the leap

Biker Chic/marker & watercolorshe
stood on the edge of the bed
spreading her inked feathers
willing those dark wings to lift her
delicate down earned through needling pain
her last chance to escape a nest of tepid dreams
gossamer points all the way to the half moons of her fingertips
highways of black lines converging at the nape
and the delicate parts of her stressed lats
he would be the last to talk her into anything

these massive tattoos on her once naked flesh
preordained, was what she mused
he’d been ink stained and broken pieces for a long time
she’d been a jigsaw right out of the birth box
together, they were hell’s mess
she didn’t mind the chaos
she didn’t mind the pain
she was just tired of minding things
the edge of the bed
a coward’s edge
the fall, two and one-half feet to the polished wood
the jump would be real
the leap symbolic
she was a coward in life
she’d be a coward in death
her arms swept as she channeled Vitruvian Man
eyelids squeezed shut
liquid limbs feigned a flying pattern
off, off, off she leaped
floating gloriously in this unhinged moment
down hard onto the floor

the cat woke, his mocking hiss appropriate
she gazed long into the dressing mirror
the laughter
surprised even her
it was not a raucous guffaw
just an upturn of damp lip with the softest snicker
the winged tattoos
his impassioned idea
twisted around her arms and hands
those she tenderly kissed
spiraling lines blacked-out her back, all the way down to her ass

these stunning inky feathers also took great care to smother out
the life beneath once dying of ennui
those heaven sent dark wings
had lifted her after all


12 thoughts on “the leap

  1. The great thing (well, one of many great things) about this poem is that it effects a “leap” for the reader — the lines, their movement rise up and then cascade down along with the woman’s jump, and it’s an amazing feat, Miss AM. You’re really moving into longer work, and I think it’s thrilling. This piece is so visual/descriptive and the word-play exquisite (and you forced me to have to look up a couple of words, so I thank you for making me expand my vocab today). There’s nothing “static” about this piece at all — it’s all movement, all thrust with after-burners and then one of those little chutes pop out to slow the plane down and the object gently coasts into a landing. Yes, just like that is how it moves! I love this triad:
    “he’d been ink stained and broken pieces for a long time
    she’d been a jigsaw right out of the birth box
    together, they were hell’s mess”
    I’m really jealous of these 3 lines — oh hell, I’m jealous of the whole dern poem … but jealous in the best possible way. It’s inspiring to read pure art and I thank you. And yes, the artwork is wunderbar, always.

    Liked by 1 person

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