All Dulled Up

I watched you sip your mixer as you stared in the mirror,
glass framed silence for you to contemplate the transformation.
Between the sips a blur of gloss would taint the lip from a mouth

too irresistible to say no to and yet and yet you wiped it off
by staining it that impertinent red you used to say was whore-toned.

You put on your makeup slowly, a smudged self getting rubbed out
when all you had to do was smile and I’d see you, recognise you.
I lay on the bed fascinated, watching a dis-formation blizzard that face
and all I wanted to do was cry lettered tears of books and venture,
of wit and rye, all to fall off my cheeks onto your hands to rub you clean.

The satin slip, the ease of painted lip, you dressed to transform yet
there was no butterfly to find out of your chrysalis, just a battered
moth that had known better days. You looked a million dollars but I
would not have paid a cent for your make over, it made you under,
made you differ from the different you have always been till now.

Standing you turned for my approval, a look in your eyes to say
you didn’t need it anyway, and I could do nothing but smile tightly
at this strangeling in my room that had washed herself dirty,
made herself down by making herself up, and you were absent for me.
No brain no words no jazz, just powder and kohl and false pizzazz.

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Pneumonic Heart

I feel it within me, the drowning.
My lungs are flooded, turbulent waves fill them.
I lie on the bed, awaiting the waters inside
to overlap with themselves and slowly,
like breathing, slowly breach the banks in me.

A wave builds, climbing within, growing,
this tsunami of feeling wells up.
I feel the breach over flow my heartbeat,
push forward up my throat, gurgling,
spluttering as I try to speak.

I cough, droplets of thick black ink,
trickles that escape, seep from my lips,
make snake trails down the sides of my face.
A small stream flood my eyes and nose,
its thickness choking me.

Blackened eyes and mouth open,
a river flows out of me as I asphyxiate,
a death rattle bursts from my chest,
the sound more a purr than a cry,
and you stand over me to watch.

I believe you will save me,
as you crawl on top of my body, hover
over me, I await my rescue,
I see through the inky black your eyes,
and they look back at me unhurried.

I open my mouth to breath,
but the liquid words clog the space,
you lean in to listen, and hear all you need.
You bend your head to kiss me,
and you explode into a tidal wave.

1 in 3

Fate made me a question created at birth
but only raised when death made me age,
the true meaning of a family tree
rooted and written out in clear DNA,
in paths crossed over and over
of scans
of biopsies
of chemical death so slow it sleeps us dead.

I am my mother’s daughter, and she her own,
all matriarchs of a line doomed to abdicate what’s thrown
to hand over the crown too early,
responsibility taken out of clasped hands
to be tossed into those not even lined yet.

And so I too ask, when will I pay my pound of flesh?

Is A Virtue

You paced back and forth, impatient fingers over my skin,
hop-scotched from vertebrae to vertebrae, occasional flutter kiss
the pebble thrown to jump over, and my sighs worked
you out in a workout that would beat your pace
and place the heat that that had you tapping your foot,
clocking your mental watch as you watched the hands over face
to find your hands over my skin placed.

There was a misunderstanding of my stand point,
that a deliberation would be an exhalation
when all you want to do is breathe heavy but in reality
the lost path of you is what makes me heady
so wait sailor, and the weight of this feeling
will bring a more delicately decadent mastery,
a slower awakening rather than this fast burnout.

Paper Dolls

Palm to foot or back to back
I’ll know your skin, the skin you’re in.
A future cut and shaped,
like origami, like child made snowflakes at school.

Time will crease us like paper dolls,
soft sheets from knowing,
finger marks from holding,
tight grips of memory that we will create.

We’ll turn ourselves into pages worth turning,
thumbed corners from revolving laughter,
sometimes smudged words from tears,
but chapters numbered with happiness.

Before I had words I had palms,
feet that tread,
but now I see the words under this skin,
because it’s the skin you’re in.

We fold together
and straighten more true,
paper cuts will only bleed us closer,
because we are cut from papers pure.

I’ll read you gently into the night
and know the meaning
the knowledge of you, all of your pages,
because it made the book of me.

Seamstress Mistress

I piece it together,
coarse thread punctured snippets
that pinch at the pricking.
Black thread for black threads
of warning and evidenced moments,
a crude montage
a memory board
and all I want to do is stop sewing,
to not have to pass my hopes
through the impossibility
that is the eye of a needle.

It started with care and attention,
delicately following a line
that smattered apologies
for each time you winced.
But the more I sewed
the more you broke the seems,
busted out,
bled more
and I would have to wash red sheets,
crying tears for the white days.

The first time you came to me
showed me the wound you had made,
I beat fist against chest
only bruising myself,
and I forgave,
I worked
I mended.
But it was as though the healing
became part of your ritual,
a cleanse you needed
to justify
to passify,
to keep on keeping on.

Now you don’t even say anything,
the scars of past make ups
speak the words for you,
each crude line a sneer
an un-truth
a mark of nothing to you
and everything to me.
You pull up your skirt and I see
the proof jagged and sassed
between your thighs for all to see
who you allow to see.