the letter

I sit in the still of my house, low and somber,

all wishing for witching and time machine lumber,

my promises baking like pies in the fire,

a crayon-soaked clamp round my neck like a wire.

 

A small steady whisper keeps saying its lines,

“I know you are sorry, but really its fine.”

There Childhood and Innocence leer from the rafters,

and choke on the smoke of their recent disasters,

 

and reel from the paper weight of written words,

and never stop squeaking like smoldering birds.

I watch as they wriggle in subdued despair,

I watch as they point devilishly at air.

 

I stumble while seated and stutter while silent,

the cries of the birds rise, soulful and triumphant,

I lay down in decadence, which I ignore,

the beat of their wings echoes down to the floor.

 

I simper and whine like a dog put outside,

the Haunts grow much longer, and stronger, and wide,

I see or hear naught but their song like a flutter,

I bury myself in the bedding like butter.

 

The cushions are soft here, the food never ends,

I’ve time for my mind to sigh, wrecked on a bend;

these Ghouls which you send me are holy and just,

the way you work through my pain which,

dear, you must.

labor

I spilled ink on the floor, damn it,

and left it there for a year.

I would look lovingly at it

every so often,

and it would look lovingly back;

perhaps we’d have tea.

But then one day,

one black, anxious day,

I thought I should clean it

away.

“It is better to be in my towels,”

I said.  “Better to rumble through

my washing machine.

Better to get in between my fingers

and in my hair.”

And yes,

it did like being there.

Even I didn’t mind it for a while,

looking in the mirror and pretending

I was something great,

my ink stains living through

bath waters and sprinkler systems.

The turning point is always feeling trapped,

the day I realized I could not get them off,

could not clear my skin of their

ethereal concoctions,

could not wash their beleagured soot

out of my scalp,

without cutting off my own

head.

the boy

he cries

loudly

in his cell.

” i want my mommy!”

in phantasmic drones of terror,

as only a four-year-old can.

a man

with half a face,

and half a beard,

peers through the bars,

between their holes,

and says

“this is what makes you

a man, son.”

but the boy doesn’t

understand it

for a long

time.

flee

You are not the Empress,

no.

Rather,

you destroyed their lives at conception.

You were built for escaping

and maddening journal entries.

There are choices

and there are no choices,

like jumping hurriedly from

the sixteenth floor.

Their masks, small, enchanting,

will haunt your dreams

always,

and you don’t have a choice

in that,

even if you cling to them.