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I thought I had forgotten you,

lost you somewhere

in past darkness,

on the edge of some long dead dream;

but now in the shadows,

in the corners of my mind,

your voice

again,

weaving silver whispers

through my thoughts:

“You are no longer beautiful,

let me make you beautiful again”.

LostInside

Lost inside.

Glimpses of strangers

we once knew

staring back at us

in a long list of faceless entities;

memories of bodies that were ours

but also belonged to someone else

another voice

shimmering silver

in the fragments of dying dreams

a skeleton,

a diamond princess,

with a heart so cold it could

freeze

our whole world

until only the sky

held the echoes of music

we knew before

we lost ourselves.

The Ballerinas

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The Gates are calling.

We hear their voices vibrate,

quiet silver lights in days full of mist,

a faint draft from the Underworld,

as we wonder on grey sidewalks,

lined with fading skyscrapers.

Now we dream in visions leaking from raven blackness,

in dwindling hope of another dance.

We wait with lavish masks of chiseled diamond,

in lingering dust that breathes in soft silver chimes.

The music of the Underworld a thick hum in our ears.

We listen and forget to listen all at once,

our bony shoulders touching, pallid skin sparkling,

dark eyes glistening, hearts beating too fast,

Stars fall from the sky and tangle in our hair.

We move slowly, with heavy, broken breath,

until we pick up from the ground, and rise.

We fall in the belief of flying.

We fall endlessly from the cliff we climbed,

plunging through the Gates,

diving into the blackness of the Underworld.

Breaking

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if you break

 

I will break with you

 

Crimson blood

 

will drip

 

from our veins

 

bruises

 

will burn

 

on both our bodies

 

open wounds

 

will cry

 

in unison

 

Black tears

 

will stain

 

pale skin and gold

 

every scream

 

every scar

 

every death

 

I will hold your hand

 

as we drown

 

I will hold your hand

 

and never let you die alone.

 

Eyes of a Broken Soul

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The eyes of a broken soul watch

In her dark curls

A headband of nightmares glitters

thousands of wilting flowers

Twisting

Turning

Like splintered snowflakes

they drift in empty sounds

 

The eyes of broken soul wait

Her presence

an anxious shadow

that whispers darkness

into vacant atmospheres

 

The eyes of a broken soul yearn

a velvet cry that creeps from the corners

of an ancient dream

Thick fog moving from dead winters

Fractured stardust gathering

on soft, pallid hands

 

The eyes of a broken soul hunger

for stolen sweetness

melting between shattered lips

diamond skin and jasmine bones

Longing

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The moon shines through a thin cloud cover casting a silver blade of light over a charcoal sea. A solid wall of fog steadily advances toward a lonely shore. A woman wonders to the edge of the beach and I watch as a subtle wind caresses the thin white dress that hangs loosely over her body. She brushes a dark curl from her pallid face and I can see the stars glitter in depths of her dark eyes like captured lanterns.

She looks like a porcelain doll tiny, fragile against the immense, dark sky. I worry that the wind will shatter her into billions of tiny pieces. I imagine picking them all up in the morning; every single little piece, until I could glue her back together, until she was not broken anymore. Her lips form a melody that floats above the black water crystallizing in the air in perfect strains of music. A voice heavy and thick like honey.

She comes every night. Venturing to stand motionlessly in the same spot, in the same white dress, to sing the same wayward tune. I used to think she was sleepwalking, drifting somewhere between dream and reality, lost among the stars. Sometimes I am tempted to run outside so I can find out for sure, but something always holds me back.

By the time the first rays of sunlight pierce the sky the woman, together with her footprints, have vanished, leaving only an unblemished sheet of white sand.

Fading

IMG_0011Dusty bodies composed of frail dreams

Wonder through mists of sightlessness

Through stolen winds whispering of frayed promises

Grey melodies howling in ancient sadness

Hallucinations embellished with silver scars

Aching bones and bleeding thoughts

Broken hazy gazes that slowly wane to memory

Pale faces and stale smiles wash together in colorless illusion

Bodiless Chapter Four

Natural Disasters and Extra Calories 

Mama puts two pieces of pizza on a plate and slides it over to me. Two fat pieces of slimy grease, Shimmering in the dull yellow light of our kitchen. Tears trail down my cheeks. My mouth waters, craving it, wanting it, wishing I could sling it into my throat all at once. That gooey cheese. That warm thick bread curst. The tomato sauce. I imagine my lips touching it, biting into it, flavors exploding into my mouth. Chewing, swallowing, taking another bite. I imagine it all, every blissful second of eating that pizza, that warm delicious pizza.

