Schwinn

I hold the iron rail tightly.

Chains scarring painted skin.

You left me here all winter, dear.

I’m rusted to the core.

 

Don’t try to break me free.

I won’t hold you up for long.

My legs will creak –

You will fall, dear.

I was old ‘fore you were born.

 

Zipped bags say you’re leaving.

Like you always do.

I’ll find a home in pavement, dear.

Don’t cry –

You did this on your own.

 

I said shut up.

No one will care.

They know your type, dear.

Please –

Don’t burden them, too.

 

 

 

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The Carousel

I am three years old

And the carousel makes its rounds:

This horse is white,

That horse is brown.

How do they gallop?  I ask my father.

They are alive, he says.  It’s magic.

I am ten years old

And the carousel makes its rounds:

This horse is wood,

That horse is bound.

How do they gallop?  I ask my father.

They are alive, he says.  It’s the machine.

I am seventeen years old

And the carousel makes its rounds:

This horse in tears,

That horse creaks under

Too many pounds.

How do they gallop?  I ask my father.

They are alive, he says.  That’s how I imagine it.

(Like last week, you can frighten your foes with the original version.)

Lunch at Noon

He tossed together:

Lettuce,

Mushrooms,

Cheddar,

And peas.

Salad.

 —

He stacked hungrily:

Buttery bread,

Fatty ham,

Butter,

And onions.

Sandwich.

He poured carefully:

Coffee,

White milk,

In a glass,

A fragile glass.

Latté.

 —

He stepped

On the stairs.

And

            He

                      Fell.

(Confuse your friends with the original version.)

Haikus, I

20/12/2014

The airport is glass

And children are specimens.

Cameras watch, above.

21/12/2014

Relatives gather

Around an exotic center.

It scares them, they leave.

22/12/2014

Pills make her vomit

Or almost, in the steel sink.

Is this sadness’ cure?

23/12/2014

Scissors near the face

And is that light really green?

The world is panic.

24/12/2014

The bread has been burnt.

A blackened external crust.

Butter saves this loaf.

25/12/2014

Gathering again

In a claustrophobic room.

Of course, politics.

26/12/2014

 Nearly eleven

Things are lonely already.

“Kids need both parents.”

A Carol

Hodie the child rolls from its cocoon, slimy with its mother’s insides.  They dunk it in water and determine its gender.

Hodie it shrieks a morpheme.  Its teachers snap to attention with their pens gripped between their bony fingers.  They cannot miss the wealth of information that is pouring from its tongue.

Hodie it holds onto something and uses that as a crutch for the rest of the day.  They stick mattresses under it so it won’t be broken.

Hodie she sings for the first time.  She’s sharp; but she feels so wonderful in her new, pink dress.  It is better than shrieking.

Hodie she learns that lines are dangerous.  She makes her own maps.

Hodie she doesn’t understand why what supports her feet is of so much concern to them.  They send her away because educating to the tune of questions is too much work.

Hodie her skin falls away and she grows a new one.  It isn’t horribly comfortable, but she will have to deal with it if she wants to make friends.

Hodie reality is no longer acceptable to it.  It makes do with the poetry of the pencil and the secret language of Poe.

Hodie she bathes herself in icy blue to dull the sting of the outside.

Hodie she buries herself in layers of armor and they roll her over in her sleep.  A beetle, defeated.

Hodie numbers are what she must avoid, for the lock her in the present.  If days were gifts, they must have come from a dumpster.

Hodie she leaps onto the palate and chooses a color.  She paints herself from head to toe.  This is what she is.

Hodie lines are all there are.  She dares not cross those lines.

Hodie her mouth opens, but nothing useful comes out.  Questions shouldn’t be asked, she knows, and no proper comment can she make.

Hodie she sings and it is perfect.  Her dress shrieks around her, squeezing her arms with its itchy elastic and suffocating her legs with every step.

Hodie the television-tray stands permanently in the living room.  She folds with it when they aren’t looking.

Hodie she holds onto something and makes it her own.  They wrestle her to the ground: “That thing could snap your bones in half.”

Hodie its words are quiet and controlled.  Its teachers ignore it and know it will do well, regardless of whether or not it seems intelligent.

Hodie it rolls from its bed, slimy with sweat and nightmare and drool.  It dunks itself in water and determines its gender.

The Anxiety ABCs

A is for Anxiety, the subject of this list.

B is for the Blanket that gets wadded in my fist.  Crap, crap.  I’m regressing one-thirteenth of the way in.

C is for the Counselors, who could not tell what was wrong.  She said it was all in my head, and another one really thought I was faking it to “look cool.”

D is for Doctor, and her circled nurses’ throng.  Her hands are really cold and firm.  Ouch.

E is my Elementary school, where I dazed in reverie.  I never knew the content of the lessons.  I never did my homework.  What was I doing?  What was I thinking?  It’s also Escitalopram.

F is for the Father who never forgave me.

G is the Grace, who did the best she could.  Thank you for ignoring me, sometimes.  I mean it.  No sarcasm, here.

H is for the Hate I have for ruined childhoods.  I’m so sorry, Grace, for making a mess of what could have been some awesome years.

I is for the “I” of me, do I speak of that too much?

J is my Jolting heart, whenever I am touched.  What if I get raped?  What if I get raped?  What if I have a baby?  I don’t want it to hate itself.  What if he rapes me?

K is Kindergarten, where I learned I didn’t fit in.  What was playing?  Why did all the girls wear pants?  How is getting dirty okay?

L is Love, which may never pass my thickened skin.  It’s basically rape.

M is all my Memories, blown up and torn to shreds.  What happened at that party?  But you were – me?  No.  That can’t be right.  Who was watching?

N is Nothing – might I be, when I’m dead?

O is for Ophelia; I don’t know why it must be she.  I don’t know why she has become the symbol for the distressed female.  I respect her character, but I don’t identify with her.

P is for a French phrase: Vous me faîtes Peur, mon ami.

Q is for the Questions.  Do I ask too many?  Am I being weird?  How does my hair look?  Did I say too much again?

R is Regression into my mind, body, and soul.  I’ve never been older than twelve, in some aspects.

S is all my Stress, digging the six-foot hole. Also, Sertraline

T is all my Time constraints: Up at five, breakfast at eight, lunch at one, dinner at six, and bed at ten.

U is Underdressed (slut?), Underslept (irresponsible?), and Underweight (anorexic?)

V is Vaniloquence, which is basically all this is.

W is for Woman, which I am, according to my birth certificate.  Can someone burn it?  Can I have surgery now?  What if they hate me?

X is for Xanthippe.  Do you think I am one?  I really try not to be.  I’m sorry.

Y is the Yelling, which to some people is like talking.  What if I’m talking too loud?  Could you be a little quieter?  I need to concentrate.

Z is for Zero, the amount of ideas I have left for this letter.

(Note — Anxiety is a serious mental illness that has the potential to negatively effect the lives of the sufferer and his or her loved ones.  If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety, there are several resources available here and here.  — Sami)