The softly yellowing light from the hall tosses shadows against the wall. It catches the stubble lining your jaw, ever so quickly it flashes in your eyes and reflects from the waves in your hair.
I’m frozen, blanket pulled around my waist and pillow hugged tight in place of where you should be. You stand shyly while your eyes seem to gloss over me. We’re here, only feet away, but there’s a thin veil of reality guarding the way.
You move steadily through my room though your eyes see straight through me. Your smile, perhaps not meant for me, sends waves of anticipation, pure pleasure, cascading down my arms.
I reach for your hands, the seemingly knowing comfort of your arms, my fingers gently stirring the thin mists guarding us from real and fiction. Each ripple in the foggy veil, more violent than the last, sends shocks through time; beginning to distort this moving picture at my bedside. Your eyes of adoration transform to looks of condemnation.
Missiles from a past long forgotten explode at my feet, stirring runaway memories. Noxious fumes and pretty perfumes take hold, guiding my stumbling trip along nightmare lane. Your visage, dark, brooding and all at once silly and loving, is no stranger behind the veil.
Without warning the undulating mist falls away. All at once I find I remember everything.
I did a few of these then stopped for several weeks due to my work load (at my actual job and my grad school work). Luckily I’ve found myself with a slight bit of breathing room … or the possibility of killing men just watch them die if I didn’t get a chance to space out soon … So here I am.
Destiny did not prepare the gardener for the sight which greeted him in the morning sun. The noble daughter, sweetly sipping tea while admiring roses, and her gentleman courter writhing in dewy grass. Life did not prepare him to grab the unwitting belle and drag her to a horse.
“You have to go.”
“I will not.” Thin arms surrounded his neck.
Romeo ushered his Juliet onto the nearest mare with a promise he would not be far behind.
I wish I could say the story is only similar in name.
Swallow your pride, it’s a bitter pill but it’s better this way.
Say the things you know will sting, slaps against the grain.
Anything to make you walk away.
Swallow arsenic words, poisonous to all around us.
Anything to protect you from the mess I’ve become.
He was right you know,
Selfishness choked me on the way down
And I never deserved you.
Spin me into sweet melodies,
They slide down easier than reality.
Anything to hide the truth of what we’ve done.
Once I tried to take a handful of bitter pills
To forget your name, forget your face,
Forget the way I had you stamped in that place.
I fell down, busted my brain instead.
Now my thoughts leak and blend fact with fiction,
I can’t tell anymore what was real and what was just part of the mission.
All because we tried to swallow little bitter pills,
Is it better this way?
I hear they have a pill to answer
To straighten out our brains.
I don’t know, what do you think?
Maybe seeing stars isn’t a bad thing
If the answer is swallowing our pride
And staying side by side.
When I was a little girl I pressed my nose against the glass of my dad’s old Volkswagen as we passed under bridges in the city. I puffed great smokey blasts of fog to draw little hearts and “hellos” in as the sleeping men tossed in their bags.
“Dad, why don’t we help them?”
“They have to help themselves first.”
There was a woman beneath the bridge today snapping pictures of our homeless communities. Preserving our tents and bags in rough black and white photos for exhibit.
I want you to read to me when I’m sick;
Lying in bed, tossing and turning,
Heart racing and head spinning,
Vision shaking and hands quaking.
I want you to gently sing
The psalms of old poets to clear
What’s left of my mind.
I won’t be angry
If you cover your face;
If you call this a contaminated place.
I just want you to brush matted hair aside
And say ‘I love you’ one last time.