where did you go

where did you go?

did you dissipate in the raging prairie winds,
caught in the tall rustling grasses?
did you leap from a hanging outcrop,
out of sight and out of mind to the rocks below?
did you slowly saunter down an open desert road,
listening to insect songs and coyote yips, only the moon as company?
did you dig a hole of despair and burrow into its depression,
melting back into the earth among worms and bugs?

where did you go?

perhaps you climbed a mountain of indifference,
to slide down a stagnant glacier, creeping to the sea.
perhaps you still run an endless, desolate track,
legs trembling, lungs screaming.
perhaps you sit in a corner of a busy room,
watching others, unnoticed.
perhaps you crouched in the sagebrush, hide-and-seek
finally giving up to go anywhere else to play.

where did you go?

sometimes i see you from an abandon barn window, paint peeling, rafters caving, peeking through broken glass out over a fallow field.
sometimes i glimpse you among the trash heaps,threading through discarded things, stench of rot and forgotten wants.
sometimes i feel you skitter across the keyboard,writing traces of what was and never will be again.
sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, an apparition fading as i turn a flashlight in your direction

where did you go?

i feel a chasm where you were, dark, deep, endless.
i grieve, no remnants of hope expanding behind your wake.
i am paralyzed with indecision, wondering when I will leap,
a small unnoticed splash sinking to the bottom,
ripples and bubbles blending back into the sea.

where did you go —
Eros, Philos and Agape?

where did you go, love?

where did you go

cold-blooded

there is a stillness in my bones
hands under my arms for warmth
i try not to move
to think…breathe
perhaps you will not notice me

curled up
in a small place
waiting, knowing you are there, basking lazily in the sunlight
just a few seconds of relief from thoughts
just a few seconds . . .

no matter
if i move or stay still
if i hold my breath or close my eyes
no matter

you’re there, wrapping your enormous body around mine
an entangled dance
squeezing other thoughts out
strangling emotions
whispering breathy words in my ears
talking conversationally about familiar failures
locking eyes with me in mock sympathy, “you poor, poor Thing”

words creep from your lips
sounds i cannot ignore
it milks my agony inside
and strikes with venomous bites, piercing skin

slithering between thoughts of joy
coiling around hints of a smile
devouring whole a skittering hope
charming others through my eyes

bathe and dress
work and cook
participate and talk
drive and walk

cry and rant alone
i keep my distance
at It’s insistence,
snake puppet

cold-blooded

rinse and repeat

stage is set with anger and hatred,
sneers and rage ready for a queue in the wings
she waits, knowing the play of cardinal sins is quickly approaching

she is shaking…the words said out loud to calm do not help
desperate attempts to stop the onslaught go unnoticed
vermilion horror dance begins again

she promises herself this is the last time
her body littered with purple and fading pink
would have flaming, sore fresh marks

“FAIL”
“FAT”
“USELESS”
“UGLY”
“GROSS”
“UNWANTED”
“BURDEN”

Tokyo red lipstick smears as
she tries to stop the flow, her hand to the wounds as they come
one after another…maybe it will clot soon

strikes of indifference and disgust continue
hidden from prying eyes of course, all a hemline away from discovery
she makes a point not to swim anymore, damage made is safe here.

a furious legacy redrawn over and over
she’s helpless to stop the vicious strokes to her torn flesh
battered body of crimes, using any handy tools of carnage

when the show is over, she watches red swirls
disappearing down the tub drain, shower water beating her body
carefully soaping stinging wound areas in order to “Keep it clean” as requested

cutter

rinse and repeat