Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Night Moments

Like hard candy disappearing
Between tooth and cheek
Melding into indents
And crevices of enamel
I glide into your mouth
Along with your cigarette
Smoke. The cylinder of white paper
And tobacco sucking
Your wet tongue
Dry with heat and cinder.
There are no peace pipes between us.
I want to cry the black night into stars,
Connect tears into our names,
The curves of our faces.
But no one will write us into the sky.
Our names and bodies
Masked and stifled by time.
No one will remember this moment,
Except you and I.
Only my tears and your smoke,
In the air,
Impermanent,
Will signal the future
To come a little closer
And proceed.


Monday, May 4, 2015

A Phoenix at Eagle Creek

"The great basalt columns rising to my right..."
 
It was the night after the hike at Eagle Creek when my sickness started; after I saw the Devil’s Punchbowl. It spun me in that snow melt water. I hiked calf deep in the river and waded up to my thighs to see the waterfall before me with the great basalt columns rising to my right; long strands of moss dripped off of the cliffs in the heat.

Then that night, a terrible suffocation gripped my throat. I awoke tangled in sheets with my heart beating fast. Anxiety and tremors followed me and a sense of doom and loss of control. Overnight, I had become a shadow of my former self. I felt encased in ice—frozen—but not preserved. The world continued to turn, and I continued to decay, but to me time itself had ceased to move forward.

~~
It evolved mid-July with the sleepless humidity; the kind that turns everything into an orange glow and brings heavy dark clouds and the dusty smell before it rains. It started at Eagle Creek, but I cannot blame the heat or the devil, or the cold of the river. It was just where my sickness built momentum; where I started to recognize the beginning of my foundations eroding. It was that night everything came to a head and I lay in bed, eyes wide, unable to calm the fire building within me.

I couldn’t extinguish it even with the tears I cried. It was persistent like the flutter of my heart beat. All along, all of the faintings and symptoms, everything I never noticed before, finally surfaced into a cacophony that kept me awake. I didn’t find out until later that every pain had been pointing toward my throat. The kindling. The cigarette butt that started it all.
~~

Grave’s disease, a form of hyperthyroidism, won’t send you to your grave, but it will send you to the floor, face first.
Flat, limp, and sweaty to the floor.

Most people never faint; many don’t know you can hear everything around you. You try to tell your body to move; to stand up, get up, sit up—anything—but you lay motionless and drained, completely aware of the sounds of your mother screaming “Wake up! Wake up!” But you don’t have the power to brush off the humiliation; you don’t even have the strength to lift your eye lids.
~~
I felt bent and backward; my head spun. My joints ached and popped and paper and pen became a necessity at every moment; to remember to wash the dishes, or that my shift was 4 to 9, or that I needed to wash the dishes. I felt like a broken circle, a crooked wheel. I kept turning, but everything wobbled and dragged. All the while, through the end of summer, through autumn and winter, my fire burned, never satisfied.

~~
In my dreams, I swam through an iodine sea, dark brown, and it snaked all around me like ink in clear water. I remember the white sanitized room with a window looking out to the hospital parking lot. The nurse with thick gloves ceremoniously brought the huge pill to me at an arm’s length away. As far away from herself as she could without dropping it or throwing it at me. This pill contained a new fire, a strange and dangerous one that moved like ink in my blood and through my thyroid. That sweet radioactive iodine. Iodine-123.

~~
My doctor could have diagnosed me with anxiety and depression, prescribed me with Paxil or any other anti-depressant, and had me go on my way; another victim misdiagnosed.

I was lucky.
I was given three little pills a day. Chalky white. Uncoated, bitter. But they were slow, so frustratingly slow. For months, I still felt like I was being burned dry and left as ash to float off with the wind.

~~
I loved when my doctor drew my blood. He would tie the rubber tourniquet tight around my right arm, tap his finger on the vein at the curve of my elbow, and swab it with alcohol. I would look away as he slipped the thick needle into my arm, and then I would look back as his three vials, one at a time, filled with my blood. Each blood test showed setbacks or progress, but most of all it showed the dwindling of my fire, the calming of flames, a reigning back of damage and the promise of unbroken sleep.

