what

what do you see?

a flattened squirrel, its tail waving as cars pass
a scar, still seeping, drawn from the right to left side of a face
hazy, yellow valley smog, tainting living creatures and building structures
dead, marred, polluted

what do you feel?

a roiling stomach of acidic, spicy food daring to reveal itself to everyone
a finger nail broken past the quick, raw, aching, persistent
dog running loose from street to street, nose looking for a sign of home
acrid, broken, panicked

what do you smell?

a person ignored on a busy downtown street, urine and filth a trailing veil
a cloud of green, stagnant pond scum by a forgotten, dilapidated dock
skunk mating season in full swing, the perfume wafts through the air
shamed, infected, stench

what can you touch?

a heaping landfill of the discarded: half eaten food, unwanted things, infested with vermin
an bare hand stuck to ice in subzero wind and snow, unmoving blue and white
Rotting barn, leaning all the way to the right, windows touching ground, gray boards rotting
unneeded, frozen, abandoned

What do you hear?

a rock exploding through a living room window, a jagged-toothed view in an instant
a cloud of flies dancing about a kelp-wrapped crab, one claw gone
crashing car and train, the screech and moan of metal crushing, flesh splitting…dragging
ruined, rotted, maimed

What you saw, what you felt
what you smelled, what you touched
what you heard, what you now know
is me

pond scum

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moving on

he works to peel the callous off of her left third finger
a subtle reminder of what was and yet wasn’t for too long
leader for the couple, a donkey dragging a cartload along
never getting to the summit of the hill

no indentation now, but the mark remains, encircling as a faint reminder
no amount of lotion can fix this
she wonders…
will this ever leave her body and go away?

dishes, silverware and his favorite chair gone
empty drawers and gaping closet spaces
one car in the double garage
only a place setting needed for dinner

alone, happier, and so is he
both smiling more
a strange outcome
she knows not often this happens

she should be thankful the ending was so mild
but he has always been that way
not initiating anything often
never fighting for her, even in the end

he said ‘i love you’ with words
without the back up of actions
did she expect too much?
did she force this all to change and he let it roll off into what is was now?

no matter, it was over and done
papers signed with not much emotion
the comfort of ‘them’ now erased of the whiteboard
a few quick strokes of the pen, we to “i’s” in seconds

not as in the beginning with ritual, no satin and lace
no flowers or well wishes and toasts
just the awkward sympathy of those who are told
and now, she starts her life again

moving on

roller coaster

buckled in for this ride
up down up down, cotton candy roiling in my gut and throat
no hands in the air to enjoy the wind
eyes squeezed tight on the wrenching drops to depths below
screaming as i plunge towards the murky blue cement pond
relieved in during straight parts and climbing to repeated summits

twists which elevate me from the duct-taped seat, i grip the bar with white knuckles
round loops, looking down at cigarette butts and trampled maps littering the ground
knowing i will always end down there with the trash
the ride slows, then stops with a hiss and a jerk on level tracks
i climb out with wobbly legs, unsteady steps
reluctantly boarding, no choice but to ride this roller coaster

wondering if i will ever cease this carnival ride
this rusted, shaky attraction ruling my days and nights
or if living with this disease will be forever
hopelessly doomed to rinse and repeat again and

again

and

again

roller coaster