Poems, Lilla Orly

Apres Charlie
 
We stand helpless with our hands by our sides
Surrounded by the remains of ferocious words
Speechless not from the horror of these events
But silenced in the name of mutual fear and cowardice
They hit us where it hurts; long stinging blade to the throat
Severing our emotive instruments and snapping our weapons
Have they, have we done so wrong as to deserve this?
No. They plague in the name of the same Lord who
Frowns upon them in the form of their nation’s disapproval
Their crimes are selfish, the idol of their worship forgotten
Shame they brought to their people who wish for no relation
We are not much better; massacre is our middle name
There is a reason the sun chooses to set in our plains
We attend the ceremony, gathering on this day and the next
To unit this pair in unholy matrimony, to get things off our chest
There they stand at the altar, hand in hand
The bride’s countenance hidden by her veil
The groom’s stance rigid in his ticking vest
We sit legs crossed, at the edges of our seats, hands below our hearts
One guest leans to another, “It will never last.”
 
 
Sonata in two voices
 
Who I am or who I wish to be is of no importance
I’ll paint my face in the morning to become that grinning ghoul
tie loose knots from the laces of my shoe, a lax noose to stop
the meandering sidetrack between the crackling stumps
that swear they believe me when I tell them that
who I am or who I wish to be is of no importance.
 
Everything I happen upon is colliding,
blinded courses are bound to cross without
any red lights or stop signs to break the inevitable
splintering skeleton, erupting veins, ruptured flames,
why bother wearing a seatbelt when
everything I happen upon is colliding.
 
My limp wrists will never match your grip,
it’s locked tight with a seal of spit swears,
ragged, bleeding cuticles, dirt beneath the nails
my own clammy palms giving way too soon,
wrestle though I might, you’ll win for,
my limp wrists will never match your grip.
 
Who I am or who I wish to be is of no importance,
because
everything I happen upon is colliding
because
my limp wrists will never match your grip.
 
 
The Frigid Pistol
 
Melting talons and singing crystal,
indigo webbing streaked iris,
dismal tunes of a frigid pistol
 
Bleeding remnants fractured missile
spreading wound consumes the virus
melting talons and singing crystal
 
Winking darkness and soothing thistle
captive’s clutch believed desirous
dismal tunes of a frigid pistol
 
Shriek sharp as a piercing whistle
ripe is the fruit of its papyrus
melting talons and singing crystal
 
Search for my hide’s stinging bristle
gilded by the touch of Midas
dismal tunes of a frigid pistol
 
Rich rubies falling down in a trickle
gouged sockets left eyeless,
melting talons and singing crystal,
dismal tunes of a frigid pistol.
 
 
Mr. Faceless
 
Let’s call you Mr. Faceless,
your features indestinguishable
you’re a copy of a copy
binary of your col-blooded brothers
and fathers tucked safely in marked graves
no doubt the collar of your shirt
and pale pigment of your skin
distinguish your family legacy
 
Let’s call you Mr. Nameless
because God knows that your title
is one handed to your embrace
the same way you were passed
to your father after your repulsive expulsion
even then you did not shriek
at his icy-handed caress
innocence not something you were born to
 
Let’s call you Mr. Empathetic
all can identify with your sharp-toothed sneer
and your synthetic spouse
everyone’s come home in the evening
to wring their white hide
pools of blood, sweat and tears
none of which are your own
 
You go by many names:
Mr. Moral, Mr. Genuine, Mr. Honest,
Mr. Heinous, Mr. Greed, Mr. Narcissistic
Mr. Charming, Mr. Pleasant, Mr. Compassionate
Mr. Wrong, Mr. Scheming, Mr. Corrupt
Mr. Officer, Mr. Senator
Mr. President
 
 
The Suburban Kid Collective
 
Do you tell yourself everything’s fine, too?
Wrapping the band-aid
round your finger too tight.
How do we quit these habits?
Your scab picking, my nail biting, her punch throwing.
Will this bruise on my knee ever fade?
The purple-green hue is the smirk you wore
when I saw you for the last time.
 
