Home is a Skeleton

Home is a skeleton
Bare walls and empty beds
Boxes in the hallway
Bags bursting by the door

Home is a skeleton
Buried in coffins of memory
Burning into smoke and mirrors
In the final act of the charade

Home is a skeleton
Hungering for flesh
Devouring mother and father
Until only teeth and words remain

Home is a skeleton
The ribcage suffocating
Under the weight of massive lungs
Breath doesn’t come easy anymore

Home is a skeleton
The remains of an obese corpse
Rotted down to bare bone
Drowned in its own weight

Home is a skeleton
Withered beneath a distant sun
Asleep beneath dust and dirt
Laid in a shallow, unmarked grave

Tigerlily

All I wanted
Was twenty years
To see the truth
And know who it was
With the blue eyes
And yellow teeth
Who slept on the floor
When I called

To smell the skin
And scalp scent
Permeating
That which was not mine
But could have been
If I had held a little tighter
To the nails and screws
Hidden behind dark lips

Cold and stiff limbs
Bound by the oblivion
They stretched toward
And the warped alchemy
Of steel in a hungry mouth
That turns blood and bones
Into a metallic silence

Lilies over stripes
Along black feet and legs
And ashes in a box
Cannot capture what was
When the garden bloomed
Over rain soaked earth
And I carried home
My fetal claws

Nocturnal Psychosis

Mine is not mine anymore
Green stars glow and fall
Ceiling sealing feet to floor
Coming in, ripped and tore

They watched me, saw me
Panicked state paranoid
Home sweet sickened sanity
Loaded lip and sugared tea

One that won and two did too
Golden snow where have you gone?
Torn from the apple afternoon
You and me were me and you

(Parentheses)

There is the space in between
Two dark curves of parentheses
Where every sign of life resides
In charcoal ink as ovals and lines

Between the subtle curves that rest
Clots of black smear and spread
Across the breast and over the womb
All existence between birth and tomb

These brackets warp to contain
Memories of love and pain
Stretching wide to hold every word
From baby’s cry to funeral dirge

When the weight becomes too much
Pages crumble with a gentle touch
They tumble into small seas of tears
And watch the ink stains disappear

Winter’s Tomb

In winter’s tomb
I will lie
Marble mausoleum
Built to the sky

Grey fields and clouds
Meet in between
Fading solstice
Rain washes clean

Pinpricks penetrate
Snow and ice
Exposing darkness
To shreds of light

Stars will tumble
When Earth sways
Martyrs melt
Into greener days

Balaclava

Hiding behind mirrored eyes,
Showing no one the flesh beneath,
Bare lips expose satirical words.
Humor and irony never held weight,
The way that metal does,
When it’s golden on teeth,
Or silver on a gun and
Lining pockets with green linen.

If this were a sitcom,
The laugh track would cycle on now,
As the man in the mask explains,
This is all just a misunderstanding.
Then someone will chuckle,
Until a bullet in the head shuts him up,
While the audience waits for the hero.

The anchorwoman stares down,
She keeps her lips pressed together.
The grim line marks her face,
A shield to protect her from blame.
This is not just a media spectacle,
It’s a real tragedy.

The viewers are already bored though,
They’ve seen this show before.
One hostage or twelve,
Three dead or none,
Terrorists or perverts or police,
It doesn’t matter anyway,
The end is always the same.

Credits roll, the audience rises,
They blink in the amber light.
Brushing off stale popcorn,
They stretch their arms upward
Declaring they’ll rent it next time.

Snow

Clouds clot
Into scabs of ice
Silent violence
Burns cold
On fingertips
Cracked skin
And hangnails
Hovering moons
Crescent white
In a January sky

Frog

It died in a shoe box next to the microwave. The sun struck the window and the heat magnified as it spread across the plastic coated countertop.
Its little legs squirmed as the sun burnt into the cardboard box. Kicking with its frail clawed feet, it struggled to tear a hole in the corner. It wriggled and twisted as the heat baked its lungs and roasted the fluid from its skin.
The body was hard and wrinkled, warped into the shape of a small stone, when a freckled hand plucked it from the shoe box. Rolling it back and forth across his fingers, the boy carried the warm withered body into the bathroom. Beneath the wooden cross that hung over the toilet, he pushed the lever down and watched the swirling water flush it away.
Out the window, the sun began to slowly drift toward the horizon and sharp chirps cried out in the distance. Hearing the familiar squeaks, the boy lifted his shoe box and ran out the door into the dusk.

Metal

Sunlight shines in her eyes through the window smeared with her small, greasy handprints. It tousles her short golden curls and warms the skin on her plump cheeks and nose. Her feet bump up in down in rhythm with the pounding drums and guitars that her mother plays on the radio.
The metal music throbs in the mother’s chest, rocking her body back and forth while she punches out the frenzied beat on the vinyl steering wheel. It had been so long since she’d listened to this kind of music.
He never liked it. He called it garbage and insisted it wasn’t acceptable for their daughter to hear, so normally she drove in silence.
Although, sometimes the wind would roll across the car cabin with such ferocity that it would remind her of the music she once burned into her eardrums. It wasn’t the same as the real thing though, and now that she didn’t give a shit about him anymore she could drive around for hours with her music blaring.
She drove with the windows down and an unlit cigarette between her lips, removing it on occasion to scream out some of the few lyrics she still remembered. Her daughter kicked along until the sky went dark and she fell asleep with the violent rhythms echoing in her chest. The mother drove on until the sky turned pink and all she could see were ripples of light and shadow across her vision.
She pulled into the motel parking lot and stepped out of the car to light a soggy cigarette. The smoke billowed from her lips. Between the plumes she found that the vision of her husband lying next to the caramel woman had blurred into a foggy memory.
Yesterday was dead, buried in burning sheets and melting rhythms.

Ivory

in the corner
she stands, arms folded
her body, dark and heavy
frigid eyes shiver behind a wavering smile
when she speaks it’s not to be heard, but to be recognized
her pain whispers
across the dim light
she says it like it doesn’t really matter
that the night she watched her uncle shoot her cousin
she died there in the driveway too