She says to write about myself but I don’t know how. If I try to look too deep all I see are the individual pieces I’ve gathered like a crow building its nest; scraps of sound, shards of sight, pieces of texture and taste and temptation. I lose my sense of self to the mosaic until I forget if I’m a girl or just sea salt and fog and candleflicker in dark windows. When I turn within myself and ask “who am I?” no voice answers. All I hear is the susurration of the ocean and the wind through pine boughs. When I turn within myself and ask “what am I?” all I feel is the heartbeat of mountains and the stars revolving overhead.
rising up, flooding every chamber
but that’s not what I dream about;
I dream about liquid fire
and me screaming over the thunder;
about jet planes nosediving
falling from the sky like diseased birds dashing themselves on rocks
escape by suicide;
about crumbled cities
refugees and ghosts;
it seems these days
all my nightmares are about losing you
it’s all so forced, like rainwater on concrete, pooled and stagnant and longing to slip between the cracks, seek the fractured pathways to seep into rich earth, slumbering seeds, they must be there somewhere beneath the cap of tar and whitewash, tell me somewhere deep beneath my soles there are still the sleeping possibilities of fields and forests and wildflower meadows, fairy rings, the places to which our kind had always escaped until we found the way barred and can now only pine, in ink or charcoal or stanza, for flight and sanctuary and drop tired, so tired, to scrape our knees on the cement, but maybe just a drop of that blood will find its way down into the dreaming soil to soak into the hard black core of a seed and remain sealed there, safe, safe in a way our bodies and hearts above ground shall never be, but at least this single bead of our essence may remain protected while we stumble on in our endless seeking, desperate for proof we can still flee to sanctuary, just promise us we can still flee
You’re like the desert, parched for life-giving rain, longing for sustenance, yet while a drop of affection dries too quickly on your cracked and dusty surface to provide even a moment’s nourishment, a downpour of love cannot soak through quickly enough and so roars as a deadly flash flood through the gullies and pits of your scars, wiping away what weak green buds have managed to take root in the unforgiving soil.
world passes by beyond
content old tom cat
summer locks its doors
still autumn claws at the cracks
bare branch fingernails
I have been to the place where the Prince first Fell, where he tore such a hole in the sky that the sun’s molten heat still pours through in blistering waves. His impact crater is a land unto itself, a waiting predator disguised in rubble the size of mountains, ancient layers exposed by tectonic shifts like the sharp vertebrae of the earth. Everything here is stark; the line between light and shadow, the shift between baking heat and freezing cold, the sudden swift wipeout of parched earth by a flash flood of tempest’s rage. Great black birds circle overhead each day and each night the ground dwelling creatures creep forth from their cool dens, eyes flickering in the moonlight. There is no land harsher on Earth and yet life struggles on in this place, oblivious to the workings of men or angels, and when either perishes here the scavengers strip their flesh like all the rest. If the Prince still walks this land it is in the rattlesnake’s venom, the coyote’s piercing howl, the thunderhead reaching down with lightning tentacles to scorch the earth.