Thursday, February 1, 2018

Three Feet to the Left

I feel like I'm living my life about three feet to the left
I'm seeing through eyes that see myself as a joke
My ghost follows close to my body, it points and laughs --
And yet my lips stay pinned to my teeth

I grasp my own ankles and I pick up my own feet
I move my own mouth with my own thumb and forefinger
Functioning is meticulous, and timeless, and hard
So much so that sometimes my stomach forgets to rumble
Or my brain forgets to sleep

And so bruises rise to meet my skin
In places I've never known my skin to bruise
Once purple and hot, they yellow like daisies
And I run together, muddy, like a watercolor

I don't want my stains to touch you right now
You've finally washed out yours to a pale pink
And my colors will bleed into yours again like the last time
And the time before that

Because where my absent body kisses your blank skin,
I see the red feathering like ink on wet paper
And I'm helpless to the paths it traces like plague through innocent veins
I wish it would just stop so I could help you blot away the worst of it

But it's hard to move your hand when you need a hand to move it
And it's hard to blot when you can never remove it
Because every time I place a finger to your frame
It blossoms with color like a mark of my shame
And no one can tell me that these colors aren't vile
Because the reds taste like blood and the yellows like bile
And I know they're unnatural against your pure shape
Because the garish procession sounds like rape
So I keep my hand to my chest and to mine alone
Because my colors already run down to the bone
And my ghost is the keeper of my tainted fingers
To smother my inks in my own drowning figure


  1. Vivid imagery, as always! I enjoyed how the last section transforms into a series of couplets.

    Sarah: Thanks for commenting on my recent Word Count Wednesday post. It's hard to devote ourselves to art when we've got bills to pay, mouths to feed, and classes to take and/or teach. I've been having much more success with little things (picture books) rather than big (novels).

  2. Thank you very much!!

    And of course, I love reading your blog. I've been trying to do the same, with the little things. I can only hope that this summer will be prolific!! :)