Now I Have Grown

When I was a child we would walk
through the dusk-warm breezes, down the street;
always parking in the same place,
by the magnolia tree, with its too-sweet smell,
so strong it filled my throat.
And I would bend down,
and pick the petals up, and run my fingers over them,
like feeling something from a place
that the world had forgotten to touch. Back then the evenings
took a magic air, and the sidewalk which we walked was holy ground.
And we would go to the temple, with her heavy
steps, and high and slanting thrones to either side,
where I and other children climbed like lions made of stone.
We would make our way into her embrace,
the temple, with her long windows and high ceilings,
curves and arches meeting like
the harmonies of a song,
her sanctuary just the right size
for a child’s heart.

Now time has passed, and I have grown.
My womanhood I am finding in her sanctuary,
sitting beneath her ceilings, with my cane in my hand.
And the songs we sing sound like lullabies, but my voice is deeper now;
I sing with old women, and I am a woman.
I sing with old women, and I am a child.
I see the people who I knew, but never knew their names.
I look at them and see their backs are bent, their hair is grey.
I sing with old men, and I look at my father.
I sing with old men, and I look at my father.
There are new children now, as children are;
a little girl is jumping in the aisles.
I watch her while she laughs and climbs the stairs,
each step carefully, as I did once.
Each step carefully, as I do now.
I watch the little girl, and smile;
I watch the little girl and see myself.
I watch the little girl, and smile,
and know I am a woman now, because she is a child.

Scribbling on Seashells

Trigger warning: Though not the intent of the poem, portions of this could potentially hit on a suicide trigger.

I scribble out words on
fragments of my seashell skin, like
Cracked jars of peach cream currency, like
Shards of broken homes washed up on
white sand beaches.

Searching fingers pry at my insides
fitted in my seashell skin, and
I dance on rocks until I
shatter.
I tap out whispers to sit in my shell like
sea songs.

I am turning my breasts into
tablets,
My thighs are too-smooth pages for
soliloquies.
I scratch out sonnets on the shell of my smile.

I am seeping from the seashell cracks like
seawater,
This makeshift house and I must part.
Let the sea snails slip in to be marked
by ephemeral markings,
Let the sea sounds wash away my songs.

Hypersensitive

Sometimes, everything gets loud like
the volume on the world is turned up past
eleven and I
wish that I could make the noises stop but they keep coming while I
try to crush my ears beneath my
hands to shut out noises every
taptaptap on the
keyboard
every
crinklecrackle of plastic while my mom unwraps her
candybar
every
crashclatterBANG of dishes  against
dishes but the
speakers in my brain are
broken, so I’m left
staring
at the place where a knob should be
but isn’t.

Nobody

i am
aching. i am
empty. i  am
a blank space inside a shell I am
Nothing I am Nobody and I
Will sail past sirens and past Cyclops, you cannot harm
What has no
Existence. I am the Universe aching, I am
The Great Blank Maw that Swallows Itself
I Create Myself and you shall not
Have me.