8

Tip of the Iceberg, Broken into Bits (Trigger Warning)

*******GUYS, please: Serious trigger warning is serious, as is the mature content filter.  They are there for a reason.  DO NOT go into this read if triggered by: sexual abuse/assault; emotional abuse; suicide threats; self harm.  Do not be alarmed:  I AM NOT with this guy any longer. But I got to thinking about this poem tonight, and how much I wish people could understand that it’s not always as easy as “just leaving” when it comes to abusive or toxic relationships, and I felt the need to share.  This is my story; please take a moment, if you’re willing, to read, to think, to try to understand…and to be kind.

Copyright Elizabeth Mathis, 2015; originally posted on deviantart right HERE.********

he’s I need you, I love you,
zero to engaged in less than a week,
your family’s approval already in hand
when the festivities stop
and he drops to one knee
no chance to think, no chance to back down–
he settled for second best all through high school,
there’s no chance he’s letting you slip by him now

he’s don’t let me go tears
when you’re dropped back at school,
the strokes of his fingers
smeared invisible over your skin,
the mark of his lips a painting only you see,
his ring a branded burden you’re not sure how to share
because when you left for home a month ago
you belonged to someone else

he’s handcuffed and carted away
just down the block from the theater over spring break
and you, already a mess of dependence
cheeks streaked with the weight of your heart,
wonder just what you’re getting into…but let the thought go
smoke on the wind
like the breaths of the cigarettes
you’ve become second-hand addicted to

he’s talks to people you don’t know
about your size, your shape,
the way your curves dip and hollow
because there are things he wants to do
but he’s not sure how
and he needs to know
to make it good;
he’s secrets told to people you don’t trust
because in his search for confidence
the only thing he knows how to focus on
is your body
and the places
only he can see

it’s he asks an online friend of yours
if she’d be the final piece
in a threesome
and you, uncomfortable
and burning red,
cross your fingers
and squint your eyes
and pray that she says no
because you can’t refuse him anything
but she can

he’s all smiles summer break,
hand holds and inappropriate public gropes
you can’t help but giggle over
discomfort be damned, discomfort go to hell,
he pushes shirts above your midriff
and calls you sexy, babygirl, doll…
stomach-flips and heart turnovers, please always stay!
but somewhere between the Wyoming/Colorado border
on your way to visit Dad and fam in autumn Vegas
something subtle shifts, shuffles, slides
into something worse

the first time you doubt the crazy stranglehold love
you leave blood on white carpet
in little sister’s bedroom,
ice and paper towels and panic at midnight
until it comes out

he’s tightening his hold
on the leash you didn’t know you were wearing,
nights spent at home, fits and phones thrown
at the floor
when you speak up, take a stand, change your mind;
friend lists growing smaller,
black abyss opening

you define codependence returning to college,
red-rimmed eyes and hiccupping sobs
when the car pulls away;
the summer is over
and so, you find out mere weeks later,
is the honeymoon

can’t sleep up all nights
calling despite your classes, your work, your lack of dreams
because he needs you–
the manipulation starts quiet, innocent, innocuous
and then it isn’t

“send me sexy pictures, please?”
and you do, countless baths
and phone on silent
because the roommates are just outside the door;
“tell me when to cum, babe”
ragged breathing, gasping words,
and you whisper
because the roommates are all in bed
and they can’t know your shame;
“get on webcam with me”
and you glance at the clock
and count the time you have,
is it long enough?  what if it’s not?

it’s he wants to send your pictures
to men from magazines
because you’re sexy enough to make the spread
except really
he just wants to sell you
because he can’t find or keep a job

and it goes on
and it gets worse
and you
break
down

first time:
“I’m such a jackass, babe.”
“why do you say that?”
“I went over there for friendship, and slept with her instead.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I won’t do it again.”

he’s apologies and sorrow
and a thousand missed texts when you forget your phone;
you let it slip, forgive and (try to) forget,
the voice in the back of your head
whispering, whispering, whispering things you ignore

second time:
“I didn’t mean to, I swear.
I just miss you.
Maybe if you send more pictures,
got on webcam with me,
got me off again
I wouldn’t be so tempted.”

he’s flowers and gifts, voicemails and emails,
and you try harder, you do what he says,
you spend nights at home on your computer and phone
and forget there’s another world
outside your relationship, your school, and your job

third time:
“I told you this would happen.”

