Eve, when you bit into the apple, were there any worms? Naked body, naked body, snake. I gave myself to everyone, my opinions stuck on borrowed sweaters, my fingernails trapped in between teeth I had kissed. How can you give yourself away if you were never really yours? Nothing was yours except the mistake you were forced to make.
Hungry for Things I Have Never Eaten
In 9th grade, I took biology and I longed for a tapeworm in my stomach to keep me company. I did have a parasite growing inside of me just not one I could see. For 5 years I sucked the salt off pistachio shells and the smell of rubber cement made me hungry. My blood stopped tasting like pennies and began to run like water so thick I imagined myself drowning in it. Avoiding life put me in control of what would never happen to me. I never knew it was possible for the world to get so much bigger. Now when I look back on all that I’ve missed, at least I know the reason why.
What color do you see when you look at me? I see blue with you, but me, I’m green, and everything in between. And hello to yellow below in the mellow meadow, where you and I, side by side, colorfully glide in the rainbow tide of us. Maybe now you can be green, and I can be magenta or tangerine.
the flower blooms to burn, the essence of a living metaphor that sways. I contemplate the purpose in my ever-present pessimism to my dismay; do I bloom to burn? a rise and then a fall, condemning me to stay in my solitude, in my servitude, both should drift away to the skies, towards the heavens and creator of the day. a seed and then a bud sprouting with prospect, unaware of what may or may not come to be in life; who is to say? a field of flowers burns turning smoke up to the sky, a poetic disarray. I bloom for me, to feel something, burn whatever may.
by Kevin Flynn
Forsake wanton summer, its tawdry heat and sprawl Come to me in autumn when the first leaves flee shortened days Let us join in sheltered shadow the chill gloam of twilit afternoons Beneath windblown drifts of leaves, in cyan banks of snow we’ll lie in darkness, hearts scarcely beating as snow gathers layer upon layer above We’ll enter into silence, and sleep limbs entwined like roots of giant oak hearts like banked embers As we dream winter dreams
Based on Hokusai; Thirty Six Views of Mt. Fuji; The View from Kajikazawa
by Kevin Flynn
The sea claws the land until only a sliver remains, arched above the void On it, the fisherman plies his craft his lines form faultless tangents over an ocean of cloud, of sky Poised, adrift he wrests his catch from the sea At the far end of the earth, the tip of the horizon His young helper turns, oblivious to his labors Only Fuji observes from the edge of the universe the end of the world
Inheriting the Paper House
You’re gone again, but gnarled words remain, as depressions in the parchment wallpaper hallowed by rite. I’m cut by strife, enchain me in the sappy pungent sapor of your dreams. Swollen, trodden, acrid, framed canvas unnamed and unknown, hung on rusty tack for a pure degree, suburban madness. Preach expectations, don’t talk back. Let our home smolder with sonorous fumes, smother insults – Abuse and shrieking tinder. An anxious flame gutters in my tomb and so, I died the child you knew. Lacking, I sought healing for wounds while you slumbered I forge my dreams and joys unencumbered.
by Brenda Mason
You look so nice, well-dressed in your Sunday best. The pain is tender and deep inside; dull stomach, loose bowels, concrete feet. You step toward the long open box, though you suspect you shouldn’t; Aunt Thelma will surely judge. Step forward. You’re nestled in the nook between him and the cool, red vinyl of his favorite chair, mesmerized by the gentle rise and fall of his soft, warm chest. You listen to him read the Sunday comics, and ask him to explain why it’s funny just so you can hear his voice, because it speaks only to you. Step again. You’re on the park swing, grasping the linked chain to hold your weight. You scream higher as he slowly pulls you back and up, your butt nervously slip, slip, slipping forward on the stiff, plastic seat, when you feel the glorious release of wind separating your hair from your face, your dress from your thighs and your butt slides back into place. He always times it right. One more step. You’re holding the wheel at 10 and 2, with the left blinker on. The light turns green and you thoughtfully lift your foot from the brake and set it on the gas pedal. You check your mirrors, just in case, and begin to turn. Stop he says, while you roll into oncoming traffic--that wasn’t a green arrow? His voice commands go, Go, GO, and you put your body weight against the floor and grip the wheel white. You almost killed him that day. You don’t recall if this was 3 or 4 years ago, but you do remember he never told mom. There. You rest your hand on the painted wooden edge that you helped pick out amongst the windowless pinewood derby chassis, designed to keep the dead from dying. You try not to recall the dark, curtained showroom with its metallic taste of bile. Engulfed in soundlessness, stillness, you look down; look carefully; watch for signs. You know you won’t see anything. Still, he looks like last week. You wonder what it feels like. You know the warmth of his voice, the sureness of his arms, the fragility of his heart. Your hand takes action and grasps his arm. Stunned, sucker-punched by the absence of life, your mind races. Nothing-- nothing ever felt so hard.
[Blue as french]
Blue as french A constellation of lights on the blue jay’s plight Delicate as dew through the brook not ready to return home Studded as a diamond a star shines in the night sky Whisper as a scream the flight takes to the sky Song as a melody the spirit is in its path White as a pearl the moon’s glow keeps the bird alert Soft as silk feathers the shade of sapphires Dance as a step a little extra spring in his perch Break as the dawn with a chill in the air Shine as the sun through the meadow and then home
by Aliza Garza
Icarus, O daring soarer of the sky fearless guise of the divine so entranced by the glory immortal is your story Because of you, they teach us not to fly and oh, how we’ve tried We are confined never too low or too high kept from land and sea we lose ourselves in between
Today, I’m broken
Last night, on CNN, I watched a young woman talk about her brother He was a nurse in New York, his sister said My parents are broken, she said I’m broken too A picture of a smiling handsome young man dressed in scrubs I feel a connection A long time ago, I too was a nurse in an eastern medical center, in Boston Pictures of people lying in hospital beds surrounded by many machines and tubes I was just in New York, in January, in the City I saw it all, the Met, the MoMA – it was beautiful, “The Starry Night” I walked down (or was it up?) 7th Avenue (or was it 8th?) pushing my big blue suitcase I sipped my Carlos Bakery hot chocolate in the cold New York air I was searching for something I left warm Arizona very early that morning to see a show at one of my favorite clubs that evening Today I’m broken, crying, thinking of the smiling young man dressed in scrubs He took care of the sickest people We barely knew what was wrong I give a donation to a New York City foodbank Maybe it will help someone there I send a message to Governor Ducey: I’m broken, please help us
As it lays here with rust on its bones, the body that was once full of life has gone cold. With barely enough energy to move, its system replays what it had wished: of days that were not the same, but full of adventure and funny games. Tell me what happens when the sky rains, when everything seems to change. Do you cling desperately to what is gone or do you face the music and move on from the wrong? It lays there waiting for things to remain, calculating who was to blame. History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes, and look at you, a machine lost in time.