shadows climb the wall
carvings of monsters with pitchforks
their horns and halos sway in a tall line
a black curtain, rising
dread with your candle flame flickering, imagining
dark, fire-breathing, and in one gulp, swallowing
you, in your long robe and nightcap
they come closer
you cringe and slowly peer
and find only the bunny slippers
at your feet.
I should have been an architect. I should have pursued a career that had something to do with math. Something measurable and calculable. Something you could take apart, make sense of and put back together. Not poetry. Not the irrational matters of the heart.
But here I am. I write constantly. On the computer. At home. At work. I type and type and type. I text message and email myself words and more words. Attempting to save and catalog everything. Like math.
Like the heart is not something breakable, too.
I scribble on bar napkins. I pretend that their bleeding inky letters do not accurately reflect how I feel most of the time. On the verge of tears. Slipping. Wrecked. Running out of paper. Space to breathe. Space to exist--
but... that's not entirely true. (Writer, stop exaggerating.) MOST of the time, I am fine. I am so "fine," in fact, that no one would even notice the exact brink of catastrophe toward which I loom. I hide well beneath a highly-trained facade. Performer extraordinaire. I watched my father fake his way through every social interaction of my childhood. While he turned his real face, his depressed face, toward me.
Most people will not see my own.
I write. I scribble. I draw in the corners--cubes and three-dimensional triangles. Shapes of containment. Boxes to trap in whatever it is that I am feeling. Overwhelmed, mostly.
When the pressure is soothed by neither fuel nor fire, nor drink, nor pen, I wander down to 8th Street. Corner apartment. 4th floor. Crossing is the only one who understands.
Alison, aka "Crossing" :
She was tired of his rough drafts. They always seemed too rigid. Too impenetrable. Like a kid with his fingers stuffed in his ears, singing, "La-la-la, I can't hear you !" What good would it do to edit and proof someone's work, when they never planned on changing the stuff in the first place ? Just going through the motions. Him, writing. Her, reviewing. Him, unaltered. Her, frustrated.
they are big shoes to fill
little one, with saucer-eyes
all leaders, world-changers and old souls
have felt this way and never
been handed a straight and narrow
path to follow, yours, too,
will morph and shift and how you
the shape of your destiny
will so much determine
there's a footprint in tiny white
blonde sugar sand particles
sticking to the underside of my fingers
so that every touch leads
to a fondness of memory imprinted
on soft land
every brush, a letter to ourselves.
when the roar of the opposition surrounds you
when the gust seems impermeable
as the concrete walls
and no surface
on the sturdy ladder
and hands held, we
will sing into the wind.