Good

Still me with sepia.

Four-corner this grief

and make it stick.

Deftly, deftly

(with finger licked)

turn each page until

long ago and

once upon a time

render it mute.

Better

Spike me with fever.

Burn it away,

from the outside in.

Minister me with

sips and spoons,

with wrapped necks

and garlic cloves.

Blind me with a cool cloth

until I no longer see

what I can no longer see.

Best

Like a nursery curtain

(hush)

let this day close.

Let bedtime spill us all

into the Land of Nod.

With flashlights

and fairy dust,

chase it out from

underneath the bed.

Rock it away,

lullaby it down,

into oblivion.

Yes.

_________________________________________________

Here’s a quick tip —

Counting coins and

stacking chairs and

flicking on the lights

before the show is

even over,

is not bearing witness.

Covering your ears

to hide the grooves

my words have etched

with their endless, concentric circles,

is not bearing witness.

From wall to wall darting,

from watch to window jumping,

flitting, flitting, flitting,

like a jacked up butterfly,

is not bearing witness.

Using your death row shuffle

to discreetly drop behind,

when all that remains is

just around the corner

(right over there!),

is not bearing witness.

And —

Taking your hands to

spackle, patch, and prettify,

rather than to gather, cup, and carry,

when I offer up the broken bits

(oh so timorously),

is not bearing witness.

__________________________________________________

Slippers whisper across the floor.

A soft sound,

a barely-there sound.

Who needs noise to make

a cup of tea?

But now is not the time for words.

Blow into a balloon

all of that hot, heavy air.

Get the loudness out.

Watch your lost words grow.

Watch the noise go soft and round,

the sound like slippers on the floor.

Do you remember?

Not in a month of Sundays,

you whispered as I bit your ear,

skin still so ripe, pulse tattooing

its beat against my cheek.

Not until hell freezes over and pigs fly,

you later promised,

skin a loose rice paper,

a flimsy cover for what lay beneath.

Still these offerings up to me,

still from that same battered pail.

And still, I believed you.

Liar.

PhD in clinical psychology, writer, mother. Someone who needs to simmer down, already.