know what
forceps feel like on an infant head,
but I creak yet.
If I was a woman in sepia I would
clutch to a baby girl and slice my arm
with keen silver-tongued letter openers,
jab out my tired eyes with knitting needles
rather than my breathtaking rapier,
slim to deliver liquids wailing in my skin,
push the doctor out from under me,
I’d be a caretaker yet.
Daguerreotype women are stern-mouthed beauties,
but I would be hidden away high or burned
alive for a mad woman’s witchcraft,
and I more than likely wouldn’t live to see the disappointing photograph.
For her second seventeenth birthday
She’s a sun
built like a sun for sunshine
coming from conversions
she’s a happy little factory
hydrogen to helium
frowns to blissed-out boys and girls
she’s high as a sky on her tiny blunt
and she needs them to help
from burning up the whole world.
Cornerstones of beating out brains out of brainless folk
chipper and more frigid towards murder
than she was even as a baby
he took her on a car that might have as well been a capsule
speed speed speed fast as light
with her long-earned fuel and with his inborn might
she was raw as a powerhouse
killed with an open jaw
She took him to a theater when she turned sixteen
because her birthday was a time for breeding flowers up on center stage.
Abandoned opera houses were her catharsis,
of a rampaging urge
She was swift to purge him from her system as they fucked
& she never wanted to see that again
Designed their encounter so her pussy attached to a batshit brain
would prod him away so gently he would think he was a deadbeat sprinter.
She pinched her nerves off
wanted to be numb
as silver-touched skin
wanted to control her pain with a red-hot poker down through her eye.
They don’t sell fireplaces in her town.
because he did leave
— that day was a glory and a scar
without a conscience she’d drive far—
he took a good road and he made it out of town
like it wanted him gone
like her hometown was spitting him out on the rest of the world
he went anywhere that wasn’t hers
and she just had an eyepatch and shackles.
Sunglasses took her by surprise
because she didn’t think the light would blister her dried-blood head
like it did every Sunday morning.
This girl was a goddamn sunflower priestess on the goddamn Day of the Lord
and there she was,
underneath a heavy brown duvet
with chips of cheap nail polish on her teeth
and eyes that looked like black holes with smudged mascara.
She’s more darkside than victim,
lest he forget
She wants to spin so much truths into lies that
no long-gone man call tell her who she really is.
She’s a sun.
She needs her catharsis still,
so let’s purge the devil from this town,
she urges herself
hamfist beating the place where her skirt ends on her thigh
and where the lack of a red felt A would have lied
and the first place a bucket of pig’s blood would have touched from the sky
over and over and over again.
The only victim she has the guts to murder is herself.
Sun, oh have you ever seen her?
Are you sure she can endure?
Either way, do blaze on for her,
Help her make your good world pure.
— Love from Armina
P.s. She’s not as bad as she seems.
side note: wonderfully descriptive
The inevitability to reassure herself was slow and uncomfortable. The skies were dim now, saturated peaches, plums and wisteria had faded into dark nothing. Her eyelids are dry, lips chaffed and unmoved. The bones beneath her skin so sore, so heavy and noticeable. The hair that rested upon the roots of her skull swept itself around her cheeks and neck; each long thick strand of hair curling themselves to their contentment. The window stayed open waiting until sunrise, cold air spread throughout the white walls that entombed her mind and body.
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: Noelle never ceases to amaze me. This is wonderful.
There was a blackout on the day I was born. It was dark and cold. I remember it clearly, how still and quiet the world was, at the moment of my birth. The doctor thought I was stillborn. My heartbeat was so faint, even the monitor had a rough go at finding my pulse. He didn’t even bother to smack me on the bottom. If he had, I still wouldn’t have had it in me to cry.
They wrapped me in a blanket, just for show, because my mother wanted to hold me. Too exhausted for shock, or greif, she just extended her arms; a wordless request that was too slight to deny, too great to be ignored. It wasn’t until she held me, that I made a tiny sound; a small coo that sounded like an affirmation of life, my mother’s due… but it wasn’t motivated by her presence. It was inspired by the absence of you. I was an empty space, with no way of knowing where I began, or ended.
There was a storm on the night you were born. It was bright and humid. Do you remember it, too? The motion and thunder. Your heart racing, like it was about to explode inside of your chest. You came out screaming, like some kind of nightmare, and the doctor was tempted to sedate you.
They couldn’t hold you still long enough, to swaddle you. Your mother, beside herself, winced as you grabbed at her breast. Something that you shouldn’t have been aware enough, or capable, to do. You didn’t stop fussing, something furious, until she fed you. Just out of the womb, and already so hungry; greedy for life. But even as your stomach was heavy with milk, you didn’t feel full. It was like you had no bottom. See, cause you were the rim of the glass, not the bowl.
We share the same birthday. I was born during the day, in the dark. You were born that night, in the light. Separated by time, distance, and space, but the circumstances of our births, the distinctly opposite abnormalities, were on account that we were different aspects of the same thing. Two parts of a whole, which included every you, and every me.
I assume we both remember everything, except for the other’s face. So, I sulk and you brood. I hesitate, and you pace…
You’re the edge that I’ve been waiting to step off of. I’m the void that you’ve been anxious to fall into.
S’s Note: This is just so very lovely.
He shut the rain inside of his bedroom closet one night. Its fingers tapped against the wooden door repeatedly. He ran a hand through his hair, striking a match for the right burner on the kitchen stovetop. The linoleum floor looked sickly. He tipped a glass of water into the metal sink, taking note of each droplet left behind. His mother used to catch the rain inside of a plastic sand bucket. When she thought he was asleep, she carefully stepped her feet into the bucket, hoping she would seep into its belly, like dark oil across the surface of a wide- mouthed and unsuspecting sea.
Side note: This is just far too beautiful not to re-blog.
“Are you comfortable there?” I ask petting the top of her head fuzzy and damp with sweat.
She doesn’t answer. I didn’t expect her too. Her breathing is heavy with the labor of sleeping. Her eyes darting vapidly behind closed lids. I smile as I tucked a few dewy strands of hair behind her ear.
Her petite body curled into her own little origami shape. I could call it the sleeping daisy or some other slumbering wild flower that pops into peoples lives between the cracks in the concrete of dingy sidewalks. You’ll never notice her brilliance if you don’t look down to take inventory of your toes every now and again. Lucky for me, I am always looking down on her angelic face, haloed by dark ringlets.
She keeps her kiss hidden in the crease of her eyes, not upon her lips like most wild flowers. Oh, how I would like to be the receiver of that special kiss that twinkles in the middle of her midnight eyes.
I am constantly getting trapped in her inkwells and when the wells are closed my skin is marred with her dried essence. The residue left behind to press my thoughts of her, with her into little lines of affection.
She sleeps, exhaling dragon sighs from her cave of dreams as I smooth my fingers across her brow. I Kiss her forehead creased and moist then I whisper “I hope you’re comfortable in here.” Because I am comfortable with you here.