when hope is gone.

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When Hope is Gone

When she opened her eyes
chaos rained down;
tempestuous storms on sunken cheeks.
The tears wearing names
of all that had profaned.
Zebra tears,
mascara mixing with water
collecting in corners of lips
and dripping off chin into lap.
She cried an ocean
and named it her past;
became the waves
rocking forth and back
until visions became blurry;
drowning in a sea of self-pity.

And when she opened her legs
the ghosts of yesterdays
came creeping out.
Shadows of men
wearing sin as a mask,
appearing to laugh in her face,
their echoes carried on the blood that leaked
from aching womb.
Her body,
a tomb that held the ruins
of bitter seeds.

And when she opened her mouth
the stories came flooding out.
Whispers that grew into screams,
secrets caught in throat for years,
finally set free.
She choked on tears
and swallowed pride,
telling of how they killed her many times;
and though no one would ever hear her cries,
she could no longer
keep their secrets locked inside.

And when she opened her wrists,
the blood spilled warmth onto shaking arms.
Her mouth, closing with a final sigh,
storms subsiding;
her eyes,
finally drying
to close in peace.
Her knees,
folded into fetal position
near her chest,
for once safe enough to rest.

Young Pandora had opened her veins
after opening her heart
and finding no hope left.

a moment.

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She will come to rely on habit;
Grow intimate with the repetition
of deadbolt to frame
chain to lock
twist of knob.
(Repeat just in case.)
She will wear running shoes to bead.
Routinize the ritual;
check drawer for cold steel.
(Repeat just in case.)
Her face will tell the story
through circles under eyes
from days eclipsed by nights
that afford her little sleep.
Twisting in sheets, she repeats the scene,
hi thumbs into the space between
throat and breast bone
knee between thighs
his eyes...
...so vacant.
Head into wall
and then the blanket
of darkness.
She falls
with screams caught in throat,
body crying sweat,
still in the moment
locked in her head.
He will satisfy himself with reminders.
His nose, pressed into torn shirt
that still smells of roses
His nights filled with mementos,
he has memorized each of the poses
on his walls of photos.
Her leaving the office job
outside the coffee shop
the bench where she sat
the one in the...
can't get past
that scene
makes it center stage
on his altar.
Her face, turned slightly away,
as if to say come follow me.
How he obliged
while she pretended to fight it.
Vivid scenes replace the dreams.
Twisted sheets soaked in the euphoria
revisited in his bed,
still in the moment
locked in his head.
They will immortalize each other in memory.
The nights will fall as curtains rise
on movies destined to repeat.
The soundtrack of screams
will echo in ears
sweet as a song yet
chilling to the bone.
They will carry each others faces behind their eyelids;
their taste, under each others tongue;
their touch under each others skin;
slaves to the memories
that fester within,
still in the moment,
locked forever in time.

a song for you.

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A Song For You.

Long after the melody has swallowed the words
and the verse has drowned in the tears,
you come to me as a chorus in reprise,
a song stuck on repeat,
fingers strumming against my bandaged wrists
coaxing pulse into a beat.

Lover, we have broken each other down
with the fury of thrashing violins,
wailing into the frantic madness
of a love that knows no end.
Two times I have killed myself for you,
placed heart upon altar of sacrifice,
asphyxiated on waves of sadness
that cascaded in your wake.

Two times you have returned to me,
unable to shake the groove
or remove the shackles from wrists,
the hook from lip;
we have slipped back into a dance
where there is nothing left to prove.

And this is a song for you.

A slow blues that creeps into ears
and sinks deep down inside.
Listen to the melody
'cause my love is in there hiding;

resonating like the moan of saxophones.
The hollow tone of being alone
when I can't feel you by my side.

Two times for you I have died,
only to be resurrected in your song.
Fought for too long against the tide
that brought me back to you each night.
I love you in a place
where there is no space or time;

sacrificed the lows for highs
and cast my pride aside.

And I can't pretend to know
if we are wrong or if we are right.
The only truth I am certain of
is that your song
has never died.

*italicized lines from 'A Song for You' by Donny Hathaway

fall out.

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Fall Out.

She was from small town dreams.
One stoplight place where they all know your name type things.
Miss Dairy Queen 2007,
Folks named her Heaven
because her presence made them feel closer to God.
She was blond;
sapphire eyes and bouncing curls.
Milky skin and body pure;
she was almost virginal
(not counting backseat gropes
by the captain of the football team)

She was
apple pie and ice cream,
barbecues on Sundays,
Little Miss American Dream.
Gave folks something to believe in
for they could see in her eyes
she was bound for bigger things.
Bigger dreams.

Sky around her way, too small;
stars too far, she had to follow them
out of country pastures and
into greener scenes.
Too claustrophobic in the country.
Bought herself a new set of wings
and flew south
looking for a change
and her destiny on the stage.


But young Heaven found only Hell
in the City of Angels.
A land of masks that hid the dangers,
casting shadows on lonely streets of strangers.
She learned
how to work the corners into angles.
Wrote home about how her
star was on the rise.
Left out the part about how
stars would rise between her thighs,
movies with no scripts,
turning tricks to catch eyes.

She had too much pride
and not enough heart to tell them
about nightly rituals,
leading her down dark alleys
and into hotel rooms.
The loneliness, how it consumed,
and how nothing was what it seemed.
Her stars, slipping from the sky
with nothing to land on.
She never planned on this.
A destiny of darkened rooms and torn sheets,
cuffs upon wrists and pillows
that hid her screams.

Too scared to admit
she would always be a small town girl
with nothing to show but big dreams,
lost in a city of fallen stars
and angels with tattered wings.


ATOM 0.3