It's hard to look.
Your fingernails split peeling back
the wallpaper of your youth,
layer by layer, revealing the stained,
the mold-infested, the vile.
You'd like to divorce yourself from this,
but as you cannot,
you vow to continue to cut until
it is all laid bare.
That guttural sound comes deep inside you,
a place of which you were previously unaware
and you wish you could renounce.
The bile comes up and you choke it back down,
acid on your tongue still.

What is it about her?
What is it that makes you red with rage,
stony with rancid desire?
You don't even bother trying to repress
the urge to beat her down,
teach her a thing or two about
how women are supposed to carry themselves.
It's unbelievable, the way she talks
as if all the words were hers.
Well, some are yours and you ain't sharing.


She is so fucking beautiful.
Effulgent as light on rushing water
raging hard and cold against your back
until you dunk, seeking to rid yourself
of her glister. That never works,
she is too pure. She is everything.

You are nothing, now.
You used to be somebody, but then
you lost all perspective.
Maybe it was the ceaseless screaming,
the clamor, the never-ever-quietness.
You bite beyond the quick, ripping cuticles
and swallowing, anointing your lips
with blood, and that scar again, prickling,
pulling your hair out.
It was hard to think, considering.
You quoted lines from Harrison Bergeron,
wondered if there was a broader plot,
stored bottled water in the basement.
You kept all kinds of canned beans
that you had no idea how to prepare.
You strode the town, hands stuffed
in pockets weighed with gold pieces
chasing her shadow, long and willowy.
You wanted her,
but you were on your way to nothingness.


And now, here she is.
She's something. The bounty of her words,
her features overwhelming.
You cannot slow your campaign
to bring her to mercy.
Sidle up with warm innocence,
gentle conversation about her work.
Catch her there. She will respond
to your diplomacy.
Then you can thresh and violate her.
So satisfying, your victory will be.
Tie her to your memory tree
to ensure she is available
when you're ready for another go.
She will learn, eventually.
When she does, you can move on,
leaving her wasted.

All is quiet now.
Brush and floss, file your nails,
moisturize with shea and cocoa butters.
Straighten your collar.
You have risen.

My prompt in this week's Indie Ink Writing Challenge was from Dafeenah: "All saints revile her, and all sober men... Sister of the mirage and echo." (From The White Goddess by Robert Graves.) I challenged Carrie with "baby coyote, space shuttle, black leather baseball cap."