seesaw

the hard wood seat splinters slightly on her calloused backside
as the red plank with flaking paint moves up and down
IT peers across the seesaw,
grinning, food suck between rotting teeth

“every time you go up, I win a little more
bit by bit, or shall I say
bite by bite?
you are mine. you know this will never stop,” IT snickers

your false wit is not appealing she says to herself

up and down
and again
and again

she knows it is the small or large things, one nibble or gulp here and there
harmless alone, devastating over time
the little lies IT whispers softly in her mind
making her think constantly about food, gnawing down her worth with every mouthful

IT knods “yes, you are getting it right now
you can’t resist the delcious poison, whale
food is your friendly enemy
you can’t just stop, it doesn’t work that way”

she tries none, she tries limiting, she tries in desperation to purge it… to exercise it away,
fuck me, she whispers

up and down
and again
and again

she sits up straight on the seat,
hoping to keep her belly and waist from touching her tightening shirt
breathing shallowly to not feel that material expand
knowing the size up would be much better anyway

“won’t matter, bubbles, if you sit better
it doesn’t change much and certainly not your body shape.
It giggles, your tightening skin and stretch marks are still here.
I’m not going anywhere and neither are the well-meaning chiding of others”

the bastards of well-meaning are not that, she whimpers, wanting to bury her body in the dirt out of sight

up and down
and again
and again

she fights back and promises herself to be stronger
to exercise
to watch was goes into her mouth
yet IT wiggles back into her brain again

“hurry and get that down, you have no time
eat it in the car
you need to sleep this AM and not the gym
you deserve chocolate and dessert…rough day all around, sweetheart” IT coos

she swears at herself, mouth watering at the prospect of sweets

up and down
and again
and again

sometimes she pushes off from thin back up into the sky, because it’s bound to happen anyway
sometimes she fights IT to stay down,
until the monster pounds from above and she relents
IT laughs on the descent,her repeated failure noted with an audience of onlookers

the jiggle of her stomach, breasts and upper arms
the teeter totter slamming up into the sky, her ass airborne again
she holds on for dear life,
blisters forming on her wide palms

she wonders what would happen if she just let go?
would the fall kill her?
would she be on her own?
leaving IT to slam back to the dirt?

“nothing,” IT says, “nothing will happen, my plump pumpkin”

and she pushes off into the sky, believing IT

seesaw

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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

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

antimatters

what does it matter
if i do what they want me to do
if i plan, shop and feed them food
if i get a perfunctory thank you sometimes
if the right words are said to make me respond
if i get online and play or if i don’t
if i skip a blog and stop writing anything down
if i make sure stuff gets done at the house
if i do everything that is expected
what does it matter

what does it matter
if i change my hair
if i change my weight, thinner, fatter, fatter still
if i stop creating
if i stop singing
if i stop trying to think of one thing in my life i am proud of for that fucking therapy list
if i realize i can’t write one thing down that is not soured, spoiled, rotten or ultimately fail
if i stop doing anything else
what does it matter

what does it matter
if i clean off all my personal stuff at work
if i dump all kinds of crap from the house
if i purge the pain of a now unused past life
if i pitch ill fitting clothes
if i trash stuff i don’t create with anymore
if i remove all traces i existed
if i just leave it all for them to deal with
what does it matter

what does it matter
if i cry for the life i lead
if i cry for the life i can’t lead
if i am stuck missing what i can’t have
if this ache in my body wears me down to my core
if despair never leaves even when i laugh
if i can make people think all is good by sucking it up and putting on a face
if all i think about is how i hate what i’ve done to myself, to my life
if no matter what i try, nothing really changes
if no hope is around me other than for fleeing moments left as reminders to torture me
if i cant stop crying at random times
what does it matter

what does it matter
if someone else takes my job over
if people stop guilting me into relationships
if i stop playing online games and reading books
if i stop doing anything else
if i just sit and look at a wall for hours
if i stop talking to people around me
if all there is left of me is nothing interesting
if people go on and leave me behind
what does it matter

what does it matter
if i drive my car into a garage
if i put down the garage door
if i leave the car on and roll down the windows
if i gun the engine and fill the car with exhaust
if i just sit there and wait for it all to finish
if i breathe in and out and sleep
if i pass from this sorry, frustration and fail
what does it matter

what does it matter
if i am gone
if life goes on
if others take my place
if others fill my shoes
if i fade into fleeting memories
if finally there is nothing left to remember
if it comes to the fact that it matters not in the long and short of it
it doesn’t matter.

will you burn what is left?
will you my scattered ashes in the strong prairie winds?
will you let my tempest of last emotion roar in your ears?
will you watch the gray flakes as they settle in the soil to nourish the tall grasses?
will you help me become something that matters?

antimatters

for what it’s worth

a rag doll, dropped and forgotten, under a rusted fender on an oil stained driveway
one muddy tire track decorated her back from right to left

“There you are,” the little monster said and grabbed the doll’s leg
“Hiding in plain sight I see,” as IT dragged the her behind it’s strides

the doll, face down, rubbed roughly against the concrete sidewalk
her dress above her head, her white underwear stained by a muddy puddle splash

“Gross, look at your underwear!” IT chided.
“You are never clean,” shaking ITs head in mock sadness

no one saw when a button eye, threads finally giving way,as it rolled to the grass
the doll’s one eye watched as her other slowly faded from sight

“Can’t you see what you have done to yourself?”
“Don’t you know how ugly you are? Gross!”

IT crossed a road, tangling the doll’s head with cigarette butts, bits of litter and sticky chewed gum
“I wish you would take better care of your hair,” flicking a glance of distaste in the her direction

IT cut across a lawn where the big dog lived and dragged her though a fresh pile
When IT climbed the chain link fence, the doll’s an arm caught at the top

“Hurry up, we are late!” yelled IT, tugging her leg roughly.
The doll’s arm ripped at the seam and dropped to the big dog’s lawn, a new chew toy for later

“Now look what you’ve done, well, it’s your own fault for flailing your arms that way.”
IT kept moving, grinding grass and mud into her tattered clothes as her stuffing guts trailed behind.

The monster stopped and looked at the beaten rag doll
With one motion, shot a great arc, deposited it in the dumpster

“Two points!” IT cheered and walked on, “See, loser, you really don’t care about yourself, freak”
The rag doll looked up at a cloud passing, as it waited on top of plastic bags of rotten food

wondering what stink would bury her soon
to cover her shame

for what it's worth

what IT is

“you know I am right
I will win,” IT speaks softly in my head
like a secret from a child…or love whispers

“I am your personal acid bath
peeling away layer after layer of skin
making your bones white as snow as I bubble happily

“I am piranhas biting your flesh
schooling you in your failures
as you dissolve, skeleton resting on the soft Amazon river bottom.

“I am the black crows, waiting for a car to pass
swooping down to your flattened carcass of a life
pulling pieces of you to devour slowly

“I am the tornado
picking up your lifeless body
broken, arms and legs jutting at weird angles, tossing you into a corn field

“I am the quiet skittering black widow
patiently navigating your tennis shoe strings
just a little love bite, dear, it won’t last long.

“I am darkness in an underground cave
wedging your body tighter into a crevice
no water, no light, not hope of rescue

“I am your truth and destruction
your failure cheerleader
I will win, loser.”

IT slithers away while I watch
knowing another visit, another psychological beating
will happen again…and soon

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