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The Devouring

Bones litter the ground,

abandoned by devouring beasts.

Oh, how the innocents howl!

Deliverance! they cry.

Let indifference be a distant shade!

They are drowning in the swollen veins,

the rising crimson,

of Mother Earth,

blistering under

a choking Father Sky.

But apex predators do not heed.

They lick their lips to lead the pack.

They are deaf by choice,

as they gnaw on brains,

claw at open wounds,

tear voices from throats.

They stand on the corpses of dreams.

Crocottas laugh.

Corpses cry.

Jaws unhinge.

The devouring begins.

For those who don’t what a crocotta is, it is a mythical beast. Most sources I’ve found describe it as a large wolf-dog that imitates human voices to lure in victims. It seems in many sources to be linked to hyenas as well. Personally what sticks out to me most is how it tricks people into believing it’s a human being, betrays them, and then devours them. Why do I find that so interesting? Because I find that a lot of humans aren’t too dissimilar.

I think a lot of people have bathroom floor moments. Many people probably know what I mean when I say that. Those moments when life becomes too much and you find yourself sitting or lying crumpled on the cold tile or linoleum. It doesn’t even have to be in the bathroom for you to have one of those moments. I just call it a bathroom floor moment because of personal experience.

Don’t be embarrassed if you’ve had one of these moments. You’re not alone. And if you don’t think I understand or know what it’s like let me describe it from my perspective. You may feel like the emotions that overwhelm you reach their peak then slowly drain out until you’re left feeling numb, empty and hopeless. You don’t care anymore if you appear pathetic, you just want to curl up and disappear. You wonder what’s the point. And it hurts, oh, man, it hurts. You lose track of time because you’re so consumed by the ache. Sometimes it last minutes, sometimes it lasts hours. Sometimes your chest heaves with wracking sobs and sometimes you can’t shed a single tear. Sometimes you’re aware of everything from the cold unforgiving tile to the sounds outside the door. And sometimes you’re so trapped in your own head that a hand waving in front of your face barely registers.

Have I described it well? As I’ve said, I have personal experience on both sides. As the one having the bathroom floor moment and the one walking in on one. And I can say both sides are hard. The floor is unforgiving and without peace. Either you’re drowning in a raging see of emotions or sinking in a silent dark abyss. The other side is difficult for other reasons especially if it’s somebody you love on the floor. You’re heart might be breaking at the sight of their suffering. You might feel overwhelmed not knowing how to help or what to do. But you feel like you have to be strong for the sake of the one on the floor. And that’s hard to do sometimes.

Many things can lead to bathroom floor moments. For me it was depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Mental illness pinned me down to that floor. But you don’t even have to be mentally ill to have those moments. Sometimes life just gets overwhelming and unpredictable. The death of a loved one, stress, divorce, health issues, you name it. There is more than one path to a floor.

Sometimes bathroom floor moments are just moments. You get it all out then you go forward. But sometimes they can lead to much darker things like suicide and self harm. That’s why it’s important to take care of yourself and others. I don’t know if all bathroom floor moments are preventable, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

You are not alone. There is hope. It may feel like there’s no going forward, but there is. This a bathroom floor moment. Emphasis on moment. It doesn’t have to define your whole life. I understand it’s hard, but life still goes on. And there’s no shame in taking a moment to process it all. Go ahead. Sit or lie there. Have a good wallowing. Be intimate with your grief. Just don’t forget to get back up.

If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please, seek help. The phone number for the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. They are open 24/7.

A frozen existence.
An endless night.
The stars are so distant.
I outstretch my fingers,
seeking warmth, light,
but shrink back
when all I touch is chill air.
I yearn for a star.
These ones all twinkle in
their scoffing laughter.
I wander the cold blackness,
jeers ringing in ears.
What’s that?
Streaks of pink
on a horizon I couldn’t see.
A sun, my sun,
peeks over the edge of the earth.
And my world starts turning.

Before my husband came into my life I had been in a pretty low place. My previous boyfriend had dated another girl behind my back after manipulating me and lying to me for months. The boyfriend before that was not much better. I had been used, manipulated, lied to, and treated like some toy to be played with and thrown away. And I had put up with it all just because I wanted to feel loved.

So by the time I got cheated on and the relationship fell apart I was done. I just wanted someone to treat me right at this point. I felt alone and stuck with no hope of moving forward.

