Project 52: Toppling Atlas

1 short story a week. 52 weeks a year.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Po' Tree

On Apples.
 There is an old woman,
at a coffee house I frequent,
who always orders the same thing.
A non-sugared tea,
a particularly dry looking
and a “fresh apple,”
that lies by mimicking
the wrinkles of her face.

I often wonder if she knows
where she is,
or I wonder if she knows
what she’s doing.
Does she have no sense
of adventure?
Does she know some secret
I have yet to learn?

I see her lips curl
Ever so northward,
In what I assume to be
a smile,
and I realize that she
knows more than I
could possibly fathom.

Apples hurt my teeth,
so I guess I’ll
never know.

Winter Wilt.
Darling, don't you smell it on my breath?
I often think of that beautiful path alongside the house,
the same one you spent those summers at.
Obsessively placing rocks,
and trimming the flowers that grew alongside it.
Those flowers that grew so vibrant, and so plentiful.

And oh, how you cried when winter crawled in,
and swallowed all your pretty colors.
How you wept when the earth shifted,
and moved your stones slightly out of place.
Everything is always changing.

Darling, can't you smell it on my breath?
Perhaps it's just your gentle soul,
a quality I used to think endearing.
But I see your petite outline sitting by that clock,
thinking you can watch the hands tick themselves
all the way around until spring.

I want to shake you sometimes, because they will come back.
They always do, just like we have so many times.
But I feel as though there is a hole in my stomach,
letting all manner of terrible things slip through.
Little monsters that burrow deep and eat away at me.

Darling, by now you have to smell it on my breath.
I walked down that path on my way here,
breathing through my mouth, like I know you hate.
It melted the snow, turning the frozen dirt to mud,
of which I tracked into this room now.
I hope it doesn't remind you of fresh rain.

If you're mad about cleaning up the mud though,
I'm sure that broken bottle of Old No. 7 in our bedroom
will make matters even worse.
It's all fairly silly, isn't it?
That we'd rather be miserable than lonely?

I'm sorry to make this winter harder on you,
but I can promise you'll make it through.
Unless of course you don't,
but I cannot pull you anymore,
not when you dig in your heels the entire time.
Don't think it's the alcohol talking.
This is me.
I am talking, but not for much longer.

Please don't hate me, unless that helps.

Dull Obituary

There are so many great and
marvelous things in this world
that I have no intention
of ever doing.

I'll probably have a dull obituary,
but then again,
I won't have to read it anyway.

Like Flowers in May 
If one's head
is constantly in the clouds.
What exactly is the rain,
to such a person?

Even if
those staring at their feet
never look up,
can they not still
feel the rain?

Are these the wicked thoughts
that bother grounded men
and women?
Affecting dreamers,
as well as doers?

Could it be, that worry
is a universal phenomenon?
That every single human cell
on this planet
experiences doubt?
and worry?
and regret?

Those thinkers on high,
they find those fears,
and stare into the sky
as the rain starts to fall.

And those doers on high,
they find those fears,
and stare at the ground
as the rain darkens the earth.

And they both soak it all in,
like flowers in May.

And if they don't have
these moments,
where darkness interrupts the light,
for only a short while.
If they don't have a little rain,
do they not wither away,
and die?
Like flowers in May?

Are they not both beautiful?
Even though they will,
one day,
without exception,
fall into the ground?

Like flowers in May,
I think I'm starting to find
that it's all so beautiful.
The sun,
the rain,
and everything in between.

Devour Me

Heat these bones,
   and mash together this skin.
Keep me connected with screws and pins,
   and pour me into boots.

Shape these teeth,
   and shear my hair close.
Cover me in universal clothes,
   and set my face permanently.

Yell at me to march, or stay,
   push my body into the sea,
one full of people just like me.
   Please tell me what to do.

Or piece by piece,
   pluck me apart.
Scrap my body and restart.
   Remove these thoughts,
that wander free.

and devour me.

I Have No Idea Who I Am.

Tall chutes of grass
danced on the wind,
not caring that so many terrors
existed in the world for them.
I envied that, I mean
living in the present, and all.
Perhaps that is how I should be.
Could you imagine,
what good I could do,
with a good night's sleep,
and anxiety that could be
carried off by the wind?

Then I saw a rock, sitting in the dirt.
It never moved,
it never danced.
It did exactly as it intended.
Determined, and strong, never
moving an inch of its own choice.
Perhaps that is how I should be.
Could you imagine,
what good I could do,
if I could never second
guess my actions,
or finally see something
through until the very end?

Finally, I stopped at the edge of a river.
Its water crawled forward,
sometimes in a rush,
sometimes without a care in the world.
Any disturbance on its surface
just joined in, and
flowed south, ever so smooth.
Perhaps that is how I should be.
Could you imagine,
what good I could do,
focusing on the long term,
and devouring change,
treating it as necessary
as bread and water?

I constantly find advise
in nearly everything I see.
Then I get home, and I fall,
deep into myself, a writhing
mass of regrets, giving off
the pungeant scent of
stagnant waste.
By morning, I'm back to staring fondly
at chutes grass, and how they
dance on the wind,
not caring that so many terrors
exist in the world for them.

I have no idea who I am.
I have no idea who I am.

None the Wiser
I wish I could see this forest,
before mankind got to it.
The trees probably clustered together,
knowing exactly where they were,
coinciding with being exactly
where they wanted to be.

I drive past them now,
that same forest.
The trees, they seem like great fingers,
reaching for the sky.
“Pull us out! This earth is poison!”,
they seemingly cry.

A woodpecker's solo is chased
away, by the roar of a truck,
driving past on the interstate.
I hold up my hands,
and the beauty I held only seconds ago
is now gone.
Scared out of its wits,
from something so ugly.

I don’t really now why I come out here.
Every day feels as if I’m running away
from home,
but I always wake up
in the same bed, every morning.

Perhaps its for the best,
that I don’t know what it is
that I’m looking for.
If I did,
I’d probably end up finding it.

And then what?
And then what?
And then what?
I’d probably toss my arms up
to the sky, and cry out
“take me away! This earth is poison!”

I hop back in my vehicle,
and drive home.
None the wiser.

I'm clutching tight,
to map and compass.
Listening to people tell me
who to be, and
where to go.
"Who am I?'
"Help! I'm lost!"
Does nobody hear me?

I stumble around my house,
in the dark, I hear a chime;
the sound of my feet kicking
bottles of glass:
music from the
ghosts of evenings past.

Sober, I walk through town,
tripping on my own slurred words.
Skinning my knees,
and cutting my teeth,
trying to smooth over my faults
and blend in.

I'm always so damn afraid,
but I learned something important,
many years ago.
The shadows that scare,
as thick as can be,
will be beaten by the smallest match,
even the one with the softest glow.

It's so damn difficult,
picking out all the different voices,
of previous mes, telling me what to do,
and choosing the best ones to listen to.
All choices, good or bad,
will always haunt us.

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