Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My head aches


My head aches in all the

Tiny crevices, pushed together

Pressured like when I dine with

My mother who tells me to

Force my will on others like

She forces her will on me.

I turn my face from her so

She cannot see the lie that

Wants to be born there,

Instead I practice oblong words

That slip on icy corners

Hiding the fear that I

Will be formed as flesh

From flesh and heart

From ash.



My head aches

As I taste the metal

Foam that forms on the

Words that placates

My mother from one

Curve to the next

Hidden place, and I

Remember, I hope, I

Think I remember,

Where all the land mines

Are, and nobody tells

The truth, a forgotten

Stepsister that twists

Like an untied knot

Formed in the palm of my

Hand.

Fear

Fear is yellow like a robin’s belly.
Fear is the sound of leather shoes.
Fear grates its nails on the cheese shredder.
Fear laughs when dogs howl.
Fear makes a belly naked.
Fear creeps with slow duck feet.
Fear leaps like lightening in a storm.
Fear huddles like a toad in a barn.
Fear asks no questions except one.
Fear wants nothing except all.
Fear longs for ice-cream turned to cream.
Fear is ashes swarming in a belly.
Fear takes everything, leaving only popcorn in great balls.
Fear is the presence of dead roaches, turned right side up.
Fear is aspirin dusted to powder.
Fear is pain squeezed like play-dough.
Fear whispers a hundred truths wrapped like fries served cold.
Fear weeps when the light comes.


Nobody Had To Tell Me

Nobody had to tell me

Never to invite my friends home

Never raise my voice

Don’t turn on the lights

Don’t talk when the TV’s on

Don’t touch the Vodka bottle in the cabinet

Don’t talk about –



The house

The home

Or the man that tore one

from the other.



Nobody had to tell me

Not to ask for money

for school

for trips

for clothes that fit

Not even for a book

Thrown out by the man

Who threw out everything

Except for what was his’n.



Nobody had to tell me

That guns that click

May also click at me.

Spending the Night at Linda's House

The orange slick of blood
Sounded fat and warm
As it trickled down soft
Spreading wide in a
Brazen cheer.

The sound of gunfire slipped
Under the door like a mouse
Flipped over and pushed
Squalling, shivering green
Fear flecks into my food.


Sadistic Lover

My cat demands closeness
That I’d rather not give,
Sadistic lover -
He stalks me like a shriven
Mouse, laying on my vacant
Flesh-claiming rights
With sharp claws kneading
unprotected flesh.
Blood stripes earned
In sudden affectionate leaps.

He looks at
Me with yellow slat eyes

I move, he follows
He adores, I dread.
He watches my every
Breath, and I wonder
If adoration
From a 10 pound
Tom is worth
The unfleshed kiss.


A Prophet’s Price

Terror means nothing more

Than a dip in stocks

When a board is bombed

No matter how much

Grass is grown

On the blood splattered

Dark maroon.


Just Dance, they say,

Just dance and drink the

Wine. No, wait. No wine

For us, if seventy-seven virgins

Wait. Limp, damp flesh

Too deeply grown for

Camels to ride.


Spirals circle,

Once and twice

And back again,

Waiting for the moment

To ripen into full flesh

Of a promise given by

A prophet gone tomorrow.

Whispering in wishes

And songs that were never

Meant to be sung

In a century never believed in.


Never prayed for,

Never hoped for.


And never meant to be

Twisted into bombs

Delivered in the trunk

of a beat-up van.

Charlotte Ballard