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

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farmer

furrows plow across the surface
deep gashes opening up
tender, unprotected space.
the dull tool moving slowly over and over
until the furrow hits liquid irrigation
the marking stops
blood and skin piled up tight under fingernails
this row will not be for planting crops
the cutter finds this better than blades
always readily available
convenient, a fingertip away

as time passes
the wounds slowly close
among the weeds of infection
leaving trails of pink and purple
looking like an accidental scrape or burn patch
instead of revealing its true intention
of shame and hate

a shortened seasonal cycle creating
unassuming ridges and newly shaped ponds
daring another to understand this pain
knowing another fallow field
will soon be chosen again

farmer

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