Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Urgency

The soap 
in my eyes:
mother calling 
from the other 
side of the glass 
shower door, saying— 
it won’t hurt forever,
just rinse it out— 
is
my urgency
manifested;

as was me then, not 
believing— 
not having an ounce 
of faith— 

that water would be
the universal 
solvent;

I felt fully 
--and only-- 
the sting

of lye 
to mucous 
membrane

and saw only
pitch darkness.

. . .

in chemistry class, 
at prep school, we
mixed moles of this 
with moles of that,
lit Bunsen burners 
up to 
bright blue flame;

and when the trash bin melted
from our ignorance to 
the consequences of
chemical reaction,

water became
the universal 
solvent.

. . .

It is Lady Macbeth
--quite the Killer Queen-- 
in her insanity,
with her OUT, SPOTs
who relies not on 
remorse, but on
vigor, and

water,
the universal
solvent.

. . .

When I wake, I sit over 
it and flush it down;
come to the sink and splash 
my face with it;
dip in its stream the sponge
that with added acidity
wipes down every 
visible surface— 

with it:
I keep house.
with it I
am trapped, domestic.

and for ‘feminism',
for ‘modernity',
the remedy must 
then be

water,
the universal solve-
nt.

It is water
that releases me when I
see it in waves 
crashing:
there, it is violent, churning
gradually eroding;
saline.

There, at the ocean,
it both 

pollutes and purifies,

taking, with each ebb,
surface and below-surface
toxicity;
drying on my skin after:
as salty as the rife,
wee beads
that populate his neck and shoulders
in this Houston heat from being
beside, on top of, and under me.

The saline 
so salient,

consistent across its permutations,

each drip both 
dirty and clean:

Stuff of Life.


water,
      for birth.
     water,
          for baptism.
     water,
     for thirst.
     water,
    for cleanliness.
    water, for play.


purify
purge
poetize
romanticize;
cultivate
clean
corrupt
cavort;

cacophonous   incongruous   mellifluous   briny  eroding

, the:

drips,
and drips,
and swells-- 

as they crest there
at sea’s edge 
and

over bloodstain
and 

pre-repentant head; 
crest over 

my bare, exposed eye, 
and 

here in the house,
onto my sponge:

wicking with them, with it,
daily myriad micro-massacres.



. . . . . .

© erika s. haines 2014










Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Meditation

Places
she is not:
My bedroom;
My bed;
My desk;
My bathroom;
My garden;
His car;
His home;
His hometown;
Places we go together;
The coffee shop;
The garage.
            
Places she       
                             is not.

Places she is

not.



. . . . . .


© erika simone 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

cool-down (the c(h)ord)

there are certain 
things of mine
you will never touch:

my fitness;
my love;
my culture;
objective reality.

certain things i will never
show to you again:

my tears;
the sources of my art;
whom in our family
i allow myself to love;

and

this is 
the last thing i want to
share with you, heart 
open:

you craft me, mold me
into teenager-all-over.

your habits of disdain
so ingrained,
catholic,
cold,
anti-em-
pathetic

when you set rules
knowing whose home this is
and who invited you here— 
you are revealing only
frustration,
amateurism,
and i feel, ultimately,
pity.

it is the way i was initially taught,
the pilgramage.

writing this,
is the construction,
brick by brick,
of a wall:
you will never see
even if i tell you in the clearest,
most honest vernacular:
what a tear looks like 
falling down this face
with each blow-up,
egocentric humiliation
you ultimately pin on me,
of one whom you know 
contains your blood.

and the drama of which you
accuse me
was only— 
is only— 
honesty,

natural bleeding seeking 
tourniquet.

currently 
i allow myself 
no affection for you,
even if love underlies 
the loam of seeking happiness— 
short of rolling my eyes in 
and away from your 
macabre magnetism:
each axes’ rotation
a distancing,
a hollowing out

of respect
and decency
and honor

for maternity.
listen:

we bear children to
mold

we give life to
stifle, suffocate,
drown

we bear our resemblance— 
draft it onto another smaller,
more impressionable— 
to distinguish ourselves
superior

this is the only ‘hell'
to which any of us 
are capable of ‘condemning'
any of us

including,
of course,
self of self

(the commonest way).

aren’t you tired of 
serving me up pewter platters
of my own 
desperation?

do you not exhaust
of spoon-feeding me
Your Version of Things,
hostile,
blaming,
belligerent?

when the sun sets 
on my twenties
for good,
forever,
will i still wish you well,
(Good, Good Kid)
and receive in exchange

bib,
bottle,
nipple,
cool pillow for nap time?

long-winded note
pinned to my lapel:
revelation to my
simultaneously growing 
and shrinking democracy?

never sought to be
your mother— 
just to set boundaries
and request respect
so that i could duly 
return it.

how bitter are you
at my attempts at joy?
if i am wrong,
do your worst:
help me to understand
what it is you want to convey?

if this is a case of tit for tat,
my childhood tantrums once too much,

how unjust a world,
utterly karmic,
unforgiving.

you’ve won, genesis:

you’re here now,
on display,
my exclusive existence
and veritable voice
your stage:

it’s all 
any of you 
ever wanted.

my surrender is:
the stillness
veckatimest provides
and the waxing regularity,
minutes later,
of my pulse--

this poem's revelation,
and my head
next to his--
only our breath exchanging sounds
and heat in the night--
yours (breath, heat, night)
a mere echo off
of installed wooden floors
and repaired plaster walls
and through slammed doors,
waning our ill-matched
and delayed
adolescences.


origin,
i had a wonderful weekend,
and i will do all in my power
to assure this is the last time
the hurt that made you
punctuates such warranted
and steadily awaited
peace.

. . . . . .
© erika s. haines 2014


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Blink

Where breath serves as the force
Which causes our faces to hover
An inch or less apart:

I see you blink--
And the soft reopening
Of your ocular sheaths--
Like garage doors for cinematic spacecraft--
Undoes my
undoing;

I see your gaze,
Hazel green
Like the earth,
And meet it
with mine;
the honesty confronts me

hard and
real, in
technicolor:

The dark of the theatre
Shades the worst of you
Ever from me

You are only these things
In this moment:
The soft warmth of your lips
Soft warmth of your breath
Soft warmth of the tip
Of your nose
Soft warmth of your hands
Grazing my neck and face;
Soft warmth of delicate
'Mmm's we exchange:

How can something so tall
Fold upon itself so
Gently?

I see you blink--
And this intermission
Grants me my breath

That I suck in
By your exhales
Soft at first: warm, smooth, pliant--
Then harder, rougher, 

leaden.

. . . . . .
© erika s. haines 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bread

Love is
the butter to my bread, the
bread to my hunger

And bread is my thirst,
Patiently.
I count the bites
And the crumbs left behind
And chew
And chew.

This pillowy dry that
nourishes
also mops up the wet
Slowly, going down.

Mouth smacks, parched,
Magnetically
And with my two hands,
Which are mine,
Wholly mine,
I reach for the drink

Of you
Of you;

Of light;
Of you.