Thursday, July 20, 2017

Epitaph

summer was killing us
everything we were
the beautiful pulse
was editing an ending
and I was still in love with the
beginning

My love's name was Johnny. I was 18, he 21 and we thought we were forever. So from one July to the next a year proved we were too young and the world too heavy. We were not meant to be forever, but the heart never forgets. Every now and then he sneaks into my poetry without me actually being aware of it, this poem was us.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

You Should Have Loved Better

you are an aging beauty on canvas
the grooves of your favorite songs
always sticking
but rain doesn't explain or excuse itself
just hangs out where and whenever it wants
why can't you?

fires that love built
love that fire destroyed
but the sea says "I know"
and turns night fears into 
a sweet lullaby

the breath of that lover
that you never wanted to leave
rivers you run back to
for all the stories you were
remind you of pretty theatre 
bauble lights
but now they've exchanged
the old seats that belonged to
all the old lovers in your town

and now the hummingbirds
are quiet, escaping like pretty confetti of
old songs and laughter
then the sound of crushed wing

you disappear so easily
in quiet reverie
no one knows where to find you

you ate pills
but the pain remained
sleep was an addiction
and God sat by you as you escaped
sleeping
dreaming of your mama's
vintage red lipstick and her
restlessness
her cool aloofness
the detached
part that's became attached to you too
held hostage in elegant reflection
you see her face, never your own
you are fading and you allow
your lovers to own the way you walk
why?

but you're a dreamer
in slow motion falling into a moonset
in an orange dawn
where words are sacredly forbidden
because the steps to a heaven you
were sure of fell apart

you were beautifully adored
strangely broken
left alone to heal
have you forgotten how he left you
nine months pregnant
sleeping on a mattress in your sister's floor
you gave too much for nothing
'cause he never even flinched
his hands were too full of all
he was taking
you were just a second hand
used up heaven...

you should have loved better

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Younger Daze

I used to close my eyes
and play sleep in the attic
where I wasted too much time dancing 
alone

so good at pretending
I got too good at disappearing
my skin became like
out grown clothes

my young eyes were greedy for life
and no one even knew 
I was dreaming away, wasting my time
like the seventies never cost me anything

I was hungry
but my pictures didn't show
I was too young to know
that the stars were more beautiful
without memories of you
stuck in my throat

your radio was left on
I was numb

I was already missing you
now I only miss the me 
I never got to be
now there's nothing left of you
but a paper trail of a soul

missing you don't mean a thing
don't mean a thing
the saddest thing is
you will never know
I'm too full of love for you
to ever feel alone
 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Forever 22

gorgeous lovers
living in houses with sheer black curtains
counting streets
scowling at sumptuous bank accounts
while imagining jumping through
glass doors to other worlds
their sadness is a comedy
of never being on the outside

there the sound of yelling means
someone's being passionate
as they have loving, living rooms
indoors

outdoors they are flagging down
and naming stars
writing their names in ash
by cast iron fire pits

she'll write letters to Orion
about things like spider bites and yellow webs
and how some build beautiful empires 
from dirty fabulous lies
famous lusty lies
poetry with metaphors 
doesn't allow for the word defeat

she tells him "we are young
and too precious to ever look tired or
sleepy"

"we should stay 22 forever"
as they dip beneath the waters of
the New River
their jeans have too many memories
and should never be washed again

 
 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Scattered

I am most comfortable on rainy days when I write your name over and over covering the windowpane. I know the storm you are and it has leaked outward and now it is my own. No broken hinges or apologies. You were never anything but yourself with me.

I am not accustomed to the strangeness of my skin that's bereft without you beside me. My hands do not know what to make of this strange heat that comes from an unknown source. I sit in the window to cool as the moon skinny dips on my face, I am reminded of the fullness of your mouth. And I hunger for a little of the summer we first met before everything scattered, and we got lost like toys that don't belong to grown ups anymore.


6/25/2017 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Shadow Girl

the past tastes like a place I no longer wish to visit
so I've washed my hands clean of the soot 
I cannot bury what is left of us
the sweet Balm of Gilead nights 
the songs of the crickets
as the fan blew the pages of the calendar 
like it too was blowing us away
I cannot give you back the songs you sang
or the nights I lay next to you and breathed
in this world because you did too
I cannot give you back your youth
or free you from the ghosts
that shackled you to a pasted summer dream
that didn't fit once you tried it on
I miss your laughter
and the bedtime secrets we used to share
they're still there safe between our two hearts
I cannot detonate the destruction that stuck to you
like your shadow
and there's not enough bleach to wash away
the wrongs that haunted you
tearing your belief
in good things to shreds like sawdust
our red bird wishes, your lace and bobby pin curls
and everyone that left you left me too
but we both know
sometimes lipstick is messy, so is glitter
and we're never quite ready for the taste
of hard liquor or roving hands and rolling eyes
the kind of wiring that trips us up
you showed me how it looked to walk in the darkness
I forgot how it felt in the light


Love is love, sometimes it has its own layers and variations. So too the love of sisters.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Red Geraniums

my thoughts spill over like
mismatched socks
and I've got piles of them
refrigerator empty of drink
the kind that tastes good
but numbs quickly
the walls are empty now
the pictures stashed in an
overcrowded closet
too many stories in the eyes 
of all my loves

I've bypassed lots of traps
I saw beauty spill from absolute
nothing but marrow soaked in pain 

I got burned once or twice
got lust mixed up with love
tried to cage it
then I wrote it off as a romantic idea
it was everything I wanted to avoid
like black ice

all the squandered sunsets
I thought I'd have a million
sorry now I wasted even one

and the red geraniums by the door
scenting the summer air
were so simple in elegance
but I never found words for them
 
Follow @vanesadawn