But then there is the afterwards. Afterwards when the guilt comes to hunt me, when it creeps inside me, expanding, swelling, in my bloated belly. I concentrate on the afterwards so that I will remain strong. I cannot lose. I cannot give up. I have to fight.

I try with words first, soft begging tones. But I know she wouldn’t budge. Her green eyes are fierce, determined and hard with endless despair. Hysteria inflates in my mind. No more words. Just crying. Leo has already gone. I cry and try to escape but end up in the living room instead. Leaning against the couch, looking out into the grey raining world. I stop crying. I am the wall. Hard concrete. Apathetic to what is happening around me. Mama sits next to me; talking to me is soft, persuasive tones. I zone out her words. I have heard them all a thousand times; the same words in different orders, turned, around twisted, an added on here and there, but still the same in the end. Useless words, words without imagination.

I eat in the end I lost. I lost time. I gained calories from eating pizza. I am exhaustive. I drag myself up to my room. I am zombie—hands stretched in front of me, feeling my way through life, unable to think for myself. I lock myself into my room. I think I am going to cry, but I have no more energy left to shed even one more tear.

That night we see a report about the tsunami in Japan. I am a terrible person; terrible evil. I am robbing my parents of money and happiness. I am a parasite, eating away at them, feeding on their misery. I don’t deserve them. I don’t deserve anything. So many people lost their lives and I am crying about gaining a few extra calories. I have to be punished. Somehow I have to be punished. Why do I get to live, and all those beautiful, caring people don’t?

Bodiless Chapter Three

Happy Birthday!

Still groggy with sleep, I stumble downstairs where my family awaits me. As soon as I enter Mama crushes me into a profound hug. Papa’s arms wrap around me in a stiff, awkward manner, and we break away quickly. I paste a smile on my face when I inspect my birthday table; three presents wrapped in red and an envelope. Papa, Mama, and Leo sing; a quiet off tune happy birthday. Hastily I begin to unwrap, distracted by my paranoia of being late. A fluffy pink bathrobe. A little silver heart necklace. Dangly earrings that twinkle in the blinding white of the sun. Inside the envelope a card wishes me a generic happy birthday and holds one hundred and fifty dollars for a shopping spree at the Westfield mall. I lift the corners of my mouth a little higher. My muscles are tight. I hug them again. First Papa, then Mama.

I eat two cups of Honey Nut O’s and a cup of whole milk. I brush my teeth with spearmint toothpaste and scamper to Angela’s house with the bag of pastries in the Safeway bag.

The sky is dipped in drizzle and the cold paints my nose red. I knock on the door with a frozen fist. Angela opens, a smile spreading on her face. “Happy Birthday,” she yells, and hugs the ice statue. I grin, rubbing my pink hands together; thank you I mouth. She retreats back inside and I follow her. The warmth is blissful, she hands me a card; Happy Birthday in blue sharpie on a gift card from forever twenty-one.

“Thank you,” I smile.

There is a pounding on the door and Hanna comes in. Her gaze falls to the gift card and the Safeway bag, “Oh, its your birthday?” she asks, with mild interest. I nod. “Well Happy Birthday!”

We saddle our bag packs and step back outside into the piercing cold. I trail behind Angela and Hanna. “So,” Angela drawls out the words, “What did you get?”

“A bathrobe, earrings, a necklace, and money to go shopping,” I count up for her.

She nods and looks at me with foreboding, “Anything else?”

The words sting; red flashes into my face. I explain with hasty words that the main present is the shopping spree.

Her blue eyes twinkle with obvious pity. I study my converse; the scribbled rainbows and hearts drawn on the blue cotton. She continues talking to me. My answers are short and clipped. She sighs quietly, and turns her back to me to converse with Hanna.

The two tall blonds and the little brown trailing after them, like a sick puppy. The handles of the plastic cuts into the palms of my hand.

