Settled in the Gray

Dust weighs down the room
giving an unfocused appearance, yet
somehow adding emphasis
to the few items that remain:
the soft table in front of the window
edges worn down and rounded
lit by the paleness
of dawn’s indirect light

the square stool pulled out
at an angle
grain of wood on its seat
rubbed smooth but defiantly standing

the small box, once darkly stained
at the far corner with lid left open
a pair of stunted, sharp scissors
and a spool of black denier thread
– strong, flat, smooth, lightly waxed –
nearly gone –
as the only inhabitants

and the tired black feathers of a fly
at the table’s center –
thin, chenille body
gold ribbing, woolly hackle
fluffy marabou tail
coated
with a graying layer of dust

Dust weighs down the room
filling the atmosphere, but somehow adding
to the emptiness
I reach out, hand hovering above the fly
then down over the stool, but –
I halt.
I wish to trace that grain still standing strong
like I would the veins on the back of your hand
the ones that ran up into your forearms, but –
I look to the door
and see my footsteps
across the floorboards
displaced dust
in the indirect light of dawn:
already too much disruption.
Smiling to myself
clasping my hands
behind bent back
I whisper his name
then walk away.
Everything here fades
settled in the gray.

A Living Coffin

Have you ever awakened in a bed of moss?
You tend to sink down during the night
about six inches
stalks of green sponge compressed
but filling the space along your curves
The spiders like to cast their nets of silk
above you, over you
keeping you safe from any falling stars
And best of all, there are drops of dew
resting on your eyelashes
and they run down your cheek
when you first blink.
Just remember:
they don’t have to be tears of sadness
and you can lie there as long as you need.

At That Point

You are at that point:
“A moment that changes
all moments that follow.”
You face a door
painted
into brick wall
in an alleyway.
But on the other side
is not the room that rests
behind the brick.
Instead: a void
blackness of a cavern
of unknown depth.

You were once told
by a ghost
her lips in your hair
words tickling your ear,
that
“It is love
that resurrects life from death.”
Chills down your spine
toes numb, you lean forward
raise your arm
finger tips touch
cool, wet black paint: a door.
In your ear now again
her whisper
“Leave us here. Turn your head to the living.”

Your hair
caught between her lips
pulls away
then falls back
released.

Her breath
no longer in your ear
her whispers
receding back to memory.
Fingers seemingly stuck
draw back
leave the painted wall –
fall
taking your hand
heavy
down

to your side
so heavy it brings you to your knees
broken alleyway glass
piercing through your jeans.
The paint of the door:
as wet as the eyes you now cover
push against
with heels of trembling hands.

When next you look
tears spent
only the bricks remain.

You are at that point:
“A moment that changes
all moments that follow.”
You are at that point:
shapeless space between
the beginning of a story and knowing
that a new story has begun.
You are at that point,
so close your eyes
and turn your face
to the sky.

Walk It Off

These mountains could rim the world.
Walk it off
under the varied light of the unattainable

Day, night, twilight, dusk, dawn:
each brings its own emotion
each emotion feeding the others
adding fuel through confusion
until its power overwhelms

Walk it off
in these mountains
balancing on the edges of knives
walk down those blades:
the only choice
because you put yourself here
in doubt
in hate
in anger

But life is too full of regret
so why add your own destruction?

Why not listen to the rocks?
They’ve been sitting
in never-ending
meditation
attempting to understand the caress of the clouds

ask them
how to fill a lifetime
with the feeling
of fluttering wings and wind
brushing against their cheek

ask them
how to make it disappear
like the diaphanous face of daylight’s moon
fading into the scattered clouds
of a melancholy morning

We are only what the world makes us
so walk it off.
Carry on.

Chris Biles currently lives and works in Washington D.C. She enjoys playing with the light and the dark, and losing herself in music, anything outside, and some words here and there. Published by Exeter Publishing, Haunted Waters Press, Yellow Arrow Publishing, and FleasOnTheDog, find her at www.chrisbiles03.com / Instagram: @marks.in.the.sand


Image by Chris Biles courtesy of the writer.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here