crushed, as rock is ground
to sand and washed to sea,
tiny pieces of used to be,
fall away in time, until nothing
solid remains – and emptiness
where I used to be.
I found a perfect shell on the beach, all the edges
were smooth, the corners just right. She was the palest
pink, like the sky before sun appears, and her
ridges were spaced just right, as if carved by a sculptor.
No sand clung to her, for she was too smooth to mar.
As I held her to my cheek, and she whispered,
“Empty inside.” Did she speak of herself?
Or me? I slipped her in my pocket,
as a way to hide.
Willful canyons carved
of bones beneath flesh,
rise and fall marking empty
spaces, outside and inside.
Once a smooth landscape,
now stark desert land,
sharp angles of deprivation,
ribs like ridges of carved rock
punished by anger
and the ravages of sun’s glare.
Punish the landscape
by withholding food, and it
rewards with new sharp angles,
art of light and darkness
over bones and flesh,
Take every feeling that fights
its way in, capture it, lock it up
inside a wooden box with a skeleton
key. Everything I feel is my enemy.
The soldiers of sadness of fear of regret,
they fire their weapons of emotion if
they get too close, leaving me with holes
clear through. Every shot means
one more piece of me on the ground.
I have no weapon, so I arrest them as soon
as they appear. There’s a tiny prison box
for each, so sadness never speaks to hope,
and guilt will never hear from pride.
Boxes line my walls, reverberating
cries, but I stand guard, in case more feeling
come by, for I already have too many