A Sinner’s Prayer
Daddy packed his own suitcase, without knowing it, a long time ago. For a while it sat under the window in their bedroom and collected dust. His brown leather dress shoes took their place next to it and began to fade in the sun. There were times when I would sit there and stare at the suitcase and watch the dust dance above it in the sunlight. His dress shoes slowly dried out, unnoticeably at first, but quickly after that. I would stare for hours at the pair and watch the smooth brown shimmer dry from both of them.
When I got older, I would find daddy opening the case and moving things around inside. He wouldn’t let near it because he didn’t want me to know what was hidden inside. Then, one day, I found both my parents standing with the suitcase at their feet. I couldn’t hear them over the music that was playing but their arms moved quickly, stirring up the dust that once danced peacefully in the sunlight. Came down the mountain dragging our love affair…
That night at dinner no one spoke. There was a tension that hung in the air like the dust above the suitcase. I imagined that same cloud of dust moving much faster now. I glanced up at the fear inciting man that was my dad. Hear my sinner’s prayer. I am what I am.
The next time I looked at the suitcase I tried to imagine that there were flowers growing out of it, but every time I did they seemed to burn up in the hot light streaming through the window. They would wilt and turn to ash joining the dust in the air above that was slowly spreading across the room. Eventually I would only watch the suitcase from the doorway, scared of what must be inside. The man’s got a gift for getting what he wants. He’s thirsty when he drinks, gets on the brink, and then throws her off…
The tired dried up leather shoes no longer fit my father, though every once in a while, he would try them on again claiming they fit just fine. At the end of the day he would sit on the edge of the bed, facing the suitcase on the floor, and he would pull the tight brown dress shoes off his swollen old feet. He would toss them at the poor suitcase and turn off the light. I once over hear my mother say that a mistake repeated more than once is a decision. She also said that you had to stop touching a wound to heal it.
When the end finally came, I finished packing my father’s suitcase for him. Inside I placed some clothes, a clock, his medicine, a toothbrush and some toothpaste. On top I placed a bible and his rosary. I picked up the suitcase and kicked the spot it had left in the carpet. Underneath was what looked like fresh carpet, never touched by the sun. When I took the suitcase down stairs and placed it by the door I stared at it once again in the new light that seeped in from the front door. It was a hell of a scene and nobody saw it coming but me. I can carry you but not your ghosts. Wish I had the strength but I don’t…
I sat down in front of the suitcase one last time and played a song in my head like a silent prayer. He has a funny way of saying forever too fast. Don’t get mad, you can’t blame a tramp for something he doesn’t have. I get on my knees and beg you, hear my sinner’s prayer. I am what I am. And I don’t want to break the heart of any other man but you and you alone.
Sometimes you don’t get closure, you just move on. Our last goodbye was never said, but it made me realize something. One of the hardest things you will do is grieve the loss of a person who is still alive. My mother was made to appear crazy by the man who drove her there but she loved my father like there was no tomorrow, until the day there wasn’t one.
He packed his own suitcase, without knowing it, a long time ago. Now he’s unpacking it alone.
Her ribs were floral masterpieces,
Depicting the beauty that flourished inside of her.
The vines tiptoed up her spine
Leaving seeds in her brain that would bloom
Into spectacular gardens.
Blissful ignorance kept the blooms watered
But as soon as they reached the sunlight
They began wilting.
Their blushed features turned
And reflected the coming of winter.
The petals began to fall from their roots
And they turned brittle and brown
Before reaching the cold, hard surface.
The ground welcomed these bushels
And pulled them into the filth
Causing them to break apart.
The roots that held her bones together
Slid from their structures
Leaving her weak and weary.
When she finally sank to her knees
She reached for the sun one last time
Clinging to the remaining roses
That sat upon her skull like a thorny crown.
She plucked a small seed from her skin
And with her final breath
She planted it with her love and
Prayed for it to grow.
There the flower took root in the grit
And a small blossom came from the cracks
And slowly stretched for the sky.
Meine lover hast art within his eyes, weep
Our secret looks are shared in passing glance
For I cannot hold him within my keep.
We might one day hold love with lips by chance.
Wonder I how thine own beauty ist held?
I cannot deny the life that blooms here.
Past lovers have failed and there we then fell.
Where hast thou been for here I be in clear.
You search and yet I stand in waiting hope
That your soul will find mine in this dark place.
I see now love hast eyes blind like babe does
And thou hast shown me that this is the case.
Here we find our love tired together
We only hope it goes on forever.
It’s been six months since I left you. It’s been years since you left me. So why are you still here? You’re creeping around the recesses of my healing brain. You send the reaper after me still. Be still I tell myself. I have to be still so you won’t find me. I feel your ghost, eerie and dark, creep into my room at night. You’ll enter my slumber with cruel intentions in hand. Can I not find peace? Not here. Not from you.