Then my husband came along. We met at church. I recognized him from my sixth grade co-ed soccer team, but he didn’t recognize me. He just thought I was the cute girl leading the music. In Sunday School he positioned himself behind so he’d have a chance to talk to me. Well, he got his chance. I overheard him talking about my favorite sci-fi show before class. I spun around and said, “Who’s talking about Doctor Who? I love Doctor Who!” That immediately struck up a conversation. He would tell me months later that moment was love at first sight for him. For me it wasn’t. But when he asked me out a week later and I said yes my world started turning. I didn’t know it at the time but I was finally moving forward.

I love my husband. He is my best friend. We’ve had difficulties, it’s true, but what marriage doesn’t? And when I imagine my future I see my husband, my sun, always there.

Flame meets snow.

Hiiissss!

Fire & ice scream,

furious.

How dare the other exist

in my path?!

Scalding steam rises,

boiling the world,

blistering our skin.

Fire devours ice,

water douses flame.

The ground is bare.

Oh, wait.

A glimmer of green.

Hello, little sprout.

In the U.S. where I live it seems that conflict has become a normal part of life. Everyone seems to be on a side and angry or offended that the other side even exists. Those who are trying to be in the middle get their voices drowned out. And I worry. I worry that conflict will get to the point that one side will eviscerate the other or both will destroy themselves. When fire & ice go head to head neither can survive long.

But I’d like to think that not all hope is lost. When wildfires consume a forest it clears the way for new life to take root. When mountain snow melts streams and rivers revive and run high. Things can begin anew after destruction. It’s the same with conflict. My country is not at its best right now. Discrimination, racism, and police brutality are no joke. The only joke here is the idiot in the White House. But let’s not go there right now.

Though the clashes between ideologies and the war of words is disheartening something can come from all this. Conflict has bred discussion and discussion can breed change. Hopefully, it’s change for the better. I believe we can grow from this. A seed has been planted and when the smoke and chill have cleared we must nurture it from the sprout to a tall tree we can be proud of. And what kind of tree will it be? Our actions and words at this moment will determine that.

Twitch Stream

Hey, followers! I’m excited to announce that this evening at 5:30 pm EST my poem/story “Bloody Queens” will be streaming on Twitch! Alexandra the host will be reviewing and critiquing my work! I see this as a chance to improve as a poet and writer. Here’s the link to the channel: https://m.twitch.tv/alexandrawrites?desktop-redirect=true

Alexandra is also looking for more work such as poems, short stories, and excerpts to review and critique. And believe me this is an excellent opportunity. She is a literary magazine assistant editor and is pursuing her MA in creative writing at Harvard Extension School. If you are interested email her at twentysixarias@gmail.com .

I see this as an opportunity to improve and share my work with even more people. I hope you all check it out. Thanks!

Popping

Crick, crack!

Goes my neck.

Sweet release.

Criiiick, craaaack!

Goes my back,

vertebrae popping.

Pop! goes my wrists!

Pop! goes my ankles!

Every joint

expels the air between.

It feels glorious.

Until it doesn’t.

My knees, my elbows,

my hips, my shoulders,

dislocate.

But it doesn’t stop.

Skin stretches,

muscles rip,

sinews tear.

I scream.

The rack doesn’t care.

I am ashamed to be an American. Sometimes. The past few days have been one of those times. Some people might accuse me of hating America for saying such things. I don’t hate America. I love my country. I love it enough to hold it to a higher standard. A standard of equality for all. I love my country, but I’m ashamed of what it has become, how it is portrayed to the world.
I remember the way things were after 9/11. I was a child, but I could see the patriotism and united front we had. We waved our flags in the faces of others, certain we were better. Well, now I see we’re not better. Instead of waving flags, we’re airing our dirty underwear for the world to see. We’re more divided than ever. All forms of discrimination run rampant. Political parties have tunnel vision with political figures caring more about the backlash of parties and political bases than doing what they feel is morally right. Both sides see governance as a game to win. People’s lives shouldn’t be treated so frivolously. People of a nation are not chess pieces. Nations are not board games. And the consequences of the actions of people in power don’t just affect the present, they reverberate for decades to come.
Is it wrong for me to hold the country to a higher standard? To hold those in positions of power accountable? And am I wrong to assume there are others who feel the same? I see the riots and I feel empathy for them. Their kneeling, their marches, their peaceful protests have gone either unheard or been condemned. Their voices have been silenced time and time again. Is it any wonder that things have reached a boiling point?
But violence, looting and rioting are not the way you say. While I agree that non-violent protests are preferred and it’s unfortunate we have reached this point, what do we do when there’s no avenue left to create change? Ask the looters and rioters of the Boston Tea Party. Ask those who responded to the Boston Massacre. Ask every soldier who fought in the American Revolution. We are a nation founded through a fight against oppression. A nation that now condemns those who fight oppression in its own borders.
We have fallen so low. We hold up ideals to the world that we can’t even reach right now. We’re no better than other nations in many regards. But we can be. I love my country and as ashamed as I am of it at the moment I believe we can reach the higher standard I hold it to. But I can’t be the only one holding it to a higher standard. Everyone needs to. I plead with you, America, don’t settle for this version of the country. America deserves better.

