Bast

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The box where I put us spilled open

the cat knocked it off the shelf

mischievous beast, meddlesome Bast

I think she’s tired of her protective ways

longing for ancient days of war-torn destruction

she seeks to make a battleground of my heart, for revenge

Yesterday, Bast asked me to pray to her

for protection, she said.

Politely, I declined

Now I glance up to find her watching me

she sits on the shelf where I’d hidden us away

casually licking her paws, feigning nonchalance

but I see her eyes gleam

they laugh as she watches my fingers

scramble to collect piece after piece of us

shattered and whole, they slip through cracks

in floorboards before I can retrieve them

forever lost to dust & fate

& the Will of the Gods

I cut my finger on your face,

it starts to bleed & I look up

Bast stops licking her paw

she’s still staring, and I can hear her eyes whisper

‘Now will you pray?’

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*

I don’t want to be alone with my own thoughts

So much is happening and I feel like i’ll fall apart

if I let them speak,

I watch television on the internet to drown them out

I bear witness to my own gluttony:

netlix, amazon, hulu…which I cancel periodically

pretending i wont start them again

I make a therapy appointment for wednesday,

this makes me feel better

I feel like i’m going to be sick

physically ill

I need a distraction

to distract and be distracted

to give and take until this thing works itself out

until I figure myself out

I need to remember that this isn’t an answer

only a piece of an ever evolving puzzle

which shifts itself constantly;

knowing i can’t keep up

doesn’t keep me from trying

Get off my back

I want to be drunk now

maybe then words would come

flow out of me like lava from a volcano

destroying everything in their path

if I get them on the page they’ll be safe

I wont feel the need for them to flow

from my mouth into your ears

that’s where they’ll do the most damage

if I put them down here

how will you know

they’re for you?

I sit here grounded, you – analyzed

me – sinking under the enormity of circumstance

I’m strong, I know this because I feel my legs work as

I strain against a crippling weight pressing down on my spine

Get Off. My Back.

I whisper these words like a prayer

beg them to lighten my load

I feel pieces shift, break & fall away

I exhale, slice open another dust covered box

cutting my hand on the box cutter

I dig in, my hand stains everything it touches

Dark Horse

*

I sent a boy a poem last night

not about him, he just asked

he said it was pain full: two words

I thought it was a mistake but it wasn’t

the world is full of pain

brimming and it keeps coming

we spawn our own disaster

moment after moment

each atom, each babe

we teach what we know &

what we know is pain

despite all the disparate voices,

rushing rivers, sprawling trees

shouting for peace

Or,

I still have the bottle of wine

I bought to help me write

its just sitting there

waiting for me to make a decision

to commit

I look at it and perceive it as beautiful

& I don’t know if this is because of the wine

or the glass

or the fact that I picked it

for its name: Dark Horse

zodiac of my birth

fate full day

so I’m reading this bottle as a promise

&& I’m reading this bottle as a threat

Open Window

I have a narcissistic wound

according to a book which reads me like I read it

& tells me about my scars

like it was there when they were cut into my skin

from the inside

toughened,

strengthened

constricted

which is why I didn’t know

I tried to tamp me down

dreamer, lover, achiever

was buried beneath the scars

I’ve found an ointment I rub it on my skin

I don’t know where it came from

I found it in a tin on my window sill

I left the window open last night

felt a breeze graze my face as I slept

traveling across unfamiliar lands

with old familiar guides

I awoke to find the gift waiting

‘use me’ it said

‘I will help to heal you’