and he yells at you:
you’re a bitch, you’re a slut,
you’re a whore opening her legs
to every guy in that dumb college town
and then he falls asleep,
ignores your calls until morning
and the world moves on

fourth time:
“if you don’t do
what I’m telling you to,
I’m going out and finding someone who will.
I did it before,
I’ll do it again.”

and he rubs it in every time you make him angry,
how easy it was to slip between her thighs,
how good it felt to forget you for a while…
for the first time since this started, you wonder
if this is the reason he keeps “single” on his facebook,
if this is the reason he avoids going out
when you’re home with him

fifth time:
“you stupid fucking slut,
all you women are the same,
can’t keep your zipper up
and your thighs closed”

he yells at you for talking to your mom,
he yells at you for talking to your ex,
he yells at you for talking to your friends,
he yells at you for talking to your roommates,
he yells at you for going out with your roommates,
he yells at you for having friends,
he yells at you for your roommates having friends,
he yells at you for your roommates inviting people over,
he yells at you for having a life outside of him,

he
yells
at
you
for
being
you

and you’re leaving your phone at home,
silencing it to get two hours of sleep,
ignoring texts and sobbing when nobody else is around
because you aren’t sure when things got so bad,
you aren’t sure what you’re doing wrong,
you aren’t sure what more you can give up to make him happy

connections made over the holidays
turn into paranoia, jealousy, anger;
choking on the end of your thread,
his marionette, you make a stance
and flee his company for just one night
because your mom told you to strike it on your own,
your mom thinks you’re in too deep,
your mom is concerned
he’s taking you over
and drowning you

hours later, his brother finds you laughing:
“he said you’d know where to find him,”
as he slips the wedding band,
a heavy burden you’re being strangled by,
into the palm of your hand
“said you’d know what to do with it”

you find him in the basement
smoke in mouth, eyebrows furrowed,
knife in hand and drawing across his skin,
a portrait of pain
he knows how to wield;
when you lead him to bed,
you make sure he leaves the knife
on the dryer

“if I ever find out we break up
because of that bitch mom of yours
I’ll kill her”
and your heart stops, just a moment,
before you let it go,
a moment of unbridled anger
hurled into hurtful words

“one month,”
he says the end of Christmas–
“if you can go one month
without talking to that bastard ex of yours
I won’t say anything more about it”

so you promise (sort of)
and you stick to it (for a day)
and you decide to sneak around
because damnit, if he can be friends
with all the girls he’s dated,
with all the girls he’s slept with,
with all the girls he knows
or doesn’t know
or wants to know
then why can’t you keep just ONE THING
for yourself?

your birthday
and he’s morose because it’s 21
and your roommates want to take you out,
to get you drunk,
to get you to at the very least have fun
but no, he doesn’t like that,
you can’t drink unless he’s there,
your first drink has to be with him

he’s quiet excitement, a manic happy
you can’t puzzle out over the phone
and someone knock, knock, knocking
at your front door

SHIT, you panic, SHIT
because he’s telling you to answer it
and the ex is coming over
to hang out, to celebrate, to give you five seconds of sane
in the insanity your life has derailed into
and if he finds out, if it’s HE at the door,
how are you going to handle
the blowup?

“go open the door!”
and you aren’t sure what to say
because there’s the ex
but he on the phone hasn’t explained,
hasn’t exclaimed,
hasn’t said
anything
and you stand, stupid, mouth open
eyes wide

“happy birthday, babygirl”
“I… what?”
“I’m giving Bau back to you”
“…I don’t understand?”
“he’s your birthday present”

as if people can be presents,
as if his friendship was up for the giving
just like that,
as if HE has any say
in who you’re friends with
in the first place

no, look deeper:
HE contacted the ex
(numbers he stole out of your phone
without permission,
you find out–numbers for the ex,
and your roommates,
and anyone else he thought you might
like to contact,
numbers he used
to manipulate and abuse
the people who were close to you)

he’s angry again, he’s angry all the time over
you no longer know what about,
and this time, he won’t let you explain;
“maybe I’ll just go throw myself
into traffic”
and the phone clicks
and the phone rings
and rings
and rings
and rings
and
r
i
n
g
s

the night is desperate, hourless,
you a wreck of nerves
and heartache
and the click of his voicemail;
in the morning, the sun dawns
and the world turns on still…
almost a full 24 hours later
you learn he was fine the whole time,
passed out and ignoring you