I don’t really have something special to share today. Honestly, my time has been consumed with writing, but not for the blog. You see, I got my first ever writing gig which I am really excited for. To possibly get paid for writing is a dream come true. Also some of my poems aren’t getting posted because I’m entering them into literary contests. Most contests prefer the submitted poems to not be previously published. Since that is the case with the ones I’ve been entering you probably won’t see that work until a later date if you see it all.

But I promise I haven’t forgotten you guys. I will do my best to keep posting. It just won’t be as often or as consistent. Particularly over the course of the next couple of months. But as long as I breathe I will still write poetry with a desire to share it with the world.

Now with all that aside, let’s get into what’s on my mind. I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t stressed lately. Between work, motherhood, and writing among other things I’m juggling a lot. Headaches and exhaustion are a normal state of being for me. And it makes me moody.

I think my husband has picked up on my moodiness. The poor guy. He gets the brunt of it. I can’t really take my frustration out on anybody else so my saint of a spouse takes it. And my therapist is currently on maternity leave so my husband gets most of the crap she’d hear instead. Seriously, give this guy a medal.

Anyways what was my point here? I don’t really know at this point. In truth, I’m really rambling and getting stuff off my chest. There are things I wish I could change right now, but I can’t. There are people I love that I wish I could help, but I don’t know how. And there are things I wish I could talk about, but I can’t. And it all really sucks.

Normally, I’m more positive than this, but it’s a bit of a struggle right now. I’m trying to remember what’s good in my life at the moment. I have my first writing gig, my son is adorable, my closest sister is pregnant with her first kid, I’m so in love with my husband, and I can get through anything that life throws at me. I’m fairly overwhelmed, but it’s not the end of the world.

Ramble, ramble. Ramble, ramble. Blah, blah. Blah, blah. Something inspiring, something inspiring. Yeah, really have nothing that special to share today. But if you even read this far, good job. You get a virtual high five. Don’t worry, it Covid-19 free. But really, thank you. Thanks to everyone who gives me a platform to express myself and really listens. Hopefully, my lackluster showing today doesn’t scare you all away.

Conformity

Chipped nail polish.

No one cares, no one notices.

I care, I notice.

Maddening imperfection.

Hide it, must hide it.

No one can see.

I obsess.

What if somebody notices?

What if somebody cares?

No, no, no.

A cord wraps around my chest.

Breathe, breathe.

Inhale the fumes of the polish.

Nail polish?

No, the nail polish!

Quick, get rid of it!

No one can care if it’s not there.

Pick, pick.

Pick, Pick!

PICK, PICK!

Phew.

It’s gone.

Color stripped away.

No one notices, no one cares.

The sun illuminates my room.

Like a lover throwing rocks

at my window,

it begs for my notice.

I spurn it,

choosing the embrace of my bed.

But my eyelids can’t block out

my admirer’s call.

I sigh and grab my phone,

checking the time.

Ugh.

An hour past my usual rising.

I plop my head back on the pillow,

cursing sun and time.

Sleep and bed are my preferred lovers.

My eyelids close,

I drift back into my lover’s arms.

Then the voice in my head

speaks up.

“You should get up.”

“But I’m tired,” I grumble.

“You should still get up.”

“No, I’m sleepy.”

“You slept in long enough.”

“Ugh, you’re right,

but I don’t care.

I want more sleep.”

“You know you should get up.

You have work.

Your husband was nice

and got up with the kid.

It’s time to get your butt out of bed.”

I heave a sigh.

“Fine, I’ll get up,

but I won’t be happy about it.”

Slowly, I bid a sad farewell to my pillow

and force my aching bones to sit up.

Life and responsibility

has ripped me from the sweet warmth

of my preferred lovers’ enfolding.

I curse it

as I slip into cotton and polyester.

“Goodbye, my sweets.

Please, don’t be jealous, my dears,

I will return to you in the night.”

I mourn my loss,

dragging my feet up the stairs.

I open the front door,

and step into the world.

I’m overwhelmed by the sun’s joy.

It finally has my attention,

my body in it’s arms.

Its caress feels like a punch.

“This is your fault,”

I mutter to the inner voice.

The voice says nothing,

but I swear

there was a smirk

in my head.

I really don’t have much to say about this poem except one thing: I missed sleep and my bed all day.