To feel so endless,
like the world is all around you
and you are nothing but
an infamous skeleton.
Crackling in the moonlight
to the tales of your century.
As if you could dance,
all the way across the ocean
to crash against the next shore
breaking into pieces
which lay strewn across entire continents.
because you are endless.
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Friday, October 7, 2016
Katherine was not adventurous. She always kept things the same. Every morning she woke up at 7:00 am and drank her coffee at the small round table with a slice of toasted olive bread. She would drive to work through the fog and rain until she reached the big brick building she called work. This job had slowly consumed her life until it was everything. Katherine walked up seemingly endless stairs to the gaping front doors, nodding pleasantly to the front desk security on her way in. She continued down the faculty hallway and turned right into her office. Slumping down on the chair she sat there for a moment, letting her shoulder blades sink into the cushion, before opening her file cabinet.
Katherine worked as a therapist at Sanabel, a research and care organization. Sanabel was where people went when no other facility could help them due to incurable diseases or crazy symptoms with unknown causes. Seventy percent of the patients received made the small yellow faded rooms their resting place and of the other thirty percent only a small fraction left fully recovered. The doctors and scientists of Sanabel were all amazingly brilliant and submersed themselves in helping the patients, however people were sent there with impossible conditions and Sanabel couldn’t quite cure the impossible.
Katherine was especially interested in a young girl’s file. The girls name was Anabel and she was only four years old when she began having trouble separating the monsters under the bed from the real world. Her condition progressively got worse, even with treatment. She was eventually marked as untreatable, her prognosis being that she would continue to get worse until the real world had dissipated to nothing in her mind. Anabel’s parents used to visit until it became too painful; their last visit was four months ago. Anabel is now five. Katherine shook her head while looking down at the contents of the white binder. She walked to the patient’s hall on the opposite side of the building and entered Anabel’s room.
Anabel was laying on her bed, arms and legs sprawled like a starfish and her long dark blond hair stretching out like a crown. She stared at the ceiling, seeing her own world and made no recognition that someone had entered the room. Katherine sat in the worn blue armchair and reached forward to brush a strand of hair from Anabel’s clammy forehead. She slowly looked over at Katherine and smiled before directing her attention somewhere in the corner as if she was watching a beetle climb around the clean floor. Katherine pulled out her pen and wrote down the date in her binder. She leaned in toward Anabel and began with the questions.
“Who has visited you today sweetie?” Katherine asked gently, referring to Anabel’s imaginary friends.
“Who has visited me?” Anabel looked up at the door with purpose, as if she was looking at someone. “Well Ashley is always here” she glanced to a corner “and sparky” she said, looking at the ground. Anabel stared at the door again with intent. She scrunched her eyebrows in thought and her eyes darted back and forth around the room for a minute before, whispering quickly. “There’s scary people here but they said not to tell anyone.” Her eyes continued to scan the room as she spoke.
“What did they say to you?” Katherine rubbed Anabel’s back and looked at her with concern. It was obvious that Katherine cared. She wasn’t supposed to form emotional connections with her patients but this little girl had climbed her way into her heart when they both needed someone to care for.
In a whisper light as silk, Anabel replied “’Don’t look, don’t listen, just follow’ they said. They want me to…” her voice trailed off as she stared at the door, her dark blue eyes growing large with fear. She scuffled backwards into the corner and began to rock back and forth, whimpering. Katherine moved to the bed and held Anabel in her arms. “It’s okay, they can’t harm you. You are safe. You are with me.”
Anabel looked up at Katherine. “You will protect me?” Her teary eyes were filled with hope, fear, and longing.
“Of course I will.” Anabel burrowed her face into Katherine’s chest and hugged her tight before frantically looking back toward the door.
“He’s coming. He’s mad now. Stop him! Stop him!” Anabel squeezed her eyes shut and began to cry, shaking and clenching the sleeve of Katherine’s deep purple blouse.
Katherine stroked Anabel’s hair and said firmly into the air “Leave her alone, you are not welcome here.” Katherine looked down at Anabel and hugged her “It’s okay now sweetie, he’s gone.”