 

*          *          *

The rain continues. Huge bullets of water thunder onto concrete; washing the world hazy grey.  Drops cling to the window; shimmering as they trickle down the flat reflective surface. The wind howls and moans. I am made of ice. A deep cold pulses painfully through my veins. My jacket whispers from inside my backpack.  I imagine taking it out placing it over my arms; the blissful warmth. I don’t. I am trapped in the math room.

My friends are probably siting in a warm classroom, huddled together; whispering and giggling. On the edges of their chairs. Cheeks flushed and eyes alight with excitement.

A feeling settles. Curls up in my heart to nest. I dig my nails into my skin; a numb sting that I can focus on. My vision blurs. The hard plastic of chair cuts cold into my bone. The colorful images of Mulandrift across the screen. My classmates sit in little groups. They come in, beads of water sprinkled on their hair, warm lunches in their hands. A few them watch the movie, a few them discuss something in hushed suppressed giggly voices.

Sadness burns in my throat. My mind is foggy; my thoughts slow and heavy. I heave my backpack on to my desk, and place my head onto it. My yogurt and carefully cut strawberries remain untouched inside. I bite back salty tears. I would eat a cookie in Mr. Andres class; 180 calories, at least double the amount I usually eat for lunch.

 

*          *          *

5 minutes until the bell rings. Mr. Andres meanders to the front of the classroom, to attract everyone’s attention. “And now to end the day, Lily has a treat for all of us because it is her birthday.” He smiles at me, a wink in his eye, a crinkle at the corners. The class cheers and hoots. A chorus of Happy Birthday erupts into the air. My face flushes.

With a trembling hand I place a cookie on my desk. A perfect circle of powdery white with bright pink frosting on top. I walk around with a platter of croissants. People thank me.

I slide back into my chair, my face still burning. I lift the cookie to my mouth and take a tiny bite. Soft sugar melting quickly in my mouth. My taste buds are alive, hungry, lusting, yearning. My eyes flick around. Maybe I could slip it into my backpack; wrap it into a paper towel and throw it away. No I have to eat, someone is bound to notice. I take another miniscule bite—hunger groans in my stomach. Bigger bites, huge bites, I finish the cookie, but my stomach remains empty.

The bell rings and suddenly Maria is there wrapping her arms around me, swallowing me in her warmth. “Happy Birthday!” she gasps, her brown eyes glittering a deep hot chocolate.

A smile stretches across my face; real and uncontrolled. “Thank you.”

Maria smiles and then her gaze drifts toward the remaining croissants. Her eyes widen, “Can I have one?”

I nod, the smile blazing on my face. She helps herself to a croissant, taking a giant bite and groaning in apparent disbelief, “HHMMMM this is the best croissant ever!” Three more bites and the croissant is devoured. She licks her fingers, one by one, relishing every second of the blissful taste. The gnawing in my stomach is painful.

The door swings open and Crystal storms in, throwing herself at me in a vehement hug. She releases me and hands me a little box ornate with pastel colored flowers. “You didn’t need to get me anything,” I gush, hugging Crystal again. I screw open the lid and find a little owl charm looks up at me; sparkly white jewels for feathers. “Awww, thank you so much.”

The door is bolted open again and immediately I am slung into another hug. “I just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday,” Nikki exclaims. I am smiling so hard it hurts. Behind me, Crystal helps herself to a croissant. She moans in approval as soon as her lips touch the pastry.

We slowly migrate to Ms. Prezs’ classroom. For some reason I feel the need to give a croissant to Ms. Prezs.

Emma passes by me and exclaims, “wow its your birthday, why didn’t you say anything.”

“Yeah,” Ms Prezs scrutinizes me, “we would have sang.”

My smile stays, even as my soul sinks. I shake my head and mumble something undecipherable. A scribble of tones. No one cares if it is my birthday or not. No one cares if it’s the freak who never talks and has no friends birthday unless, of course, she brings food.

“I want to bring the last one to my mom.” I explain to Maria and Crystal when they plead for the final croissant. They pout their lips and widen their eyes in a dramatic plea. “Fine, if you must.” Their expression quickly transforms into one of utmost glee and they flood me in their thanks. I roll my eyes, and push open the translucent middle school door, leaving them to feast on the croissant.

