“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” |
(F. Scott Fitzgerald)
UntitledI don't want to feel defeatUntitled by DanielleWick
at the successes of long-time friends;
don't want to wonder what if or why for.
I finally want for myself what they've always wanted for me:
to take the reigns away from grief and live my own fucking life.
But how do I know when it's been too long?
When have I given up too much?
The one thing I know is I'm not beating a dead horse, anymore --
I'm perched, clutching a live one and I want so hard to love it.
Some days I think I do.
Then I doubt.
UntitledI'm strangling a paintroller cleanUntitled by DanielleWick
when your crooked lips pop into my head.
I spent the afternoon painting my bedroom in pale green,
slashing bright swatch over dull wound over a dark gray
the same hue as those Victorian painted lady blues.
It had to be three tones, three types of the same;
a family by any other name but always subject
to those fanning subtle degrees of abuse.
When we cleaned brushes at the end of the day,
you always told me to use Dawn; I've got Palmolive but,
really, what's the difference?
They both bring up suds, pry out pigment, leave tiny flecks
of latex looped into my armhair.
For a split second, I can feel the old house-phone against my ear,
remember what Casey's voice was like back then,
knowing you were eavesdropping but too in love to care.
I can see smudges of blue on threadbare jeans
just as clear as I can feel Marie's disgust
booming over your silence as you settled into your armchair.
I can also remember the temperature in the college bar where you begged
Pneumonia Of The SoulConcessions never confused themselves with aspirinPneumonia Of The Soul by DanielleWick
and I refuse to condone breathing beneath wet fabric;
hypothermia passed me by, frostbite wouldn't take me in
so now it's just me and the slow drown of survivor's havoc.
Spilled soaking wet at an impasse without captured breath,
roll eyes back into my head but pupils still know the difference;
shoulders mirror knees shaking, I'm almost out of my depth
and still not sure there's an acceptable way to beat this.
My feet find the ground in round-heavy cadence,
body shunning cells I've had for years, faces flaking off;
I'm hungry as hell for the hollowing of my heroes and saints,
it keeps me leaping forward, desperate to shake this holy cough.
Panorama of pulses, they say truth's sleeping somewhere near
but the kaleidoscope distortion of muscle versus emotion shows in bold;
I'm coughing myself raw to this day but still everything's coming up clear,
particulate still burning and bound firm to this pneumonia of the soul.
SeanceSometimes a seance feels necessary, so,Seance by DanielleWick
on a humid afternoon in mid-July
two days from outliving my mother by a year,
I decide to call some ghosts and see
what's shaking in the afterlife these days.
Nothing much new, except Ghost Superior finally sees
that people can believe in whatever imaginary friend they need
and Weeping Heart unexpectedly accepted that her miracle baby
has grown into a gigantic asshole.
I'm surprised to find I'm glad for them much in the way
a groundskeeper might be happy there are some new potted plants
to mow around this year.
Time moves slower for them, there in the southern lands,
each clock face a hypnotic circular exercise in pointlessness;
my brain falters when it recognizes the pattern of those voices across the airwaves
and I stumble back in time, just enough that I have to ask myself, "Really
how different am I from them?"
In the next second, my lungs remember how to work
and I hang up the phone, more surprised than ever
at how easy it's become to climb