I don’t know the names of the gods who bless me

that knowledge was twice taken from my spirit

but I feel them with me

know they bless me

as I love on them, they love on me

it’s comforting to be loved in such a way

this is the love to sustain me

It’s a fight to stay sane

I know this

its why I unpack

I watched what it did to my father

bottling up his trauma

spending his life with the people who hurt him

I grew up with the person who abused me

I’m asked to continue to spend time with that person

as though that were a normal request

as if I am wrong for loving myself

fuck

I push everyone away

everything I type is so cliche

like

everything is so fucking trite like

this is the shit inside my head

insecurities and fucking

doubt

a child screaming to be loved

to count

I crack myself open &

wedge a crowbar between my rib cage and pull

I spill out

I leak onto the floor

this bleeding is healing

I know

doesn’t make it hurt less

it hurts more

because I know there’s more to come

healing hurts this way

I could press my hand to my heart

to stop the bleeding

blood would just seep through my hands so

I watch as it falls through the cracks of the floor

collects in the cool dirt beneath this room

below this house

I hear it sink drop by drop

pooling

into the water supply

but the well has run dry

this blood from my chest

all sadness and grief and rage and joy

I offer as sacrifice

to the earth who birthed me

& the well which sustains me

It has been a long while hasnt it my old friend? Since we laughed and talked in the old way, worlds blending into one garbled fluid dance, we made marvelous partners, you and I. Oh, how we moved through gardens and caves and fields and we played. We let joy flood our face pretending we were one. Not in truth only in jest but those moments, do you remember? What were you just thinking? You had a look in your eye and the ghost of a smile. Maybe you thought of me back where you left me. I’m still here waiting. Inside this house with its mouse-filled walls and its creaky floors. I still get splinters when I move from room to room, hiding from the shadows. They still haunt me here. Still scratch at my bedroom door. Whispering for more. It gets lonely here. I’ve made friends with the bats, remember how we used to watch them fly out of the house into the evening sky? We watched them grow smaller and smaller as they flew further away. We wondered if we’d grow wings so we could fly. Grow smaller and smaller. I hope you come get me. It’s dark here and the walls are not silent. They whisper secrets I’d rather not hear. Tell me stories I’m trying to forget. I miss you, you know. Do you miss me too? You must. You must feel empty too. 

To the White Man Who is No Longer a Part of the Conversation:

I bet it hurts you, doesn’t it?

to think that there is something

in this world which does not

revolve around you

it must shock you to think that

though the fuckery stemmed from you

you are no longer a factor in this equation

I’ve cancelled you out

smudged the edges of

my apartment and

ushered the toxicity

which is your imprint

upon my flesh

out of the building

you are hereby dismissed

do not think for one moment

I am sorry to see you go

you who have fetishized

raped and abused me

crawled between my

bones and my flesh and

leaked out your poison

What really gets me?

you’re convinced this is love

your smugness is nauseating

your certainty preposterous

yet you stay firmly planted

rooted in the rewritten history

you believe is your truth

your blindness is appalling

your presence is threatening

it is time for you

to exit the conversation.

 

Mad as Hell

Cant you see your ignorance brings pain
Over and over and over again?

Tell me, what do you get 

From being an insufferable fucking twit?
I’d smack hard upon your face

If I thought for a second it would make you change
But your ingnorance is so deeply ingrained

It’s not astounding to see you have no shame

Benefiting from bodies lain

Casually in unmarked graves
Where will you be in a hundred years

When all that remains of us are your tears

Trickling down your pale white face

As buildings burn and what’s left of your race
Are sitting on the searing coals

With nothing to eat and only each other to hold?

Salome

They called her hair windswept when it blew across her face. Salome’s mother always said it reminded her of a wise woman, walking along a shore. Her baby, bound for greatness. Salome’s mother always told her she could do anything, be anything, sky’s the limit. I guess Salome took her seriously. You could often find her walking along ledges, arms spread wide. Everyone thought it was to steady herself, but now it seems maybe she was doing something else. Practicing, testing her limits.

It was a neighbor who spotted Salome first, slowly making her way up the top of the cliff. He saw it from the edge of the village where they lived.

Ital was sitting on his rooftop, warm clay beneath his hands and feet as he leaned against the edge, pulling on a hand rolled cigarette. He watched Salome’s slow progress up till she reached the cliff’s zenith. He thought to call for someone, Salome’s mother perhaps… but when Ital heard the voices below, he realized that he needn’t bother. Already the villagers had begun to gather. Some shouted and pointed excitedly, while others murmured prayers and judgements.

Salome’s mother was among them. She didn’t seem as bothered as he would have expected. Though she did have a calm sort of concern about her, steady like a river. When her eyes found and fixed on her daughter, they remained there, unmoving.

Salome took a deep breath. Then she took another, and another. Closing her eyes, she began to center herself. She knew everyone in the village thought she was mad. Even across the distance she felt them waiting, judging, felt their eyes on her. Taking a deep breath, she sat.

The sun rose in the sky, it burned hot and persistent against her dark skin and she welcomed it. Salome had always found that the sun opened her up, connected her to the world around her. She thought of the Sun as one of her lovers, it provided for her a spiritual, sensual experience.

A breeze picked up on the cliff, carrying the smell of dust and dried grass and wildflowers up from the valley below. Salome inhaled deeply, savoring each breath, letting go.

The sun had set. Salome noticed only after she opened her eyes and found stars glittering over the village. Some of the villagers who gathered earlier had since set up tiny makeshift camps. A handful of blazing fires raged haphazardly in the mouth of the valley. She imagined they were cooking food on them, making love by them, drinking wine off one another, dancing and laughing. She felt the threat of jealousy tug at her chest.

Salome could hear the drums. Could feel their beat thrum through her body. She wondered distantly when the music began, it trembled the earth beneath her, Gaia’s heartbeat. Lightning bugs danced around her and crickets added their notes to the drummers’ song.

When Salome stood up again, the moon was glittering over the valley, making playful shadows among the rocks and creatures below. Things scuttled and scurried making patterns in the dirt. She could still smell it on the air, sweet and clean, like after a heavy rain. The dirt felt cool beneath her feet, it grounded her. Salome took one step, then another, until she was at the very edge of the cliff.

Then, she leapt.