he’s kicked out of your moms house–
the last straw, the final nail in his coffin of hate–
and you, miles away, book a ticket
to his parents
because now that he needs them,
he’s willing to forgive, he’s willing to forget,
he’s willing to put his faith back in them

it’s your mom and brother ransack the bedroom
he was staying in
to get the stink of his stuff from their sight
and find your shame laid out:
packages stolen from strange mailboxes,
jewelry swiped from your mom’s drawers,
boxers knicked from little brother’s room;
pictures printed off college campus computers
you naked and baring all;
blow up doll shoved into the closet,
rubber mouth an O of deflated desire;
toys and swimsuits and lingerie and little blue pills
he never got around to giving you or using

and it’s almost finals week
and he’s planted his feet,
fingers digging into your neck
despite the miles,
jaw set in determination

you’re plans set to move to Colorado with him
his mom and stepdad excited,
looking into bus tickets, wanting you there;
your family, unstable and buckling,
calling to convince you not to go
because once you get there,
you’re stuck,
no job no friends no help no nothing but him
and that can’t be what you really want

the beginning of the end,
you’ve reached the frayed edges of the rope
you’ve been clinging so desperately to
he yells at you again
for calls to your mother, for advice listened to
that wasn’t from him
and you call his stepdad to try to understand

only one line stands out to you
from the mess of conversation that followed,
his stepdad cool and confident on the line
convinced you’ll do the right thing

“it was wrong of him to tell you
you can’t speak to your mom; she’s family,
it’s something we’re working on
but once you get down here,
you aren’t going to know anyone
it’ll just be you and him
and that’s all you’re really going to need”

five seconds of talk–
a new spin on the life you thought you were working for

you panic–SHIT–
what did you get yourself into
and how the hell
do you get yourself out of it?
because once you get down there,
you’ll never leave
and you realize it now;
no back to school in the autumn,
no going home to see mom,
no anyone you’ve ever known
or anything you’ve ever needed

you’re type 1 diabetic
and you know you haven’t done your best by yourself with it
but what if you get down there
and can’t afford your medications?
your test strips?
your supplies?
what if you get down there
and can’t afford to pay
for your right to keep your life?

it’s a burden of a different sort,
a stroke of epiphany you can’t shake off,
a sudden understanding that you’ve put it all on the line
for a guy who can’t handle treating you well
and what for
but heartache at the end
of a very long road

and you

f
i
n
a
l
l
y

leave

everything

in

silence

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1

Prisoner 1827

*** ©2014-2016 betwixtthepages / Elizabeth Mathis; originally posted on deviantART.com***

“When she exploded, she left nothing behind.  Except she did.”  Trembling, his hands covered in Prisoner 1827’s last breath, Officer Daavie catches the Captain’s eye.  The man’s mouth is stern, cutting deep lines across his face.  This is the tenth time they’ve gone over Daavie’s story.  Not one detail has changed.  Not one detail makes sense.

“That… It just doesn’t add up, Officer.  People don’t just explode–do you see any brains or bones or other human debris splattered across the walls like paint?”

Daavie grimaces, reaching for a bottle of hand sanitizer on the Captain’s desk.  “No.  I know.  But she did.”  He depresses the plunger as he speaks.  Nothing.  After thirty tries, each more frantic than the last, Daavie flings the plastic to the floor and rakes his hands through his thinning hair.

“Okay.”  The Captain sighs, tapping the tip of his pen against yellowing, crooked teeth.  “Take a breath, Officer.  Let’s go over it again.”

Slumping in the hard-backed chair, Daavie glances at the fake Rolex on his wrist.  5:54 am.  They’ve been at this almost fifteen hours.  He takes a sip of coffee and grimaces again as the cold, congealed sludge slips over his tongue.  He should get a warm up.  “It started just like any other call…”

The man is perched almost on the lip of the sloped apartment roof, his bare feet giving him traction.  Officer Daavie and his partner–a rookie–watch from below, the first responders on scene.  A crowd of curious onlookers gather on the sidewalk across the street.  They snap pictures on their cellphones and whisper together, pointing toward the sky.  Pressing the button on his walkie, Daavie turns his head.  “Unit 974 to Dispatch, we’re on scene.  Backup may be needed for crowd control.”

“Copy 974.  Units 526 and 223 en route.”

