And here I am again, toes frozen on the cracked earth beneath my feet scarred by wine red glutton. Yes, I’m here again. I had painted my lips bright scarlet, bitten cyanide after cyanide of the woman you like your woman to be. Just the way a woman must be.Have got to be the woman that I have to be. Skin borne off silk and velvet -bare for kisses and glances and admiration that leaves nothing for the woman that I can be. Fingers soft and helpless to yours. Hair a perfect wave, an iridescent curve to your achievement. Just the way that I should be. Just the way a woman must be.

I am only woman. That is all I have to be. No more angry steps up staircases leading to where black suits play and ride in silence between their scotch and their brandy and their beer. Between a man and the boy, that I can love and have. I am only just a woman. That is all I must be and have to be.┬áBeautiful and gentle. No malice. No games. Just elusive conundrums of heart and the soul a man can pursue to gain. I am just woman aren’t I?

But that is not all that I can be.

Down, down, down
By the river I cast
my shadow, my glance, my face

Wave, after wave, after wave
After every gallant peaceful wave
I see more smoke and pebbles
above my grave

But it doesn’t matter truthfully
what the heavens demand nor
what hell for me awaits

So long as I know
and I know only what we all know
that we are the damned
and damnation is only ours
to take.

Trim

First you erupt into flames in the middle of the room -spontaneously fluttering into a thousand flickering tongues of white hot anger- while everyone else around you goes on with their endless chatter of taxes and money and children and . . .

Second, you collapse into a heap of ash. Your blackened bones intact amidst the grey dust of your skin, the ghost of your hair and your smile vanishing without a trace. Unavoidably gone. You’d love to stay alive. Keep the blushy red of your cheeks lighting up the day of the ones you love most but perhaps..

Third, you think maybe the whole reason you are alive was never about pursuing your dreams. You recognize the hollow of your mouth, the promise less kiss of nothing more and more of nothingness. Collecting the rubble of your abandonment amidst the swirling mass of rotten regrets piling one on top of each other. Realizing, it was never for you but always for them and so maybe..

Fourth, you feel the buds of your daydreams land on your toes -all whithered and brown and crisp and old. Roots digging deeper and deeper into the hardened ground searching for more to hold and anything to contain. It’s okay. You’ll be fine. Terror is the way to live again. However, there is..

Fifth,you feel them stitch your eyelids smaller. Cutting the edge of your tongue, to protect the beating little berry that resides on paper cage of your chest. Thorns sprouting on your skin, poison oozing from your lashes. It’s okay. You’ll be fine. New flowers, new flowers. You should have more flowers, they said..

Sixth, your arms crack and tingle. They burn and they ache. But it is good, they said. It means you’re growing. In no time you’d be gigantic enough to be taken seriously. Perhaps the woodcutter would kiss your waist lovingly but..

Seventh, you blossom underneath the noon day sun. Flowers. Flowers. Flowers and fruits. You should drop them- all of them. Help the woodcutter prune you into one of them..