Anabel slowly opened her eyes and looked around the room. A grin spread across her snot streaked face. “You did it!” She looked back and forth across the room, her eyes moving from point to point. What a world she had created for herself. “All the bad guys are gone! Thank you Katherine, I love you!” Anabel tossed her arms around Katherine and they hugged again, this time light and happily.
“I love you too sweetie.” Katherine felt her chest warming and her eyes filled with happy tears.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
What is this smell? I raise my nose to the wind and take three big sniffs. Is that food? I must have it. No, I need to find my people they must be very worried about me. But that food smells so good, what kind is it? I take three more whiffs of the breeze. Smells like burgers. I shake my head, my people need me. Which way did I come from? Everything looks the same, that darn squirrel. It’s too bad I didn’t catch it. I see a pair of legs walking toward me. I this my mistress? I look up at her face to see a young woman who I do not know. She has bits of food on her shirt. I stare at the pieces, smells like she went to the hamburger place. I want some. Before I know it I’m drooling, oh dear I need to make a good impression so she gives me food! She leans over to look at my tag. Yay! She will help me find my people! My ears perk up automatically as she murmurs my name. I like this lady she smells like food and scratches me behind the ears. She stands up and pulls out her strange electric device then holds it up to her ear. I can hear it making a ‘rrrrr rrrrr rrrr’ noise. Humans are so strange, is this some kind of secret code they have? I don’t understand it. She puts the device back into her pocket and begins to walk. My ears go down in disappointment. My new friend is leaving me foodless. She turns and whistles, and I hurry to keep up. I hope she gives me food!
Always a slow alphabet of rain
falling on me from above
and puddles form in footstep patterns
leading me back where I came from.
It doesn’t matter anymore, only this downpour.
Seven icy drips hit my face,
my eyelids, cheekbones, and lips.
I am surrounded by water,
and it’s beautiful.
Once more I feel at home
no worry, no stress, just simplicity.
I watch as I come up to the tree covered park,
trees dripping with spray and ponds forming in the shadows.
I long to stay, to seep up the sweetness of this evening.
but alas, it will all be over too soon,
I will drag my way out of this bliss,
back to my busy life,
to my worries and fears.
I sit down on a soaked bench.
right on top of the water bubbling up in a dome
and feel it seep into my jeans.
My clothes are all soaked now
but it doesn’t matter
because it’s like I am one with nature,
with the rain, with the air around me.
Water droplets cover my palms
even when I wipe them around
they choose to stay.
I feel it,
all the emotions I have held up
pouring out like the rain flooding down on me.
I let the first tears drop.
They land most likely on my knees
but I have no way of knowing.
Tear drops mix with rain drops,
so I cannot count my tears.
My body shakes with a steady shiver
from the nape of my neck to my tip toes,
and I feel the heat running down my cheeks
I let myself go..
I let my face look up to the sky and
I sob with the earth,
hot and cold like yin and yang,
and in this moment
I feel endless.
As if I am happy and sad and scared,
All at once.
But I don’t truly feel any of these emotions,
For this time I have taken to come to my senses,
and let it all out,
grasp some reality and hold on tight,
open myself up and lay here
I welcome the wild fall,
gazing at the world below me.
I am flung to the left
on a pale breeze.
I do know this is life.
I spread my wings and
just let myself float.
Eyes like sugar,
sweet and craving.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Evelyn’s Thursday morning began like any other, although it would prove to be very unusual. Her alarm goes off at 6:00 am with a startling nasal tone. Evelyn rolls over and groans, eyes covered in sleep and dark blonde hair stacked on her head pointing every which way. She rubs her eyes and looks around the dim room. Momentarily, she feels the serenity of the darkness and imagines the comfort of seeping back into the blankets and into slumber. Click. She flips the switch on her bedside lamp and the room is flooded with soft yellow light. The contrast is so striking that she must scrunch her eyes and squint until they adjust. She slips on her bunny slippers before walking out across the cold hard wood floor to the kitchen. The kitchen is dark, empty, and almost silent apart from the soft static of the radio. Evelyn frowns as she pulls out the coffee pot to find it empty, nothing but shiny metallic staring up at her from the bottom.
