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About Deviant Melina24/Female/United States Group :iconpoets-distinctly: Poets-Distinctly
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Stamp Collector
Nobody knows why Tom collected only stamps with flowers on them. Perhaps he spent his final lucid days in his sunroom, penning letters to women who once courted him with their silence. When they spoke, their voices came in wispy penmanship, the ends of their S’s tucked meekly into the letters preceding them, like smooth legs folded under sheer camisole. Maybe he never wrote to anyone at all but simply mused over what it would feel like to gaze on, upward and unblinking like a sunflower and still get lost in the mail.
Tom’s collection was abundant but not exhaustive. Most notable was its lack of purple: no clusters of lilac, dizzying asters, fair-faced violets. The weeds, however, flourished, both dandelion the maned and dandelion the beheaded by wish or wind. He cherished his Japanese sets and referred to them affectionately as My Sakura, cherry blossom or otherwise. Nobody knows how Tom’s collection amassed. Some say he sifted fervently through discarded envelops. Ot
:iconsolaces:Solaces 11 7
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.
:iconsolaces:Solaces 134 36
karyotype: the reprise
When I was a little girl,
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
:iconsolaces:Solaces 22 19
The Phoenix Man
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.
:iconsolaces:Solaces 42 40
don't get tired of elephants yet
I've had my crippling moments.
They'd either start in my stomach
with an ache like broken glass
or stab me right in the catharsis,
somewhere near my heart or breath
or maybe my left foot.
I wouldn't know how it feels
to hurt to walk, but I imagine
with a destination like farther,
it's no pilgrimage.
So take the burden off your back.
Life is not a sandstorm
and your lungs are only a mirage
if you expect to see your breath
every time you breathe.
So take a breath
back, just one step
and listen with your smoke signals.
Help is on the way.
I just can't promise
it knows much about this lifetime.
It's the same way I could never promise
elephants remember everything
or that every Elvis impersonator
means thank you very much outside
of his facade. Don't bother asking God either.
He wouldn't know and he wouldn't care.
He's still trying to number the hairs
on my head, hoping he won't lose count.
Our days are often double-digit jerseyed.
And go ahead and tell me now that this isn't a game.
Very f
:iconsolaces:Solaces 189 50
Father, tell the calf to not bleed on me,
as I've watched God's name hemorrhage twice.
In His kingdom like a slaughterhouse, I'd go hungry
with a belly swollen with avarice.
Father, if I am an unworthy son,
let me know. I'll give you back your brown eyes,
your stern voice, your cleft chin, your legs that can't run
and I'll inherit Lucifer's wings 'fore I rise.
There are famines as barren as the womb
for those who won't be reborn humble and poor
So Dad, let me gorge on spring's growth spurts in the tomb;
some of us don't know what living is for.
Father, don't let your calf bleed on me.
I have hunger pains that I want you to see.
:iconsolaces:Solaces 17 9
I used to be a mermaid every day.
I didn't have the flimsy play clothes, the sequined flipper with the emerald scales
designed for swimming in and out of light, but I had at least two dozen bathing suits
some of them with flowers, others with fish. I could never decide which to wear
into my kiddie pool Atlantic so I ran
an autonomy of eeny-meeny-miny-
No, I do not remember
the newness of my body
with a navel that looked
nostalgic without umbilical cord
and long legs, which everybody
on the playground knew were made of lead.
No, they were made of hydrogen peroxide
and bubble baths.
This running is a different kind of slow,
all skinned knees and healing and too afraid to be
anything but it.
Once I dreamed that my breasts first took shape in a draining bathtub. I didn't know what was happening to me that night and I didn't know any better in the morning.
I should have remembered to ask a monarch butterfly if metamorphosis lasts longer
than a couple midnights with hours as empty as
:iconsolaces:Solaces 26 20
the incomplete karyotype
1. The First Mendelian Letdown
One by one, we unload our Punnett Squares.
There are traits we could cradle like nostalgia.
Some of us spent entire childhoods scrubbing
away our freckles, hoping either to extinguish them
or to capsize them like floating candlelight.
Some of us cried when we drew blood, not because it hurt,
but because that's when we realized that we were
blacktop scribbles, chicken-scratch genotypes.
There are traits we wish we could toss away, but like coins.
Recessive claims heads, dominant demands tails,
but when our inheritance rolls into the gutter
we have to know what we're worth
without our pocket change to back us up.
We mourned of Mom's miscarriage
as its ultrasound, a sprouting
of fingers wrinkled like
second generation snap peas.
Eyes unopened, we never caught
maternal or paternal reflection,
either blue glass or cold steel,
guaranteed twenty-twenty
regardless of what he looked through
