Suffering

The Tower

 

 

Tomorrow falls flat like a tomato dropped
from the ninth story window. I'm dangling
my hard earned cash from fingers
bent on hoarding every thread-bare sheet
tucked away in the linen closet just
because it still smells like your perfume:
oleander. I can still taste it:

the speed I swallowed to force time forward

instead of back. That day you turned towards the door

while I opened the curtains

and looked down.

 

 

 

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The Prince of Darkness Faces His Executioner

Are you ready for it?

I shouldn’t have to ask you that question after all that you have done.

It would’ve been rude of me not to give you a heads-up like this.

Your reign of terror is steps closer to its endgame.

If I do not draw my sword and face the ghosts of my past, checkmate is guaranteed.


I did something bad long ago, but can you blame me?

I’m just a human being that made a mistake because I was not in the right mind.

Anguish and love do not mix because both made my life worse before.

If you respect that my situation is delicate, why do you keep poking the hornet nest?

If you crack it open and the wasps sting you so much their poison burns,

don’t be surprised if I say, “Look what you made me do.”

Your empathy is lacking so why should I care if you are put to rest the next day?

Princes don’t negotiate with paupers like me.

So it goes because fame and violence are always placed above justice and peace.


Isn’t it gorgeous to be the one in control? To run a country or a sect without a care in the world?

Doesn’t it feel amazing when your subjects obey you unconditionally as if you are an almighty god?

These questions reveal to me that aristocrats and celebrities use their authority

for insolence and seduction. No wonder we can’t have nice things.

You are not entitled to my throne even though a liar was the king of my heart before.

What was “yes” today could be “no” tomorrow so I keep fewer promises.

I’ve heard enough empty platitudes from your devotees to realize that an oath is not to be made lightly.


Anything else you want to preach about before I take the getaway car to escape additional agony?

Go ahead and dress your possessive wiles by telling me you love me

And shower me with material goods to let my guard down against my better judgment.

But when you try to use your tenderness as leverage, it is all the more reason for me to leave.

The longer I stay here, the more certain it is that my life is in danger.

My hands are tied keeping the darkness around me at bay for as long as I can.

Fortune is never on my side when I dance, but my sword will always be my partner.

Call it what you want, but the battlefield is my ballroom.

If dancing alone is the only way I can retain my individuality, so be it.


Happy Raʼs as-Sanah al-Hijrīyah, Vlad Dracula.

I’ll see you in Hell.

Experimenting With Space

 

 

 

I loved her once

didn’t I                      fall into her arms

instead of to the floor          didn’t I

forsake bruised limbs for hands grasped to my shoulders

          but

she always loved the blurred black

and blue of worlds pulsing under the skin of her forearms

of her hips and throat and

so she painted herself          hung

on the wall

next to the antique mirror          I stood

back         then

I only had her reflection.

 

 

 

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The Cupcake is a Lie

 

 

There was a café at the end of the road

where the patio trickled onto the sidewalk

and umbrellas opened like snowdrop petals

allowing only splatters of sunlight to decorate the plates

placed in front of posied forks and clinking glasses.

At noon we sat with people sipping rosé

and nibbling the edges of pastries:

you with your cupcake, I with my

tart. Your mouth full of mischief, you spoke

with your hands to clear my head and

there was something like sweetness

on your fingers. Words sifted between your eyes and 

a token of my innocence saw the sun

when icing stuck to your bottom lip. 

I barely noticed the tremor in your fingers

when you raised your glass to toast the afternoon or

the acidic taste of the powder I wiped off your nose with my thumb.

 

 

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Politics 2020

 

As real as this is, as real as this feels,

I know it won’t feel really real

until I experience something tangible

like a riot

or being told to wear a star.

 
 
Author's Notes/Comments: 

The current political climate in the United States is something to be fearful for, especially if you know your history. 

The Willow Tree Will Keep Our Secrets

 

There’s a certain appeal to the bruise colored haze at the bottom
of a six-pack. She sits
on the kitchen floor, knees bent
out at acute angles, shuddering shoulder
blades pressing against skin
until the fine human film splits
and she falls – splits down the center

like the bottom of the Colorado mountain valleys we hiked last spring.

The skin of her cheeks would flush in the brisk mornings and I, alone,
learned every shade of tension stretched through her shoulders
when she’d bend
over to wash her hair in the stream.
Like the willow tree bends: graceful

limbs reaching to touch a quivering reflection.

 



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the carpenter

 

the carpenter

 

cuts the wood

 

with a blade clean

 

sharp straight and

 

true muscles con-

 

tract     with measured

 

constraint this will

 

be his life’s work

 

this labour of

 

l o v e      every-

 

thing his hand touches    be-comes    a crucifix of sorts    built with blood and sweat and

 

tears    he loves to work and so he works with love      he has a good eye for beauty they

 

say    the elegant simple beauty of a carpenter    who himself is weighed and measured

 

cut and sanded   patiently fashioned   the secrets of the trade   not the son but the father

 

suspended on a

 

crucifix of our de-

 

sign he trades his

 

labour for a loaf of

 

bread how he misses

 

home still hammer

 

and nail and clamp

 

and glue the wine

 

of life his blood

 

that flows he is

 

building the king-

 

dom of heaven un-

 

awares hammer in

 

hand he is con-

 

structing a dream

 

yet all he knows is

 

that he is working

 

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

For Krysztof

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I know why he chose you

Folder: 
Silent Hate.

He chose you because you are everything he never wanted in a partner.

 

Someone with tattoos

Someone with children

Someone easy

A whore

 

He chose you because you are everything he never wanted in a partner

 

Someone who would cheat on their husband

Someone who would cheat on their children

Someone easy

A whore

 

He chose you because you are everything he never wanted in a partner

 

Someone weak

Someone with low self respect

Someone easy

A whore

 

He chose you because you are everything he never wanted in a partner

 

Someone with no class

Someone with low self esteem

Someone easy

A whore

 

 

He chose you because he knew he would never want you. He wanted me but he needed a whore. 

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Alexander

Folder: 
What is Love?

To me and everyone else you were always Alex C.

 

I fell in love with Alex C.

I married Alex C.

I travelled with Alex C.

I wanted children with Alex C.

Alex C. Told me I was his everything

Alex C. Told me he could never hurt me

Alex C. Told me I was the only one for him

Alex C. Vowed to be loyal to me forever

 

My Husband Alex C.

 

Then one day you were Alexander.

 

I cried because of Alexander

I broke because of Alexander

I lost my love because of Alexander

I have a hole in my heart because of Alexander.

Alexander knowingly hurt me, more than anyone has hurt me in my life.

Alexander did unspeakable things to me

Alexander broke his vows

Alexander gave himself to someone else.

 

A whore’s lover, Alexander. 

 

 

You told everyone you wanted to be Alexander but no one listened. Is that still what you want Alexander?

Author's Notes/Comments: 

My Husband always told people he preferred Alexander, yet Alex C. was what he used on everything, he would introduce himself as Alex and everyone always called him Alex...until her. She called him "Alexander".