Where are those long nights now?
Polaroid negatives bleached by the sun.
Do you still count the seconds before the thunder?
The warning flash introducing the applause.
Was it heaven at your doorstep?
In the brown package on your welcome mat.
Can I borrow your steel heart?
And wear it as a charm on my wrist.
Remember the shattered necklace we shared?
The clasp snapped when you ripped it off your neck.
What did you find in the rubble?
In the ruins of our schoolyard playground.
 
Do you want fries with that?
Side order to your tripped humour and red cheeks.
Will it ever end?
The mind numbing words and jaw breaking smiles.
Who made these rules anyway?
No shirt, no shoes, no hands. Look mom!
 
 
November 1st
 
Soft ground, hard ground, hollow-ground,
Uneven, root-laced, populated ground.
Quick strides, slow pacing, mournful stillness,
Shaking hands, kissing cheeks, bowing heads.
Mothers, wives, husbands, friends,
Children, brothers, sisters, strangers.
Beating hearts, pulsing vains, dreaming minds,
Crumbling features, decaying frame, eyes gone blind.
Fake flowers, real flowers, wilted flowers tilting,
Flickering candles, painted glass, religious idols exalting.
Crossing branches, thick granite, anchored plaques,
Bolded titles, blurred lines, forgotten names.
Marked paths, masoned borders, iron gates,
Holy partition, soul segregation, spirit isolation.
Lurking fear, promising comfort, overt indifference,
Steady warning, pleasant reminder, compulsory conclusion.
Pursued beliefs, conquered doubts, dismembered desires,
No contrast among those living, those existing.
 
 
Martyr of the Interstate
 
Just off the highway, head lowered in prayer
Shrugging against the car pulled up to the shoulder
Hand gripping the barricade between herself and the ebbing tide
Whether she shivered was unclear
Possible trick of the eye against the shimmering sea
Praising the gravel at her feet with the gaiety
Of a passionate preacher in sermon
Swaying circles, pulling the corners of her lips
Snippets of her lover’s face, a stranger’s laugh, a television theme song
The sting as tangible as a hornet’s needle
Pacing back to the driver’s side lowering her hood
Winking at the water before gliding past the door
Silhouette haloed by the dashboard
A martyr of the interstate pulling away, whispers passed behind
Greeting the drooling mouth of darkness, poised to swallow
Was she ever there at all?
 
 
Niepodległości
 
Niepodległości; independence from intruders’ iron grip.
Decade after decade of broken freedom.
Licking the sharp shards, tongue sliced leaving leaden taste.
Being held under tides by a hand with fat fingers.
Temples squeezed ’til brains burst through shattered skulls.
Lungs filling with water, rupturing, cleansing organs; stinging salt.
Watch them pound through these streets; the soldiers’ promenade
Manmade thunder to be followed by the calamitous flash.
Fear has never clenched these hearts.
Perhaps it pawed or prodded but never did it strangle.
Stunted is the growth of this defiled child.
For pride is an inheritance, stubbornness a symptom.
Patriotism a malignant and cancerous tumour.
 
 
The Performance
 
It appears as a clear, crisp image before me.
The dust lifts as the light comes on,
Illuminating everything in its beam.
Then it begins,
And it’s as though an organ leads a perfectly harmonized choir,
And it’s as though an ugly duckling has finally become a swan,
And it’s as though a harp is being played by an angel,
And it’s as though the sun appears on the horizon, breaking an endless night.
Then it finishes,
The light burns out,
And the dust settles once more,
Until the image fades,
And it’s gone.
 
 
Him
 
It sings a gentle hymn, lulling me into an even deeper sleep,
A seductive tune pulling me, telling me not to leave,
As the daylight tries to kiss open my drowsy eyes
The wool pulls me ever further into the abyss
Until I feel the clay harden, and the mortar stiffen,
And I know I cannot leave.

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