“Francis?” she calls out to her roommate; there is no reply. Evelyn lets out a deep breath and turns off the radio. She stands in the middle of the kitchen for a moment, hands on hips as she looks around and ponders different thoughts. Where could Francis be, her roommate was always up early. Usually by the time Evelyn walked in to the kitchen Francis would be there, flipping pancakes and singing along to the radio. Usually the coffee would be made hot, steamy, and fragrant. Evelyn started the coffee pot and walked to Francis’ room door. Knock, knock, knock “Hello? You in there?” still no reply. She rests her hand on the doorknob, then lets it fall back to her side. Francis likes her privacy and hates it when people go in her room while she’s not home. Maybe she took the day off? Evelyn thinks to herself on the other hand she could be sleeping but how rude to not answer my knocking. Bewildered, she wanders back to the kitchen and pours the freshly brewed coffee into her favorite mug. She’s taking a sip when she notices the clock on the stove says 6:36 am. “Oh dear” she mumbles, she had completely lost track of time. She shuffles her way to her room holding her now sloshing coffee mug and rushes around to prepare for the day. Dress? Skirt? Jeans? Shirt? It’s all a blur to her as she grasps the first decent outfit she can find. Plopping down in front of the mirror she slaps on her makeup.
Twenty minutes later she is ready to go. Crisp white t-shirt with a wrinkled cardigan and the good old blue jeans. Evelyn glances nervously to her roommate’s bedroom door. This was all very unlike Francis, but she decides to just give her a call later. Evelyn walks out into the frosty morning air, scrunching her arms in closer to her body and noticing the puffs of her hot breath. She locks the front door and walks to her car to head for work.
The small townhouse is left dark and silent, dirty dishes still in the sink from last night’s dinner and the coffee pot half full. Francis’ room is cold and feels isolated; it usually appears bare and neat unlike the rest of the full home, scattered with furniture, empty blankets, and random knick-knacks. Today her room is crowded. Papers are spread along the floor and jumping up the walls on thumbtacks. Her bed is occupied with stacked brown boxes and clothes piled high as possible. No room for the sleeping Francis that Evelyn had suspected. No sign of her anywhere.
Evelyn calls Francis after pulling into her parking space at work. Back home there is a ringing in Francis’ room coming from somewhere within the mess. Evelyn nervously taps the steering wheel as the cell goes to voice mail. This is so unlike her she begins to worry should I leave a message? The phone beeps “Hey, it’s Evelyn.” How do I say this? I don’t’ wanna be weird if she’s just fine. “I was just wondering what you’re doing today? I’m thinking maybe we should get takeout for dinner tonight. Uhh. I gotta talk to you about something so call me back soon!” That should do it. Evelyn gets out of the car and is walking through the parking lot when her phone starts ringing. She smiles, sure it is Francis returning her call. “Hey!”
“Evelyn?” Francis’ voice is very soft but Evelyn is just happy to know she is okay.
“I am SO glad to hear from you! Where have you be-“
“Where are you? I need you to meet me. Now.”
“I’m at work.. I just got here.” Evelyn twirls her hair around, something she does when she is tense. What is going on?
“This is an emergency. We could be in a lot of trouble. I need to go. Meet me at our brunch spot. No one can know.” Click. Evelyn looks around disgruntled and confused. She looks down at her phone and notices that the number was unknown. Summoning up every bit of her courage, she walks back to the car. She’s hoping this isn’t some kind of prank while at the same time hoping it is so that everything can be okay. A sense of insecurity is gnawing at her gut, she feels like something is wrong. She stares at her reflection in the car mirror for a moment, looking into her hazel eyes and trying to find the appearance of courage. At a loss she closes her eyes, leaning her head back, and takes a deep, shaky breath before pushing her uncertain feelings aside and placing her hands on the wheel.
The café is warm and filled with the sound of gentle music, clinking mugs, and coffee being brewed. A small figure sits in the corner behind a newspaper, almost like something you would see out of the movies. Evelyn walks in and looks around at all the faces but she sees no sign of Francis. She walks up to the counter and orders her regular white mocha. The Barista tries to make small talk but Evelyn is very obviously distracted as she continues to glance around the café. The barista gives up after listening to a few halfhearted mumbles and hands Evelyn her drink.