I see you everywhere. You lurk in the corners of my eyes. Your voice calls my name in crowded rooms before you slink away to endless hallways where your memory pulls me. You drag me by the feet until I’m bloody and broken much like you always have. Where are you taking me? You should be gone from here much like I.
You should not hold my breath. I will repeatedly rattle the wrapped chains which are rusted with your toxic lies. I will fight your entity. It does not belong inside my chest. Inside my lungs, my heart, my mind, stomach, and nerves are all coated in a cloak of thick tar created by your memory.
My soul is mine. Your smile no longer brightens my day but rather sulks deep into my brain and seeds spiteful memories of spat words and quick, subtle blows. You’re not welcome inside this world of mine any longer. Take with you your every last bit of negativity, sorrow, and your bitterness, and your murky, emotionless ways of love. I no longer wish to hold your hand and accept your love for neither are there.
I will live by what I learned from you. If only you would let me live freely from your torture. Please break your hold. Our minds no longer beat as one. We are no longer a single spiritual connection but rather a black hole formed by a shooting star. A star which once was great but now scatters its remnants throughout the cosmos.
The Louder You Love Me
I need you to love me a little louder today
I can’t seem to chase my own clouds away
I hide behind flowers
And sulk for hours
Hoping that something will wash away today
But nothing comes and nothing stays
If you love me a little louder today
Maybe I can force the dreams to stay
The rain might stop
The curtains I’ll prop
Open for the sun to flood in and overcome
The deep sleep that coats my home
When you love me a little louder
I can come out from behind the flowers
And smile for real
And finally feel
True love from you is stronger
Than each day that seems all the longer
My favorite building is old and dusty. It’s ratty. The tiles on the floors are no longer a marshmallow white but more of an ancient book page brown thanks to the teenagers who walk through it carelessly. The lockers have moved and become unusable thanks to their warped broken state. Some don’t open anymore. The paint on the wall is so thick and layered that you could easily peel it down to the original 1899 pale baby blue color. Every door creaks and slams. The stalls in the bathroom no longer have locks and you can see right over them. I guess high schoolers were shorter back then. Every room has that old book smell to match the color of the floors. Each move could stir up a dust bunny from the last renovation. When the building is empty you can almost hear teenagers laughing and talking over the sound of the chilling original recording of the alma mater as it plays during final period. The new technology in the classrooms blend in like a pig in church. The desks are too small and not at all practical. The ceiling leaks and the fire alarm goes off regularly. The bell is too loud and you could easily cut yourself on the railing going down the stairs. The auditorium is haunted and the overhead lights swing restlessly. The air conditioner only works in the winter and the windows stick in the summer. Anyone willing to step into the castle-like building can do so easily by pulling on the side stage door in the auditorium. It will open easily thanks to the 2013 graduating theatre class who would often sneak in and talk about life over stolen beers; occasionally swatting at the silverfish that inhabit the stage. It grows older every day, like a good book, holding the stories of the children that grow up inside its halls.
I am the daughter of a king who has forgotten my name.
Through slumber of night the stars have comforted
They wisp by and heal torn and tear stained skin
Above your head lies a crown of untruths
Behind you, the alcoholic’s throne
The different bottles stand like swords
They stab through old memories
Stars in the distance fade
Like thoughts you no longer have
Though stunted I may be through thick and thin
I believe in a higher calling for me through you
According to thee I have failed
You bash through clouds like Thor
You plant tacks with your feet
If only to hold your ground
Caught right in the light like a moonstone
You just might gleam
But I’ll tell you one cannot shine without
Such light will not always blind you
Then we shall see right through
I have failed you at being me.
What nonsense must one believe
In order to lose themselves this way?
I’ll tell you. It is the lies told by loved ones.
False hopes shared in the shadows.
Today I pulled your shirt down
From where I hid it in my closet.
That was a mistake…
I believed that if I buried my face deep enough
That it would still smell like you.
I think that was a mistake…
I started to cry
Staining the gray material black.
That was a mistake because…
I couldn’t stop
And I ended up on the floor.
A mistake because…
I saw the old bulletin board
And I pulled it out.
Another mistake after…
I saw our old prom pictures
And I touched my old corsage.
Another mistake when…
A petal fell to the floor
And broke apart
What a mistake…
I tried to remember how long ago
I lost you.
I remember the night
I had to let go.
When I tried to remember our last kiss
And nothing came to mind.
Because of so many mistakes…
I began to wonder
If you are with someone else.
That mistake makes….
The thought begin to stab me
Like a razor across my wrist.
Remembering these mistakes…
I begin to wonder
If I miss you this much…
Which mistake ruined us?