Imprisoned

Pouring regrets,
mistakes,
guilt,
into this
rocks glass

*neat please*

it’s the way…
the road
to perdition

a constant
hell
of one’s own making

exoneration
is a
pipe dream

as lucidity fades
culpability
becomes
a
faint tendril
disintegrating into
the dawn

forgiveness
teasing
with the
rising
of the sun

self-delusion

as it
diminishes

returns
to the
blurred
and sloppy
self-loathing
as the
exhaustion
of BEING
becomes a dense,
thickened, hairy
weight
on the
soul

all that is left
for respite
is sleep

only to
repeat
on the morrow

Dominoes

The ones I loved
The ones I wanted
The ones I lusted

All could give a
flying fig
for me

a history of

chasing men
who had been
nothing but
back alley
beggar boys
sneakily dressed
in much
fancier clothing
just
(faintly squint)
a tiny bit
too large
for their
diminutive
frames

all whilst
my woman’s heart,
devotion,
and
hunger
had remained
far more feeling,
staunch,
and ravenous

And like dominoes

I kept queuing
them up

Each had
been
placed
and
balanced,
precariously
forming that tenuous line
of repeated
fowls and
heartaches.

the fickleness
of the foolish

a test of my
patience

Until I
came to realize
this was
far more trouble
than it
was worth

weary sigh
head tilted
my finger gave
the smallest
poke
to the very first
pip

and

The quiet rhythmic
clacking

soothed

the
*click
*click
*click
of each
falling into the
other

closure,

leaving
a flawless
mess…
a pile
of ivory rectangles
pieces
with no
discernible match

Gingerly,
with care
and reverence

I placed each tenderly
within the case

This was a game
I no longer
cared to play.

Final Vice

I rebuilt myself
I kept the good
Dropped
*an anvil thud*
everything else

Almost.

I gave up dairy
and the smokes
the bourbon
at late night dives
the wine
while vacantly
watching
the telly
pisssssing
away
time

No more sweets
snacks
mid-afternoon donuts
as breakfast
and lunch
sometimes dinner

stopped talking
to the sociopathic
ex
listening
to their
false promises
drenched in
candy covered
shit

The Fair weather
friends
Whom I’ve bled for
While they never
broke a sweat
for
me

I let go
of my past
the mistakes
the self-loathing
the doubts
the hammering anxiety
at the weakening
bark
of my being

I did all of this.

*improvement*
*progress*
*growth*

But there’s still you.

lightly
Heavily
subtly
Obviously

Tearing it all apart.

The Bottom

Drowning
Gasping
Swallowing gulps of
Desolation

I had a life jacket
Ripped it off
Was so
Constricting

It kept me from swimming

Who knew

I just needed to keep afloat

Now
Sinking to
The Depths

Eyes glazing
over
Pulse slowing
Heart faltering

I will never
See
The Sun Rise
or Set
Again

I did this to myself

The Crone and The Adulteress

Beaten down, nearly naked,
eyes blurred
the whites stained pinkish
from far too many tears
mouth parched from wailing
cries no one would ever hear
she arrived and knocked at the crone’s door

the little lady stood
short, wiry, strong
aged yet
masked in
youthful mischief
Her braided hair gray
up in its kerchief
she took in the sorry sight
and noted soon what was wrong

she sighed
a quick “tut tut” at the girl’s chest
and the elder of the two
concern on her face
wasted no time
set about to making a place
for the woman
with the emblazened A upon her breast.

Just happy for some kindness
the younger didn’t speak
The elder took her things
set them aside
Poked at the hearth to get
the fire going inside
Prepared her a plate of food
and insisted “Eat.”

She nibbled a bit
no hunger for the food
As the crone applied salve
by the light of the moon
to the still bleeding lashes
and seared-in-skin wound
“Ah now, I promise.
You’ll soon be back to good.

I know it’s hard
minding the young alone
while the man is off
earning the keep
leaving the missus
many nights to sleep
just herself,
in an empty home.

I’ve been there,
Where you are now.
We are expected to be content
nary a complaint
Keep the fire burning
food on the plate
Like a bought at auction
complacent cow.

It’s not easy, though is it?
A woman needing more
Than a man’s roof and boots at the bed
A feathered pillow to rest your head
So now,
here you are. The Whore.”

The younger gasped at the word.
How it stung.
More than the cuts
More than the coming scars
She missed her children
They were now kept so far
Would they notice?
They were still yet so young.

But before her the crone
gently came to kneel
She unbuttoned her blouse
scarred but now faint
Her own A from long ago
“Yes, I too, had taint.
And soon yours will fade as well.
Now, please. Eat your meal.”

The punishment she had endured
none was worse than her own.
But the days passed
though they felt like weeks
Wounds began to heal
the color came back to her cheeks
All this
while under the watchful eye of the crone.

The crone never varied.
Each day the same as the last.
Reminding the younger
that no one was pure
while she wasn’t innocent
Neither were those before
Things were difficult
But all would soon pass.

Together they lived,
quietly though rumors swirled –
(The crone was a witch
And she had a new student!
Well, she is getting old,
she’s just being prudent.)
But no one knew the truth
The honesty of their world.

They were both women who had
no one but each other
Everyone holding themselves
to be judge and jury
They kept themselves from
the indignant fury
They knew their own hearts
and couldn’t be bothered

Soon enough, the younger’s scar
began to fade
Still there, a reminder of her failings.
Her faults.
But she carried on her new life
in that crone’s house.
For when it was her turn to take care
of another woman gone astray.

And they stayed together, the two of them. Breasts scarred with A’s.