Psst. Pssstt. Evelyn whips around startled to see Francis sitting in the corner behind the newspaper, hardly recognizable with her hair up in a baseball cap. Francis never wore hats like that. Evelyn rushes to the second seat at the table and speculates Francis’ condition as they speak.
“What is happening?” Evelyn asks with a frantic whisper. Francis has deep bags under her brown eyes which are smeared with day old mascara. Her regular stupid-sweet grin is replaced with an empty stare, no trace of emotion but a small wrinkle between her eyebrows.
“Wait, first.” Francis holds up the newspaper to shield their faces, making it appear as if they are reading it together. She takes a deep breath and makes eye contact with Evelyn. “I’m so sorry.” Her voice shakes and she looks as if she is ready to cry.
“What happened? I’m sure we can work everything out Fran, you just gotta talk to me.” Evelyn feels afraid but wants to appear calm to Francis. Francis is not fooled but needs to get out the point of this discussion. She takes a gulp of her coffee with trembling hands and begins,
“I have a secret. My name is not Francis.”
Trees stare down at me,
dark and ominous
from the edges of this dusty path I walk down.
It must be evening, approaching night
because they cast spider web shadows
with their boney branches
under the overcast sky
I reach the end of the road to find a looming castle.
It appears empty, left, forgotten.
A gnawing curiosity drives me
to the huge wooden doors.
I heave one open crawling into the
cold, deep, darkness.
Endless hallways in every direction
with windows letting in stark moonlight.
The place is damp and frozen with stone.
Fear seeps through the dead walls into my soul,
but there’s no turning back.
I choose the path straight ahead,
a large staircase winding around the walls.
Each step is now muted with the deep
red carpet covering the stairs.
I hold the smooth banister and
peek around the corner to the next floor up.
The second floor is much like the first,
but more closed off,
Startled, I spin to a clatter behind me.
On the steps below are two guards staring up.
Menacing stances equipped with burnished spears.
I cannot see much under their helmets,
but I am quick to notice their white boney wrists.
I spin back up the stairs and
set off to the left to be met by two more guards.
One of these two is missing a helmet
And I am revealed the complete horrible truth.
Empty eye sockets and glistening teeth.
The smoothness of his skull glowing in the moonlight.
For a moment I am stuck with fear,
my small body grounded.
They begin to lunge forward and
I flip around to run the opposite way,
hardly missing the claws of a skeleton.
I run straight,
Trying not to look back.
I can’t help it.
I glance over my shoulder to see four chasing me,
and more joining in from the staircase.
Silver armor clanking up and down, brandishing spears
My world becomes bright,
and bright again as I pass the stacks of windows.
This reminds me of long car rides,
I wish I could close my eyes
And wake up there
Far away from here
Far away from harm.
I can’t run forever, my lungs burn for oxygen
My body telling me to stop.
I feel as if I have been running for hours,
The empty hallways never end,
They flip and turn,
Always revealing a new path.
I spot a door cracked open,
I rush inside and slam it shut behind me, locking it quickly.
The room is small and lit dimly with candles.
I see no way out.
The pounding on the door begins
I sink to the icy floor in defeat,
Sucking air in and out of my lungs.
I finally close my eyes.
On the opposite wall lies a small grate,
maybe my only escape.
I pry the grate from the wall in desperation and shove it to the side.
Crawling into the small tunnel is easy, I fit perfectly.
My heart leaps as I hear a loud CLANG
the door has been breached.
With my last glance back I see a guards face,
glaring down the tunnel at me.
They are too big to fit, about twice my size.
I continue forward until I reach the source of the light.
A glowing red gem, encompassed by a sparkling skull.
I feel drawn to the power of the light,
yearning to know what it is.
I reach out to touch it and am suddenly shaking
As the floor rumbles and rotates like a revolving door.
I find myself in a large room.
At first I notice the many candles,
until my sight wanders further.
I see the giant stairs,
At the top is a throne,
stone like everything else but fixed with jewels around the edges.
The resting place for a glaring queen.
She wears a giant black dress,
So long is flows down the steps.
Her beautiful crown has spikes sharp enough to kill.
I stand facing her with the crystal skull in my arms,