Swiping a trickle of sweat from his brow, Daavie hooks his thumbs in his belt loops and raises his gaze back to the figure on the roof.  The man balances on one foot, his hands held as if in prayer just past his nose.  Ten stories down, it’s just possible to make out the guy’s strange attire.  “What in tarnations is he–”

“Is he wearing a loincloth?”  The rookie chortles, tugging on his goatee.  His still-crisp uniform is tight across his beer gut; he hasn’t washed it yet.  Just out of the Academy, amused intrigue is still bright in his eyes.  He hasn’t experienced the horrors of the world.  Of their job.  Daavie bites his tongue and tries to remember what it was like, being so innocent.

The wind shifts, a gust toward the south, and the man’s loincloth billows out of place.  The crowd on the sidewalk shrieks and whistles at his naked exposure.  The guy ignores them, wrapping one hand around his foot and stretching his leg further into the air.  The movement is slow and graceful.  Practiced.  “I think he’s doing yoga,” Daavie murmurs.  The rookie snorts.  Spittle glistens on his lips like chapstick.

“In a loincloth.  On a roof.  Idiot.”

Daavie grins, glancing at the yoga man once more.  “Dispatch, Unit 974 again.  Nevermind the backup.  Situation is under control.  False alarm.”

“What a damn waste of time,” the rookie spits, shaking his head.  The crowd across the street breaks.  Bored, the people go their separate ways.

Daavie is adjusting his belt and heading back to the cruiser when chaos erupts.  A woman in black–her hair pulled into a strict bun, errant strands held back by a cat ear headband–barrels out an alleyway.  Bullets tear through brick and glass before hitting her mark.  The man in the loincloth opens his eyes, pulls a hand through the air as if to catch a baseball, and then falls off the edge.

“She wasn’t hard to bring in,” Daavie says, rubbing at his aching eyes.  The pads of his fingers drag dirt and brick dust across the planes of his face.  He wipes them clean on his slacks, staring at the smears.  “Even threw the gun away.”

The Captain licks his lips, scratching at a spider bite on his arm.  “So, she shot the guy and then–”

“She just… Laid down.  I mean, it was weird, but it made things easy.”  A tic starts in the muscles of his right eye; the lid bobs and flutters across his vision, blurring the room.  He presses two fingers over the lid, holding it closed.  The itch is painful, more insistent.  It feels like gravel.  When he moves his fingers moments later, the tips are smeared with gray.

“Okay.”  He makes a note on his clipboard and sets the pen aside, cracking his knuckles.  “So then what?”

“Backup arrived.  We secured the scene, collected evidence, brought her down.  It wasn’t until we got here she even said anything.”  Daavie sighs and glances at his watch again.  6:07 am.  His wife will be up by now, getting ready for the day.  He can see her in the bathroom mirror, nimble fingers weaving a fishtail through her hair.  Is she missing him?  He runs a finger along the rim of his coffee cup, confused and weary.

“What did she say?”  The Captain asks, wrinkling bushy eyebrows peppered with silver threads.  His nose is pockmarked; the makings of a mustache shadow his upper lip.

“Didn’t say anything,” Daavie murmurs, steepling his fingers against his temples.  He imagines Prisoner 1827 as she was in the room down the hall, her shoulders quivering, bright blood trickling down her arm.  So normal a thing, to bleed.  So human.  “She screamed it.”

“They said, they said, they SAID!”  She’s struggling, the handcuffs chaining her to her chair cutting into sun-browned skin.  Getting her out of the cruiser took five men, three wrenches, and a bungee cord.  Getting her into interview room number 10 damn near killed them all.  Through the tinted glass, Daavie studies the freckles dotting the bridge of her nose.  One black bra strap slips out of place, looping a freckled shoulder like a noose.  “When Hercules falls from the sky, they said, it was MY time, and I shot him down. I shot him down.  I watched him fall, a fireball through space, and when I found him I shot him down so why am I still here?!”

Stepping into the room, Daavie brushes donut crumbs from his uniform and tosses a vending machine package on the table.  “Hungry?  Thirsty?”

The woman glares at him, smashing the crackers beneath her fist.  The noise bounces off the concrete walls, ringing through Daavie’s ears.  He grimaces, pulling out a chair and straddling it the wrong way.  It’s been almost six hours since the man in the loincloth was killed.  The lady’s been screaming for three;  her shrill voice crackles on every other word.  Daavie purses his lips, staring her down.  “Hercules?  Like the Disney movie?”

