fake flowers in an outdoor garden I’ve buried
tracks inside a puma’s paw leading outside the cave
my hands place glass beads beneath your naked feet
crush and drink the blood
tacky paper for trapping wingless appellations
where many thoughts stick then expire
rather like the spider spinning threads too thin for binding
I am here, always in your black places
thinking on a bridge, crossing soil to sand
’tis a fine thing to sleep construct with glass balloons
bursting when I wake
inside my lava chest, a torrent of hot ash
running the length of my breast and tangling my legs
I will return to my chilled sheets at moonrise
rebuild the span of me, you have not yet found
only the tunnel to my nightmares is wide open
She keeps her Siamese Fighting fish in a glass bowl
Gravel glimmering in aquatic blues and mermaid greens
A solitary fish might believe lake, or better yet, ocean
The pet store suggests Sammy live alone,
otherwise he might kill his friend
The red-orange Betta is fire under water
She is fire under water too
Her lavender room is a glass bowl
She and Sammy swim in tiny circles in small worlds
A wooden peace sign beneath her bed
Painted with glitter and all the paint jars within reach on the picnic table
Long wooden benches occupied with sweaty kids who whittled words into tiny canoes from two-by-four scraps
The wood, leftover construction from a nearby development
She swims in a luxurious new home
many rooms, many spaces, glass bubbles, no air
The peace sign is tacked behind Sammy’s bowl
It reminds her of summer camp, a happy temporary time
She grows into autumn alone
The seasons, solitary
A huge house and a small fishbowl
You press my eyelashes to my face, so I can sleep
You understand how latent images frighten me
Linger-ers of things no longer here
Specters of visions previously forgotten
My REM world has no room for ghosts,
when my daily world explodes with spiriting insanity
The floating muses who once fed me fire are burning away my soul
Half the time, I want to die
The other half, I need you
You hum my favorite song to me, even though you think a tune from,
Mr. Magoo’s: A Christmas Carol, is ridiculous
“…millions of grains of sand on the shore, why such a lonely beach…”
Taunting demons keep the headless roosters raving in my head
I badly need your sweet notes, like cotton clouds, to muffle these assaults
There is an empty slope on your side of the mattress
I smell your assuring body in the pillows–
beautiful lips in the sheets
Your undisturbed water glass has collected my tears
Singing silence, is a sound worse than death
Death, is a sound the earth hums when her children return home
I’ve sliced off my eyelashes
Shoved broken toothpicks against my sockets
Stare at the television without blinking
Click the remote
Latent creatures slither into my eyes
Crawl up the sides of my brain–
rip at the cracks of my skull
They whisper horrid things to the better part of me
I will dance with demons
I will romance angels
I will scream at the Holy Spirit
I will allow all manner of vindictive specter–
every hellacious image of the night to dwell within my soul
I will not desist until you rest beside me again
I am not supposed to be here without you
Shuffling on the dry balls of your padded paws.
Impermanence, your affliction.
Hard exacting breaths from decades of sauntering.
Protesting each movement to fling earth’s weight from your mind.
The weight must land elsewhere.
No more burning up the open plains.
Alive with dullness.
You, a bitter lioness.
Working bones unasked for fractional effort.
Heart wanting recompense from both moon and sun.
Roaring from miles away at injustices served.
Laying waste to shared land.
Sour notes break into others’ dreams.
The bitter lioness will disappear.
Upon the shrinking sands, an old lion slaughters its cubs.
And all other reminders of its imminent death.
Upstairs, in the furthest corner of the house–in a bedroom larger than it has the right to be–the walls are slathered in lullaby-warm, dusky peach.
The winter blanket I sleep beneath matches this room perfectly.
On the far side of the room, an antique reading lamp casts a mellow ochre light beneath its hat of threadbare tassels.
Late at night, in the silence of a tired soul, I tuck below awaiting the fantasy of summer warmth.
My body slides from twitching toes to sweating skull cap, then I melt into the walls.
I am lullaby-warm, dusky peach.
It is here I unabashedly linger between chalk sheetrock and stunted two-by-fours.
I know well the reason I place my heart within this breathless structure.
The awareness of my soul painted into the latex is my acknowledgement of one simple truth:
Living in these walls is the only way I will ever provide shelter for my children.