asheville poetry

All posts in the asheville poetry category

Skeletons 

Published November 4, 2016 by April Fox

It used to be we kept them

locked up tight, bound and 

gagged, jaw bones chained

to the floor and filthy rags taped

over the holes

where the eyes once waited,

watching. 

Now we buy them brand new

Pick them out of catalogs, customized

with all the latest

diagnoses, all the fancy

damage upgrades

Shabby chic

for the narcissist soul

And we dress them up in

costume pieces, gaudy beads and trendy things that scream 

I have my shit together 

but for these bones, here-

See my bones?

We walk them on parade, 

let them strut out before us

slapping all the other people

in the way-

There is no room for your bones here

Look at all my splintered parts 

cast from latex

and gummy resin. 

Mine are the only ones. 

And in the back room

in the closet, padlocked

tight

The skeletons who know the truth

are chewing through their bonds,

prepared to speak. 

Dog Days

Published August 27, 2016 by April Fox

Maybe it’s the heat,

the dog days smuggling water in through your pores and into

your lungs, drowning you

inside your skin

forcing out your breath in labored

syllables

It could be the dark, creeping in

an inch at a time until one day,

driving home

you take your eyes off of the road and expect to see the sun

draped low on the horizon

but there’s only grey, tinged with the last remains

of orange at the edges, dulled

and faded

sung to sleep by the din

of the cicadas

It might be the moon;

blame it on whatever phase it’s in

waxing/waning

or the stars and their alignment

today or the day you were born, it doesn’t matter

planets spinning retrograde,

the chemicals inside your brain

The constant noise

is driving you

insane.

Mourning Dove

Published July 17, 2016 by April Fox

I found him at the top of the stairs

without a head.

It was a clean break, no sign that it had ever been there

and though his face was gone

his body lay in a pose of accusation

making me the guilty one.

I wrapped him in brown paper

and threw him into the woods

while the rain burned down my back

and ate my spine;

I could hear him in the dead leaves, singing

his wings or his still heart beating

the low bass notes of life.

Bridges

Published May 13, 2016 by April Fox

There is a bridge

between caring and not

Sturdier than it looks

and once you take the first step,

 it’s easy to cross. 

You can see them there, still-

the things you used to care about

Feel them watching, catch the breeze that carries across

a memory of them, the scent of something

lost

You can taste the regret of not going sooner, mingled with the stench

of the things that ripped them away, the things

you never could have cared about

no matter how you tried

Even in the shackles, looking back across the water, streaming water

down your face 

the things that turned the others 

into monsters

are less than nothing 

inside nothing

under the surface

Bold and bitter 

and irrelevant. 

Cobwebs 

Published May 10, 2016 by April Fox

I don’t know the people here

with their serious smiles and their faces

hard and dark, shuffling

along, dancing some slow-motion two-step

no one really seemed to take the time to learn

I watch their tentacled hands, flaky skin and grotesque knuckles

reaching toward their eyelids

pulling the lashes out

making wishes on the damaged parts

the leftovers that no one

ever wants

And their spines crawl with the weight of regret, toward the pinnacle of shoulders

Knees and elbows crumbling along the edges

revealing the rust beneath, stubborn

and scabbed, like a childhood bicycle accident

come round again 

to tease, with the promise 

of a scar

And the buttons have all come undone

and the mirrors watch them pass with other people’s eyes

and the bald acknowledgement of recognition 

hangs like cobwebs 

from their teeth.

Condem(nation)

Published April 12, 2016 by April Fox

Take a look at your hair,

your skin

the color of your eyes

the space between your teeth

and your words, the cadence

with which they erupt

from your imperfect mouth, the syntax

tripping, flowing, smooth like

broken glass

Take a look at the things

that keep you up at night, the

sites you visit

in the bathroom

home alone, but with the door locked

anyway

the nightmares you’re afraid to tell

the hands you wish would reach for yours

across the universe of shame

the vacant way you stare and raise your hands

in praise

Take a look at your twisted limbs, your fractured smile, your thickened middle

evidence

of greed and gluttony

Take a look at the god you cry to

when your self becomes too much,

staring down the barrel

one finger on the trigger

the other in the air

Take a look at the wreckage

that your life has left behind, at the emptiness around you

at the vacuum that you are

shrunken, flaccid, impotent and weak

Take a look and see

how beautifully easy

it would be

to become the

hated thing. 

That Was a Long Time Ago

Published April 6, 2016 by April Fox

We were all

disembodied

captured behind glass

eyes, red-rimmed and leaking

fluids

in our creased, cupped palms

sliding through our fingers

to the floor

where they bathed

in retribution.

We were all

glass-eyed, blinded, captured

by our wrists, bound

with the long and strangling

cords

of their self-loathing, we were

hunched over ovens, burning flesh

off our cheeks, exposing bone

the skull determined

to protect

what wasn’t there, we were

flowers

in cheap vases, we were

torn and stitched together

and together

and together until the fibers

meshed and the threads

locked tight together and the glass

behind us, now

reflected fire

and exploded.

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