Winter Pt. 1

Bright birds, calling into the night.

Voices rising above the din.

Over the dreary hum of sleepy machines.

Were it not for your waking warble

I would find myself lulled to sleep

nestled in a pocket of warmth

deep in a moment of time

before I must open my eyes,

rise,

and move with resignation at the appropriate pace

in measured steps

towards an unbearable cold.

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Girlhood remembered

You brought a candle,

I offered a match.

I dip my fingers into hot, melting wax.

The evidence of my mischief?


The dried remains of a once burning light

wax drips on coats

Glove fingers and cotton pants.

What happened?

Oh right, my fingers were cold.

The cold got into my bones.

So deep the burning began.

Through wool.

Through skin.

Through bone,

Into the marrow.

Froze my blood.

Blistered my brain.

What is hot wax but a possibility to feel?

I remember cloth shoes on little sockless feet.

So numb from the fall rain.

When Papa and I finally got to the YMCA.

Alone in the women’s change room I gingerly took of my cloth shoes.

Purchased well before I knew what keds were.

I still have never held a pair.

I remember the feeling of hot water waking my childish feet from the cold.

Hot water delicious and unending

Splendid.

I remember

Childhood memories come back to me.

Polaroids.

Sketches.

Dust covered Sailor Moon Cards.

Whispers.

Vignettes.

For Ams

The frenzy that is your heart.

Humidity and wet slow a flurry of movement. Finding your soft warm skin tucked under your soaked snow jacket.
Your wet jeans.
Your slightly shrunk white and red plaid button down.
Your poorly choosen sneakers.
Your hands went numb well before your shoes soaked through.

Your eyes were wild, but you will get there and not lose any limbs.

It was like the snow, the blanket that was the snow. The whiteness of a solid sky and the complete lack of sound was trying to drown you were you paused.

So you are left with the frenzy in your heart, driving you forward as you ache for a destination beyond a home that feels like a pitstop.

Home home home a promise encased by so much snow

No Escape

I don’t think people know the many and strange entangled reasons a young woman would get into the car to be whisked off into danger by a white man twice her age.

To talk to them on the internet.

There are things far more dangerous than any one man, life for one.

But then you look over and realize you might be left alone with him, and question if you are walking away from death or towards it.

Also, what about those of us without escape? Where home is a safe slow stumble and life is a basket of blanket stares, longing and fear?

We have parking lots. Not cottages. We had gravel and tim horton’s at 2 am.

We sat in our parents car for as long as possible just to be alone.

We took baths. We took showers. We slept.
We hid in our minds.
Secrets became refuge.

Always watched, but so unheard. A thousand bruises went unnoticed as your parents locked the door, closed the blinds, and turned off the light to keep you safe.

Then you become an adult, and anywhere could be a possibility, but you that cage of your youth feels like a tomb drawing in.

Self-Sustaining Woman

i am a self sustaining woman.
i am not clingy, and I don’t text too much.
i am a self sustaining woman, I don’t eat too much, in fact you never see me eat. I promise to buy the cheapest things when you take me out and only get drunk enough to be enjoyable.
i am a self sustaining woman.
i never complain or rant about how I feel. I am a mystery to you often.
i am a self sustaining women, one day I grew so empty that air filled me and I began to float.
i am a self sustaining woman, my organs are dust and I can’t stop watching the world turn and turn.
i am a self sustaining woman, my faint shadow trickles down my chapped legs skin cracked from the sun.
i am self sustaining woman
i float and wait for the others to join me

we die in our beds

No more staring through crystals towards the sun.
We die here.
In our dirty beds holding on to broken dreams.
We die here holding our shitty phones shattered by the sound of siren wails.
We die here remembering the necks we stepped on to get into our apartments.
The hands we knocked away that held out hope for our humanity still…
last shots fired
so we die here.
In dirty beds with clean faces and back covered in sweat
We die here.
Awake reborn or a ghost, I don’t care but don’t forget where you come home and lay your head.

I can’t sleep.
So the knowledge that my mother was born in the same bed my grandma slept in beside her family since her husband left for five years.
Five years of her dowry by her bed.
Napping in her bed.
Holding her baby in her bed. Together as one.
Vomiting in a bucket by her bed.
Moaning in her bed.
Migraines slept away in that bed.

Now he holds me in my bed. We barely fit.
I create room when there isn’t any, but when have I ever stopped doing that.
I carve you a room in my heart.
You lay your head down on my beating heart no matter the weight I hold you up. No one drowns when I love them.
No one except me.

If I love you I let you you carve.
We must because its just a beating scar.
Nothing smooth left no more. Just gnarls.
I run away and go outside, but really its just my bed.
The sheets. Two pillows when I deserve eight.
I had 4 once, to hold me fast.
The end of the day or the beginning of the day.
I sometimes hide from it.
I sleep on couches of floors.

It waits for me. Sleep and death.
My bed.
Measurements of time misunderstood
A life twisted.
I die here.
In my bed.

thoughts

As she bathed in both warm water and her exhaustion, barely bringing herself to soap her brown body with the slippery soap. She would remember the scrunched faces of disapproving Aunties, almost hearing a chorus of polished West Indian accents scolding her for neglecting to use a washcloth.

Well now she was alone and exhausted half dreaming as she slipped the soap under a large breast bobbing in the warm water.

Pot made everything slow down and feel like before the Christmas party when she was a kid. Everything felt bigger than her then, unreachable, possible but in the future. Then you just experienced and wished you were older.

Now her hands were tangled in a life that began messy as that matted mop she pulled hair out of alone in the temple.

How had she gotten there, and what brought her to this place?

She went from having a baby no one thought she deserved after leaving a man that made her sleep on the floor for snoring and picked her cloths (with no apparent sense of fashion beyond preventing her from embarrassing him with her bright colours) to well not pretending. Or really knowing anything for sure.

So much time had passed since the first time she did this, and stopped gritting her teeth and brushing her hair in favour of finding some freedom.

She remembered in grade 6 she started straightening her hair and tried being normal. She tried solidly for almost a full school year.

In the mirror at home she would practice what to say to Tamara and Katie. They knew how to be almost girls well, Kita didn’t. A weirdo, over protected advisor to late 30s addicts, lover of disco, queer with a solid love of the pornographic at 12… But nothing that made sense for solidly middle class suburn tweens in the 90s.

Looking back it was fairly obvious that she was a writer… Throughout it all she was constantly in dialogue with herself, composing impressions of things. Running through possibilities and memories like scenes she needed to perfect.