Curiosa

The stranger in the mirror wears my clothes,
although they’re tighter on her.
My diamond hangs round her neck.
She has different eyes:
Soft grey; a touch of storm.
Clear and deep;
Their murky film washed away.
She told me her name once,
and I laughed.
It didn’t fit anymore.
The sadness tapers off,
and the stranger
is stranger still.

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Peligro

There’s a devil caressing my spine,
spewing venom into my nerves.
It jumps at the back of my throat,
and laughs when I flinch.
Its cold grip holds my heart of ice in place;
and the disease spreads.

It freezes one cell
then the next.
And all you can do is watch.

I have all the help they can give.
And I’m getting worse.
And all you can do is watch.

Solitario

In this building of nurses insisting I press the bell and let them help, the panic attack plays through without witness.

A midnight delivery scares the birds out of the trees and into the sky; free and flying and soon they will be calm.

Another minute passes. Another moment closer to morning. Another cry down the hallway from a man who doesn’t know what morning is. 

Trastornado

An exercise in recognising strength
began with waking in a pool of sweat;
With a throat full of bile,
And a heart full of terror.

I killed four people last night.
I remember the tearing muscle
as I ripped the jaw off one;
The way I was hunted;
The way I was found;
Cornered.

The laughter.
The anticipation.
My own jaw.
My own tendons.
Their revenge.

And this morning-
I dressed and cooked and cleaned;
I brushed some dogs;
I wrote another thousand I’ll probably never publish.

I laughed a little.
My body count is long lost;
Maybe somewhere with my mind.

El Diablo

I’ve learned that hell is grey.
That the brimstone is cold and sharp.
That the devil himself weighs ten pounds;
And he sits in your stomach for months on end;
Setting cold fires;
Caressing your gut with his long,
Clawed
Fingers.

He leaves you through the mouth;
Through the eyes.
He shakes you as he passes;
With talons in your nerves,
Leaving a trail of bile in places it doesn’t belong.

And when he is free;
He holds you safe
In a little box;
And he shakes you like an empty can;
And he sets you down disoriented on strange ground.