to see the sun.
Chromosome 2
There once was prodigy
:iconsolaces:Solaces 27 32
without glass slippers
Carson knew too well that when Vee stepped in and out of depression, she stumbled. Prozac alone could not break her fall. It put her in a delirium that left her groggy-eyed, yawning. When she went to nap it off, her sadness seeped through her dreams in whimpers and tearless crying. He had to dance her through it. The record player was always prepared, needle set to skip to songs that coughed up attic dust as they whined. Both of them wore their pajamas; they drew the curtains to a slight part and let the sun or the darkness stand witness, which ever was out there when their feet began. He took her hand and told her to watch her step, not for the sake of elegance but for what the waltz represented as a remedy. Although Vee frequently went barefoot or in sole-worn socks, Carson feared that he would look down at her feet and find glass slippers with fault lines etched across her toes. Their embrace would loosen, each step growing more reluctant than the last. Finally, the music would stop
:iconsolaces:Solaces 126 54
Things named longing
I've already named too many things longing. The robin with its nest on my porch light, the warehouse mannequin suffering from a nothing-fits day, myself with no nest and nothing fitting.
A calling out would often follow the naming, although nothing or nobody ever stepped forward, possibly because I never said anything at all and just stood there assigning things the name they'd never know they'd have and by which no one would actually know them.
I wondered,
if I did shout the name so passionately to the point it echoed, would the number of times it stammered in the air add up to a number that meant I wanted too much?
I sometimes wondered what I ever wanted at all.
The things I named Longing had nothing at all in common. They represented no impossible desires or abandoned ambitions. They often wished for nothing, just to be.
The robin walked on her children's eggshells and fed them early in the morning before she began to sing, the mannequin stood waiting to cast a clothed shadow, a
:iconsolaces:Solaces 21 16
Roses in the Canyon
It was a trite thing to say--
today, you won't see the sun
so somebody needs morning glories
or black-eyed susans, or a reason
to stay in bed all day long
but not go back to sleep.
It was trite to believe
that staying awake keeps you dreamless,
that the moon and sun both
are up right now
and boy, the finches sing real nice
under storm clouds, and
there's always something
under the earth that is alive
and someone under the earth
that I love.
One Valentine's Day, my mother ordered me a bouquet of roses through an order form sent home from school. At this time, everyone was lovable and beautiful. One girl walked into the classroom with a pink and red card on her desk; another walked into several boys' arms. Hearts swelled; mine receded. If I look over the edge of myself to watch it flow away, I'd probably have to endure a canyon around it--not a beautiful one either. I've always been craggy and coarse, my eyes eroded at. I settle for a hike within, and soon I am stumbling all o
:iconsolaces:Solaces 23 22
mother, can you mend
Mother wished
for those freckles to glide down
the bridge of her nose and
into a generation of fresh sunspots,
but the daughters got the sun's affection
through their hair, one wheaten braid
over another, sometimes
under the needle's eye of the wind
and sometimes split ends
were all there was to mend.
and mother tried to reteach
her Indian braids unity
on young heads,
she tried to get her worn moccasins
to move too-small feet into dance,
but they ran through rivers
rather than around them
but sometimes the land
was all there was to mend
Mother was
afraid of crossing bridges.
last time she had,
the river swelled
with a dirge of capsized trout
and for once the surrounding willows
dove in after something
other than themselves.
The daughters wished
on the crayfish they caught
in their own hands.
They looked up directly
at the sun with their feet
planted in the river scum
and they inherited
sunspots from someone else.
then they danced,
ran across the bridge feeling
hair come undo
:iconsolaces:Solaces 205 91
a case of biophilia
i. the art of interdependence
Today I entered a brief commensalism
with a praying mantis.
he kept me in his prayers
upon an altar in the queen ann's lace
and reformed his faith on a monarch's wing.
he made my name known on the thorax
signature orange-black,
where god soon recognizes flight
as unanswered prayers.
but I, I myself had no faith to contain him
between cupped palms. My last communion
a swig of cicada blood,
I kneel bedside on a Sunday night,
a mad insomniac, imagining the crucifixion
of crickets who bear lunar craters like a cross.
I've cleared cobwebs from
church bells before, but I have also spun them
across my voice for Jesus. Moths struggled
in alto. I, black widow,
spent the night feasting alone in my gluttony.
Then today I entered a brief commensalism
with a praying mantis because
we could not save each other
in our folded hands.
ii. Taxonomy
Painted Lady
domain, Eukarya,
kingdom, Animalia,

