Laugh it Off
It was so easy to think I would fight
Easy to imagine my bloodied knuckles
And eyes narrowed with righteous light.
I told myself I’d never be their victim,
They could never keep me awake at night.
But it wasn’t easy to shove them off when
it was their knuckles that were bloodied
and I couldn’t see strait enough to tell
them to stop, when the fear in the pit
of my stomach made it impossible to
tell the people downstairs about what I
was convinced had been my fault.
He had a family,
And he had a scholarship,
And he sat beside my brother in class.
They painted dark rings beneath my eyes
After the bruises had faded.
I could never find the words,
So I laughed with them instead.
It hid in her shadow, blending with the long, twisted shape cast by the late summer sun. It crept up to her feet, nibbled at her toes, scratched the itch that spurred her wanderlust. It moved up her legs and she blamed the shivers on the wind. Her sighs spoke with the breeze, it moved up the small of her back in response, wiggling past the stones that pressed into her spine. The ocean matched her ecstasy, waves crashed against the sand and swallowed her shadow beneath the surf. Only when it overtook her heart did she know its name, and by then she was already lost.
Spring storms wash clean the white blankets that wrapped so softly around the earth these long, star-lit months. Green and gold poke their heads above the soil to warm the weary hooves of the hungry elk and fill the bellies of the great yawning bears. The long silence finally shatters with the returning birds, their songs lulling the winter back to sleep so that spring can spread her universal beauty.
It is a magical place where the smiles are even faker than the boobs, where Santa brings the good little girls BMWs and nose jobs on sunny Christmas morning.
Almost A Limerick
There once was a very sad merman
Whose cheer was down deep in the ocean
I tried to give him a tan
But he said ‘No way man!’
And now I’m here alone with the lotion.
She was a demon born of violence and blood and lust. The thirsty earth lapped at her bare feet, leaving crimson prints along the cobbled roads and the dark forest paths she haunted. Sun-scared skin was swathed in a torn dress that clung to her slender frame in ghostly strips. She wore the skull of her sire atop her head. The pale bone helm gleamed in even the lowest light of a moonless sky. Bright blood dripped from the skull to mat her wild hair and paint her shoulders red.
She came to them on the night of the bandit moon, coming to steal their lives as brutally as she had received hers. The twin cleavers at her side hungered for their flesh, and her sunken, red-rimmed eyes lit up with excitement and the thought of satiating the craving she shared with her blades. There was silence when she came upon them in the tavern. They were too stunned to even bring the drinks from their lips as they witnessed their creation in all her glory. Fear was sweet and heavy in the air. It ran like water down her throat, slaking the thirst that threatened to devour her soul.
Their pleas were bells upon her ears, silver chimes that rang clear and strong through the sound of drumming heartbeats silenced. She slit their throats one by one, stealing the life from the men who had made her. Terror crescendoed around her, her blades danced, her newfound youth pulsed eagerly in her veins. In death, they bowed before her, broken and weak and powerless against her wrath. All it took was a single wick candle to set the alcohol-soaked wood on fire. She relished in the heat of her vengeance, delighted in the taste of their blood on her lips and the smell of their spirits fleeing their burning bodies. Flames leapt angrily to consume the building in her wake, and she grinned wickedly at her audience before fading into the night.
The lie wavered at the tip of her tongue, but this time she hesitated. She swallowed her words before she could change her mind and choked down the carefully rehearsed lie. For once, the truth left her lips. Intricate knots of dread twisted her stomach as she braced for the repercussions, wondering in horror what had possessed her to deviate from a method that had spared her so much anger and humiliation in the past. She waited for the judgement with breath held tightly in her throat, her mind racing to come up with anything that might mask the truth that dripped in slow motion from her mouth. Instead of rage and lectures, she was met with words that surprised her. Support and love flooded her ears, and gentle words whittled away at the weight she had unknowingly cemented across her back. “I’ll help you get through this,” The voice on the other end of the phone said. She smiled, genuine for the first time in a long time.