~~
I counted days and months and years. Then I began counting down pills: three a day, two a day, then one, a half, a quarter, and then none. I watched and waited. I tested my footing.

I walked through the forest of my body and all that was left was char and blackened branches, scorched leaves, the sharp pungent perfume of wood smoke. All I heard was a buzzing quiet in the aftermath of fire. I was scarred by fire. I had become defined by my sickness; it had become my every day, my new normal.
But one day—while I was lost in thought—I found a bud within me. I reached toward it and new leaves unfolded. As more days passed, a new self began to grow from the wreckage; someone that I began to get acquainted with; someone who was stronger and more capable; someone who had been burned and consumed by fire and then reborn. I was no longer defined by my disease or how I was before I got sick; instead I was new, without lines or boundaries. I was a blank slate with one choice: I could trace the old familiar lines of my former self and color within them, or I could be the survivor that I was, embrace the second life that was given to me, and rise as a phoenix.

I chose to rise.
 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Snow and Ice

The semi slid and ratcheted his brakes; he jackknifed and I ended. I don’t remember how, but I found myself floatin' above my once lucky station wagon that wasn’t lucky no more and my body that lay out in the snow, peaceful-like.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Poetry: Skim Milk

Today's the last day of National Poetry Month! Good-bye everyone until next year. I will continue to post poems, prompts, other interesting content, and yeah write submissions on my blog. I hope everyone will come and visit from time to time.

For today's prompt, I reversed a poem that I had already written and I liked how it turned out. It turned out a little creepier than before. What do you all think?

Skim Milk
By Brittany M.

No substance to me.
I skim milk, thin milk,
That blue tinged remaining,
And got left overs.
That old yellow butter cream
Threw away the old me.
But to separate me into two
Careful not to mix up.
Submerge myself
Bottled up milk jug new.
A self I always wanted
Pale blue, fat-free me.
To get that ambrosia
I threw bone and skin
To roiling high
I turned up the pot,
I boiled myself thin;
I skim milk, thin milk;
No substance to me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Poetry: Review of 10 Year Old HP Laptop: 2 out of 5 Stars

10 Year Old HP Laptop: 2 out of 5 stars
By Brittany M.

When your screen goes black,
I know you’re being coy with me,
Trying to bring a semblance of
Mystery back into our relationship.

And when you won’t shut off
I know you just can’t stand
To part with my sexy face.
Am I right?

When your keyboard buttons
Stick just long enough for
Mmmm and llll to be typed,
I know you’re speaking to me,
Either in Morse code or cyphers,
But I always delete them before you
Can finish your message.

I’m sure you load my webpage
At a snail’s pace because you
Want some intimate time
Before I zone out on Facebook.

You complain I never spend time
With you anymore, you’re afraid
I’ll find someone new, but you don’t
Care that I feel suffocated by your
Inability to maintain three tabs
On the browser without crashing.

Honestly, I’m afraid of losing all
Of my data, losing all of the hard work
I’ve put into you. I know one day
You’ll crash and ruin everything
Between us just out of spite.

So I’ve decided to put control
Back into my own hands,
Take the reins of my destiny
And go with the new model,
The one down the street with
The Pentium i7 processor.

I give her 5 stars out of 5 stars
Because she works out religiously.
Like look at that svelte lightweight
Design. Plus,
I can show her off to my friends.

For you, I’ll give you a two.
One for nostalgia and
One out of pity.

Without You


Everything kept me awake that night: The clacking sound of the electric baseboards, the swish of traffic outside the curtained window, the ticking of the clock above the headboard, and your cold imprint next to me; your smell fading from the pillows.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Poetry: Our Bridges

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to write about bridges, either literally or metaphorically…

Our Bridges
By Brittany M.
 
I bridge you to my heart.
We collect new rhythms;
Build bridges across rivers;
Burrow tunnels
Through the mountains
Between us.
No barrier exists that can
Withstand us.
Our two bodies connect,
Stitched and sewn.
Two strange lands
Bridged by arms and legs,
Through breath and sound,
Together we make a new land
With the rules of our choosing.
We become the sacred
And the ritual, the stone
And water, the tree and fern.
Our bodies grow together
Knitted deep in the body of our earth.