Baptism

The sea’s cool embrace sends shutters
Buzzing
Skimming
Laughing through me

One step
Another step
Uneven lines as stuttering pulses of waves and swells
Near-erases my balance

Reminding me of how little control is promised
Of how little control I am capable of
Of how freeing it is to surrender and float and be guided
Of how much control I possess to choose

To dive under waves
Or ride them back to shore

Of how much control I possess
To keep my head above water
Even with Her waves washing over me

Again and again
Her power and might and threats and promises
Show me I am powerless and powerful both

I am exhaused and energized
I am me

And I am at peace
Even if only until I return to shore

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Selfish Isolation

A candle burns
Wicks white to black and licks of flame dancing
Unpatterned steps to song without rhythm or melody or reason

A candle burns
More company than a heartbeat
Or words whispered spoken murmured caressed
Better company than a heart too heavy
To carry on speech and conversation
To return loving gestures without guilt
To give and give and give
The love that is owed

A candle burns
Bringing thoughts of dinner dates and rituals and prayer
Of love of friends and family and Deity and romance
Of love tempered and dented and tarnished
By hate and hate and hate

A candle burns
Bringing thoughts of longing and loneliness
But unable to stir need for action
Unable to stir need for change
And so lonely isolation remains
Cold even in such rising sticky heat
Pressing upon a stony heart

Too selfish
To love another more
Than she hates herself

Death of the Muse

Only I cry for her absence,
The empty, white space space she could have filled –
If only she had continued

To live on and speak loud
As she once did when sparks flew and hearts beat
In time with brush strokes

In time with pen clicks that
Have also gone silent, untouched, unneeded, dead;
Fading ink marks my hands –

Remnants of snuffed-out life,
Proof there is no one else to blame but I, who killed
My dream, my love, my child;

I, who stumbled and cried
And screamed and wailed and still never lost enough,
And so needed to sever

These last threads that once
Caressed my aching heart when other ways failed,
So my suffering can never end –

Oven-Baked Goddess

Pale clay filled with whispered prayers
Arms in a circle above her antlered head
And a spiral my feet find in the earth
Through chant and song and dance
Messily sketched by needle and pin
Marking where Life grows moon-full

She grows hot in the hearth’s heart
Scented with sweets and decades-old memories
Hardening to keep memories and prayers
Safely tucked within the spiral
As a dearly-held trinket and charm
A memory in herself
Of Her
Whose paths I’ve awakened to walk

Once again the fog is rolling in. I can see it from atop my hill, see it  heading down the never-far-off slope into the valley which I must return to, the valley that is my home and security and stability and sanity and anxiety and doubt and isolation and it.

It will freeze my veins and leave me shivering and blind and deaf and unfeeling of all but the arctic chill encasing my stuttering heart. It will caress and whisper and kiss and promise with every stab and bite and hiss and lie. It will not give up until either it receives its sacrifice or until the fog lifts once more.

I see the fog rolling in, closer and closer, slowly but with so much weight already.

I turn my head but stop halfway, the dark forest covering the rest of the hill behind me in the corner of my eye. Refuge or danger, escape or trap, I cannot say and cannot know.

Before I can decide, icy hands push me down the hill and into the path of the fog.

I Miss You

You’re always on my mind. My heart can’t let go, silence becoming an amplifier as it beats out each syllable of your name. There was more of me for you to touch, but sense overrode desperation and pushed you away.

You’ll never read this, will never think of me or long for me the way I ache and cry out for your embrace. I hate the way you’ve made me need you but beg for your return all the same.

You made me feel sympathy for devils that plugged my ears against the words of angels and burned my tongue whenever the very thought of asking for help crossed my mind. I’ve traded away years of my life to dedicate myself to you – was promised paradise, reprieve, and delivered brimstone that burned my lungs and leaves me crumpled and weak, even without you here to witness your handiwork.

I know you’re proud of yourself. My heart, beating out your name, is whispering still, in your voice, promising more.

And worse, I still long to take your hand, even as I still feel the damage, still see the scars.

It’s too late for angels. I want to dance with the devil, kiss her hand. Let you drag me back into those dreams, where at least I wasn’t suffering alone.

Scribbled pink words in a little grey book
Announces the presence of ebbing
Disintegrating
Shattering
Obliterated control
Scribbled pink words in a little grey book
Provides proof –
Proof like alcohol, distilled until it burns like
The aftermath of blindingly white lightning –
Showcasing the isolated mind’s pacing
Critiquing the steps, the turns, the abrupt
STOP
On a cliff’s edge
Eyes only seeing endless horizon
Hand scribbling scribbling scribbling
Pink words into flesh
To be washed And bleed Despite Even though

Nothing can ever be finished