“Hercules.  The constellation.  Are you stupid or somethin’?”

“Ma’am,” Daavie sighs, “the man you shot was not Her–”

“He was, he was, he came from the sky, I saw it!  Last night!”

“Last night?”  Pulling a can of copenhagen from his back pocket, Daavie slips a wad beneath his lip.  The woman is agitated.  Her black knee highs tap against the floor.  Her eyes dart around the room.  She can’t–or won’t–hold his gaze for more than a few seconds.  Reaching up, she yanks the band from her bun.  Thick dark locks fall, just brushing her shoulders.  With a snark, she tugs–strands tangle around her fingers, pulled loose from her scalp.

“Yes.  I saw him.  A star shot through the clouds, bright and burning, and landed there, and Hercules was born, and Hercules was strong, and they called for his death and my will was strong.  He landed there.”

“Landed where?”  Daavie asks, drumming his fingers on the tabletop.  Psych should have been here an hour ago; he’d blame it on a busy day, if it wasn’t Sunday on a holiday weekend.

“On the roof.  He landed on that roof.  And Hercules fell and was made to guard the night, and they said he must be gone so I followed the star and now he is burned out, hollowed down, but there’s still no sign.”  She screams again, an inarticulate sound of frustration.  She’s pulling clumps of hair now, either ignoring the pain of her bleeding skin or not noticing it.  Daavie glances at the mirror, a question in the kink of his eyebrows.  What do I do?  “And they said he must be gone, and he IS, he IS…but he isn’t, Officer.  He isn’t.  He left something in my eye.”

“What do you mean, he–”

She reaches up, then, a jerk of her hand and a flick of her wrist, and rubs at her eye.  Daavie notices small crescents of blood on her palms and wonders how long she’s been fighting the itch of her eyes.  It must have been a while, now.  Her fingers swipe across her eyelashes and for a moment, Daavie imagines the scrape of skin across concrete.  He shudders, then shakes his head.  “He left something, he fell from the sky and he smoldered in a heap and when his light went out, it didn’t GO OUT, he left it behind and it was blown across the breeze and it landed, it landed, it LANDED IN ME!”

“Ma’am, I think you need to just calm do–”

“It hurts, Officer.  Like rocks scraping knees, like dragging your hand across unfinished wood and coming away splintered.  It hurts, make it stop.  Please, make it stop.”  One tear–just one–slips down her cheek and Daavie frowns, following its trail.  It’s off-color.  Thick and oozing, it glows a gray-silver on the brown of her skin.  For a moment, he thinks makeup and cheap parlor tricks, but then she smears it with her fingers and a light flares from behind her pupils.  Daavie goes blind.

He shifts in his chair, tugging at the bunched material of his pants.  Between his shoulders, a dull ache throbs and creeps; he rolls his head, trying to loosen muscles knotted and stiff from sitting in a hard chair for so long.  A whisper keeps rhythm with his pulse, the voice low-pitched and sinister.  It threatens, it snarls, it burdens; with each breath, it takes a little more control.  “When the light faded, Prisoner 1827 was gone.”

“What do you mean, gone, Officer?”  The Captain peers at him, desperation wrinkling his forehead and hollowing his cheeks.

“I mean,” Daavie says, taking a breath.  The air whistles through a gap in his front teeth.  The sound bounces around the room and settles, a phantom, into silence.  The whispers in his veins grow louder.  Feed me.  Be with me.  See me.  “She was gone.  Just gone.  Except she wasn’t.”

“But how?  How does a person just disappear?  How do you explode without leaving a mess behind?”

“It wasn’t a mess, Captain.”  Feed me.  Be with me.  See me.  Daavie rubs his eyes again.  When he pulls his hands away, the ridges of his fingers are caked with black sludge and white specks.  He stares, intrigued.  The white specks churn and dance on his skin.  They turn blue.  Red.  White again.  A purple cloud sweeps across the black abyss and Daavie finally understands.  “She left something behind.”

“But you just said she di–”

“She left space in my eye.”

0

Heartstroke

Filter the impulse,
pulse a hummingbird
flickering paper wings beneath
thin papyrus skin–
a battle of breaths
you can’t hope to win
when hearts crack like drywall
and dry veins cave in
to old habits.

Resist the dreaming,
a scheming resolution
absolving no one–
the deep dark
seeds and breeds jealous,
seething monsters,
an ulcer of want-tos but never-cans
broiling, roiling, coiling like chains
to choke you up and drag you down.