your genus and species
honeymoon in Latin.
off to re
:iconsolaces:Solaces 33 32
Trinity Rose
As a teenager, he was the artist who painted sunsets just to see them bleed their light through acrylics, dandelions beheaded in the frost to prove that you don't need hands to come out of the world scathed. He created beautiful women with their hair over their eyes and their tummies sucked in and rose vine tattoos sneaking up their thighs only because he wanted to show how you become tainted.
His theory: you look as helpless and fragile as possible and then you open all the windows and the doors and a violent man walks in, or a vengeful wind.
That came from a sixteen-year-old mind high on hormones and a lack of experience.
That came from a young boy who believed you had to feign tragedy to be a good artist.
The older he became, the blinder he let his paintings become, perhaps literally. The only places he'd ever looked were up to the sky and down to his canvas. No elderly couple, no schoolchildren ever stumbled out of the light he stroked excessively between shadows. Their eyes always
:iconsolaces:Solaces 229 93
backyard astronomer
When I saw the neighbor's name
in the obituary,
I thought of his telescope
looking out into the universe
on the balcony with a pen
and the almanac open
to the astronomy section.
I thought of how he did not wake up early
to watch the morning rise red,
but to see that the sun and the moon
know how to share a sky.
I thought of the apples he ate for breakfast,
how each core became that of a new sun
in his interpretation of the solar system.
("There is at least a nibble
in every celestial body out there
and the teeth marks show,
but they still exist
and they still go on").
I thought of how he always said
he was never too interested in gardening,
but that the flowers that reminded of stars were nice
because he could plant his own constellations.
so now, Orion sprawls across his lawn
with a belt of bluebells
and an azalea weapon,
the little dipper is a smoldering chain
of daffodils,
and the weeds are the unknown spaces
between galaxies.
He was the third person
down the line in the obituary
:iconsolaces:Solaces 35 48
the apology booth
we observe,
Right on the sidewalk, a cardboard box that might have once been the home to lots of Styrofoam now transformed into a booth open for business. In the booth, a girl practices greeting customers to her slender shadow. She then tapes a beige piece of paper to the front of the box, words scribbled in smudged purple marker:
the apology booth.
free apologies,
friends and enemies,
strangers and foreigners,
anyone who longs to hear the words
'i'm sorry' or 'my apologies, please'.
What has she to be sorry for? Nothing in particular, perhaps everything.
Is she sincere? You can never be sure. Perhaps she just has so many apologies to give and she knows they are often given away so thoughtlessly. Half of the time, people forget they ever apologized, ever even received an apology. Why not offer some to the entire neighborhood then? They're sure to remember when they've been spoken from behind a cardboard box named The Apology Booth by a young girl and her purple marker.
we observe,
:iconsolaces:Solaces 37 55




United States
As of 7/23/12: I'm back...kind of.

I don't write love poetry.

I like to give critiques for both prose and poetry. Bear in mind, I am honest and thorough and don't stuff my critiques with asspats, but I am polite and as objective as possible. Just drop me a note or a comment.:heart:

My sister: :iconpulliplover:

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LiliWrites Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Happy birthday! <3
leyghan Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
HappyB by KmyGraphic
CherishKay Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday!!
thesquareroot Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
thanks for the favorite :D
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014
It's been too long since something of yours has graced my inbox. Just thought you should know... we miss you, miss.
Solaces Featured By Owner May 4, 2014
Hey, you! I know it's been months, but I'm back sort-of kind-of ish. :P Well, after finals week is off my back, it'll be official!
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner May 5, 2014
It has certainly been too long, but it's nice to see you back - and your writings flooding my inbox! I'm looking forward to delving into them.
HugQueen Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013   Writer
:cuddle: Just because. ♥
Solaces Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014
HugQueen Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014   Writer
How are you?
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