poetry

rage and love, wings and claws

you’ve always been able to hear words to see them, picture them behind closed eyelids but i can taste the syllables and feel the letters, their thorns and petals                           trace my hands over them like they were the notches in your spine

you could look at me and say “coffee” and it would taste like burnt Folgers and mountain air                                                                                                                                                 and salt running down my cheeks

it would feel like running my fingers over the rocks on the edge of the river i was raised in                                                                                                                                                              it would feel like getting splinters on the bottom of my feet from sitting on nostalgic wooden porches

you say “coffee” like a cacophony of broken memories and i can feel the vibrations in my bones

i can run my thumb over the people i’ve learned, the people i’ve been. their stories bend open like they were a book and i was prying apart the spine.

you can say “grief” and mine will be unparalleled to yours. they’ll have the same meaning, same consonants, same iambic pentameter                                                                   but yours tastes like honey and mine is whiskey that burns the back of our throats

it tastes like i cut myself on the crown of thorns over my head, on my fingers, on my wrists
(blood drips over a sacrilegious cupid’s bow, my knuckles are stained red)
it tastes like forgive me, forgive me, forgive me
it tastes like the smell of gunpowder wrapped around a cerebral lobe. the cracks in my ribs were born from recoil and haphazardly decided soulmates. (there are crystals forming where my heart used to be)
it feels like bruised kneecaps from falling

to

the

floor when you watch a heartbeat for the last time

now, it feels like tires screeching on 2 am pavement and the sting of a tattoo needle,       (if you look close enough, you can see blood and ink collide in the water, a war that’s been raging for years)
it feels like a muscle reflex, a flick of a finger, anger blooming where love used to be

it feels like a point between awake and asleep; smoke curled up around tired eyelids and electricity humming inside veins                                                                                                 now i’m an electric lover; the lightening and then the thunder

when you say “home” i can taste the saltwater and the rain                                                        i can feel pavement under my body, a beacon to the lonely and the restless; home is a fluid place with the consistency of syrup

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poetry

But you, Oh God

You cannot raise a child with spell-books tucked under her arms or superstition carved into her skull and expect her to not wear her pride on her skin. You cannot show her the wilderness inside her and not want her to grow wings. You watched her, with dirt under her fingernails, blood coating her knuckles, as she found magic; you stoked the love inside her until it burnt her to nothing. Now she is here, a cacophony of the people who rebuilt her, a dragon among the men. She has been to the cathedral and learned the words in Latin. She engraved them on her heart and when they rejected her, she found a different god. She wears a crown of thorns and destroys herself so that her flesh can match her blood. You made her, you made her, she made herself the ravens scream at night. You gave her a name that meant “light bringer, light carrier” and forgot that mythology has bestowed those creatures of death the same burden. You gave her compassion and a need for solitude; you raised a wolf in place of a girl. When she laid her soul bare on her skin, you wept for the innocence lost and she wept because it was finally unerringly visible. She is part of the cycle, the thread that runs through the circle of time. The day she was born was a day that signified the end, the beginning, and all the other pieces thrown haphazardly in the dark. Shards of the people before landed on ribs in a way that turned her into a weapon. You tried to contain her in one universe and found that she cannot be restricted to a single space.

She grew up learning tarot cards as an extension of herself. The moon and the carnivores are her companions. She hurdled over her fear of the dark, embracing it in scarred arms. She became a book witch, a bone witch, a water witch. She changed her hair, her blood, her voice. There’s a rage inside her that you wouldn’t believe, a love inside her like you couldn’t imagine. She learned that she felt everything all at once and that it was her ultimate undoing. She understood that it would destroy her, so she tried to destroy herself, instead. She loved so outstandingly hard, with such violent fervor, that she ripped holes in her chest that had to be sewn back together with ice and fire. The people she loved tried to take her wings and forgot she had claws. There’s a restlessness inside her that sings for home home home but she chose to be an ambassador of change – she has no home except herself. Her soul is a haunted house broken, broken, rebuilt. 

Grief and rage carry themselves like matches inside her veins. She turns to words, tries to create poetry, when nothing is left – when everything has been burnt away. She is a piece of stained glass, a religious experience gone wrong.

And when they told her that she would never be able to love someone until she loved herself,

she replied “Bullshit. I have never loved myself. But him, Oh God, I loved him so much I forgot what hating myself felt like”

 

raven tattootarot fingersz 1tarot fingersz 2

 

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