Skip over the moment
you bend, give in–
there’s a life sentence found
in debating fail safes and stalemates,
a stagnant soul mating
the ghosts of burned bridges
like an impasse is over an in instant.

In this moment,
your heart is sparking
and the flames are catching fast.

–Copyright Elizabeth Mathis, February 2016–

6

blackbird poets

this story could be about divorce,
but you are not a ghost, not yet.

you asked me what poets were–
it is the middle of the night
and there is a cheap hotel room
i cannot fathom myself into.

i smoked my first cigarette
the first time i saw you naked,
your lonely colors carved into arcs;
now, my hands are brittle
and your back is an expanse
i will write about
a year from here
where it wears thin
because poetry is for the birds
and i am not made to lead revolutions.

twenty one and imprinted,
i have learned to grovel.

—copyright Elizabeth Mathis, September 2014—
—This is a first line poem originally posted on my deviantart: http://betwixtthepages.deviantart.com/art/blackbird-poets-481211390 —

0

Pondering Giraffes

Capture

we watched a giraffe fall five feet into the world.

bleating and blinking,
shivering with cold –
a harsh reality breaking.

“they rarely lie down,” you murmured,
breath fluttering against the conched curves of my ears.

you told me giraffes sleep on their hooves –
and even then, only for two hours.
cowed by their strength, i pondered a life on my feet;
calves burning, heels blistering, back bent forward with cramps.

after ten minutes, the newborn –
fresh faced and spot painted –
plucked hooves from thick tumbleweeds
and ran with the herd
head high, muscles rippling
as if not just thrust from the womb.

“i wonder,” you whispered,
soft fingers trailing the gooseflesh of my skin,
“what it says about humans that animals learn on the run.”

i pondered this
while watching tall shapes turn to silhouettes
in the sunset.

“it means,” i smiled, turning to face you,
“we know less about animals than we think.”

—copyright Elizabeth Mathis, December 2014—

0

Counting the Spaces Between (original poem)

Today’s forecast:
sorrow with a chance of supernova.
This update brought to you by Kleenex:
when the silent weight of the spaces in between
drags you down to drown beneath,
count on lotion soft to lift you up!
(partnered with Red Bull–
soft cheeks and heart palpitations guaranteed;
please mix responsibly)

In other news, the Prince of Zombie Hearts
has struck once more — a senseless slaughter.

WARNING: the following footage
is not suitable for young children or the weak-stomached;
please switch the channel now.

On location, Paul is talking pulse-beats with the body.
She’s a few words of warning to our watchers
on how to love and leave over the holidays.
Let’s listen in…

Bridge the gap from minute
to minute moments–
doomed desperation keeps track
with discounted touches
and reaching fingers.

You’re damned, darling,
just a bystander looking in on destiny
set to repeat the crime spree,
set to screw up the crime scene,
set to hopscotch the rocks of your feelings
across the ripples of time,
the fading lines whispering
‘breathing ain’t all it’s cracked up to be
when it’s crackling your love into splinters.’

You’ll skip out on depression,
leave her broken and blurred
heart spurned but still pounding
beneath the paper-thin sheets of winter-wisp beds —
a haunting of names not remembered,
a splicing of shame not forgiven,
a reckless betrayal you grin and bare to the world.

When snow flurries fly sparrow-heavy
in the abyss of your breaths,
you’ll think of her and wonder
how she’s getting on getting by without.

Send your selfish regards
care of vein burbles, care of thought bubbles,
a tic tac toe you can’t win —
keep your sifting, nimble thimble fingers
away from the cutting board
and out of her hourglass heart.

Please, leave her mourning.

It’s far better that
than sleeping peace and waking alone.

–copyright Elizabeth Mathis; November 2015–

4

Driftwood Dreams (original poem)

(for Mel — hopeburnsblue )

Hope, burning, blew
like driftwood across white beaches
as sunrise breached
the distant horizon line.

Life driftwood on white beaches,
sand sullied calm dreams.
The distant horizon line,
turbulent, wailed a mourning.

Sand sullied calm dreams
like a burden we couldn’t shake.
Turbulent, wailing a mourning,
we loosed wishes to the sea.

Like a burden we couldn’t shake,
sunrise breached as
we loosed wishes to the sea:
hope burning blue.

–Copyright Elizabeth Mathis ; Nov 2015–