Dear YouDear You
You are a hurricane.
You are a volcano.
You are a flurry of beautiful violence;
A plume of volcanic ash cast into the sky.
You are all the voices of the world;
A scream and a whisper and a sigh.
You are the beauty of the earth;
An exquisite wildfire, divine in its destruction.
And you are so strong.
You are stronger than this weight on your shoulders,
You are stronger than this emptiness in your chest,
You are stronger than all these things that dare get in your way.
You will charge past these things;
These regrets, these desires, these insecurities.
You will get through every pitfall and mistake and slipup,
And you’ll be made better for it.
You are unbeatable, unconquerable and unstoppable.
Every obstacle, an opportunity,
Every failure, a lesson.
You will beat this because you are better than this.
You will beat this because you are you.
And that is a powerful thing.
The Boy in a Sweater of TearsI saw a boy in a sweater made of tears and dirt,
Held together with earthworm stitching (they were still wriggling).
He had a toy in his hand made from the bones of an animal;
Fingers bloodied and calloused from where he cut himself on the teeth of it.
He smiled out from behind his saline muddy hood.
Are you my father?
I walked away with no misgivings though this face was familiar.
I tossed a coin over my left shoulder and said something condescending like
Have a gum ball on me, kid.
I put in my headphones and I was lost in my world of rhythm and melody.
The sound of quick feet emanating behind me.
I turned and he was there, hand outstretched.
I patted my pockets as if to say
With the Strength of a Child His ripped shirt is barely visible in the dust and smoke. He kneels in the rubble, bloody faded jeans loose on his hips, tan skin lined with ragged cuts and bruises underneath. Long dark hair, now dusty white and matted with blood, ripples in the wind like a tattered flag of surrender.
He can't feel the pain.
Broken jaws whisper of sadness.
Broken voices scream of loss.
And his broken eyes turn toward the ground, shadowed with fear and weakness. He clutches his head in scarring hands, ignoring the sharp debris biting his legs. He stares vacantly at the cracked concrete lying in the dust.
He can't see it at all.
Young eyes glisten with tears.
EnemyDemons stalk this planet
in shapes of guilt, hate and rage; shame
cries out at me
in sighs as furious as wine
rich red with inner war.
Her hands are clumsy
but powerful--farmer's hands for
she harvests the regrets of the
She strips me of anything like
hope, leaves me cold as I forget
I know my enemies well.
They sleep inside my ribcage
and share my exorcism scars.
Mollusca1.Mollusca by Solaces
Find whatever it is that is your treasure.
Bury it alive.
I wrestled the guardian angel for my birthstone,
just a pearl like some full moon risen from a mollusk's growing pain.
I counted the sheets of nacre like birthday candles,
peeled away each one until I at last remembered
that what I treasure is an infection.
It was a gentle kind of wrestling,
not Biblical, not even assertive,
more like the way two sprite wolf cubs play,
a light lunge, a jovial snarl,
a fight over nothing in particular.
The guardian angel renounced itself
as a guardian angel, said
I am a siren.
I lie in the tunnels of nautilus shells
and sing until I collapse with the echoes.
Then it hurts, like a shard of the wrong song
embedded in my skin.
It never healed the ache of adolescence,
just buried it under a fall wound's nacre.
Said one day, it'd show up in my smile.
On the day of the dewinging:
bury me alive.
I want to see what I can agitate the earth into.
Understudy of a Prop GirlOdessa dislikes the spotlight. Always blinding her when she stares out into the audience to deliver a love letter in song, always tripping her when it swoops down at her feet at curtain call, it is the only thing that may tempt her back to the grand piano in cold Ms. Merola's living room. But she will not go, not unless Beethoven's fifth returns to her mind intact, untouched ebony and ivory.Understudy of a Prop Girl by Solaces
She is a performer. When she describes herself as such to strangers, she tastes the irony sour in her mouth. It is a taste that stays there when she returns to her solitary school lunch table with a program for A Streetcar Named Desire, and it doesn't leave until she chases it down with apple sauce and warm bottled water.
Odessa entered the Stage Life as a prop girl. Her first play on the job was one of which her parents own the Hollywood adaptation, Death of a Salesman. In some ways, she felt more like an actress in those days, scurrying out when the lights dimmed or at intermi
karyotype: the repriseWhen I was a little girl,karyotype: the reprise by Solaces
I wanted to climb
to the top of my family tree
and discover what kind of fruit
grows up there.
If there were apples, I vowed
to toss at least six back down to earth,
enough to feed the family and then some.
If it was barren, I promised to turn to my own womb
for springtime some day.
Back then, the wind was in everyone's will
so I learned to hold tight to every campfire my father started.
Back then, gravity had hunger pains in its eyes.
If it had the energy,
it would have taught me how to fly
while I was still feather light.
In reality, I was just Zacchaeus
before he climbed the sycamore.
I hid from God, hoping
to catch a glimpse of him in creation through underbrush,
something I imagined wasn't much more difficult
than watching Santa construct a toy train track
around an unlit Christmas tree.
I wanted to know that he put his catharsis
into every first cry, his fatherhood
into each color eyes can come in,
his crucifixion into final breaths.
Then my sister was b
The Phoenix Man1.The Phoenix Man by Solaces
After my bird died,
we sent him off to
the kind of mortician
who knows how to turn
bodies into bonfires,
the same guy who I imagine
can turn anyone into a phoenix--
the winged and the four-legged,
the bubblers and the breathers,
the feral and the friendly.
Once he's through, he slips each soul
through a doggie door, back to God
or to science or someone.
He returned my bird to me
in a box that looks as dignified
as a pyre. I never got to see the smolder
that had been there, the dismissal of feathers,
but the Phoenix Man left me a slab of cement
that remembered my bird's footsteps
before drying over.
You have to have a damn good memory
to play with death all day long, for a living.
Know all of its games, toss it the gerbil's bone
it buried ten feet beneath a four-year lifespan,
and if it fetches, tell it that it's good
at making people want to learn how to long
before meeting the end.
The Phoenix Man could be a taxidermist with a sewing needle
and the face of a grandfather.