I float all the way to the silver prius. Soaring across through grey colds, above the paved concrete, a ray of internal sunshine. I jump into the passenger seat and begin telling Mama all about the last few minutes of school.

A smile. A glitter in the vibrant green of her eyes. She pretends to be sad about there being no leftover croissants. She drives to the Novato Mall and I splatter on and on about the last few minutes about my day, .

The real trip will be going to Westfield, this is just for a few extra items. I am all happy. When Mama asks what’s going to be my snack. We go to Starbucks; because I tell her I want a frabacicno. When we stand inside warmth and the small of coffee swirling around us. She says so you will be having a frabaccino and what to eat?”

At first I don’t think I heard her right. “What?” My voice is shaky. She repeats what she says. My body goes frigid; my muscles tense; the sadness creeps up my throat; suffocating me. Doesn’t she know how many caliors are in a Frabacciono,–all the whip cream and caramel—nearly 400 caliors in just the small one. I can’t believe she is doing this. I thought it would be different at least on my birthday. I can’t believe she is ruining my birthday. Tears sting my eyes, trickle down my cheeks. I protest.

She argues its only a drink. “Lily it is your birthday and your not even having a cake.” Yeah, its my birthday so I should get what I want. Doesn’t she know that that does not matter; milkshakes; smoothies; frabaccinos; empty calories you gulp away without noticing as they land heavy onto your fat. “I will only have something to eat than.”

I eat the piece of marble cake. It tastes of salt. After that all my happiness is gone and we drive home in silence.

Bodiless Chapter Two

Sleep Over

An eerie quiet falls over 31 Park Terrace. The stairs whisper. The doors creak and the floors murmur. Our voices ring out loud and shrill. Echoing in the vast emptiness of the house. “It is actually kind of scary now, don’t you think?” Angela whispers, eyes wide with dramatized fear. I grin. Muted giggles and faces pressed into sleep bags. We inch our closer to watch Lucy playing on Angela’s Hp.

Time drifts closer to midnight my mind becomes foggy and my eyelids heavy. It is astounding how much energy is required to simply keep your eyes open.

The sun wakes us up in perfect golden haze. I rub the sleep out of my eyes, little bits of crust crumbling on my fingers and falling onto the floor. Angela is already standing. She stretches her back, so that her tank top exposes her flat stomach. Her blond hair is adorably messy. She smiles with smooth pale pink lips. Her freckles dance on her cheeks.

“Which one do you think I should wear?” she questions me. She holds up an exquisite dark purple top with braided straps and a light-blue long-sleeved shirt with cute white buttons.

I shrug my shoulders, “I like them both.”

She rolls her eyes, and turns her back toward me to pull on the purple number. I quickly get out of my sleeping bag and change into my long-sleeved grey-black top. When I turn to face her again I catch an emotion flickering in her eyes, but it disappears to fast for me tell what it is. “What?” I ask.

She shakes her head, “Let’s eat breakfast. I am starving.”

Downstairs we share a breakfast of cornflakes, strawberries, and 2% milk. We are quiet as we spoon the cereal into our mouths. Only slurping, chewing, and thinking.

“Do you want to practice doing handstands,” I ask her, “We have so much space, it is a perfect place to practice.”

Angela nods, proceeds down the two steps into the carpeted living room area. She takes a mocking bow to an invisible audience before completing a near to impeccable handstand. Skinny legs upright in the air. A tight muscled stomach. Strong arms. A shiver runs through me as she flings herself around the living room; flaunting her handstands and cartwheels.

“Come join me,” she calls. I bite my lip and shake my head. The cold burns my hands. “I changed my mind. I can’t do a handstand.”

“Try it.” Angela stops her show to stare at me, a dare evident in the devious sparkle in her eyes. I inhale a deep breath. My fingers spasm with cold. I plant my hands firmly onto the ground and kick my legs up. Instead of falling back onto my feet like expected to, Angela grabs my legs, holding me upward. “What are you doing,” I cry, panic a vivid note in my voice.

“I am helping you,” Angela insists, not dropping my legs. Dark color rushes into my face. My arms shake under my weight.

“Please,” I beg her, breathless, “Let me go.”

She lets me fall safely back to the floor and avert my eyes to floor still trembling.

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