Silverfish

I have perched on the edge of the heaving ocean’s waves –
a cliché of turbulent emotions raging in translucent spray.
It sends my mascara to running faster than any
fight or flight mechanism left in this old gray matter of mine.

I’ve got silverfish in my heart
and they’re eating at the yellow pages
that litter the floor
of my little castle keep.

I’m fumbling about in the rancid leftovers
of a fridge left behind.

Someone turned the power off on me
a few weeks ago,
but I never needed light for this sight –

I’m in my element here…

Here,

where the war stories of the day are bunched up under my head,
a lumpy, bumpy pillow that croons in my ear
every hour,
on the hour –
the breaking news.

And the breaking news is shattering news.
It’s crushing and devastating –
a shock to the system.
It’s the all new norm

and catastrophic in its mediocrity.

And I’m one wave crash from wiping out completely.
I’m a piss-poor balancing act on a boogie board –
I’m being eaten alive,

but the power’s off and so,
I can’t even see it happening.

© Laura A. Lord, Silverfish, 2016


I don’t claim to be anything more than I am – but there are people in this world who are especially attuned to humanity. They are effected in ways that may not make sense to others. These are the kinds of people who can read a news article and hurt so badly for humankind that they slide helplessly into a depression.

And in a world where there is so much hurting, it is easy to get lost. Bear with us, those of us who feel a little too deeply, who are thin-skinned, who wear our hearts out in the open like some big, bold flag…The world can be a little much for us some days.

Thank you to MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie for their prompt that helped inspire an aching mind today.

The Room of My Heart

It’s dark in here, this narrow hall. The walls are tight and I barely have to put my arms out a bit to feel my fingers brushing against the cool, rough concrete. My breath shoots out in puffs of frozen air and I shiver, goose-flesh breaking out across my skin. The floor is wet and I must have lost my shoes, because the water licks at my ankles. It feels as if it is rising, breaks in small waves along my calves, and retreats, pulling at my toes. I close my eyes, as if that would help, but all around me is a sensation of feeling. Behind it all, a steady throb.

The beat that forms the music, and I need these things, these fearful things, to guide me there. With each step in, the beat grows faster, louder. Soon the water is up at my hips and I’m crunched over, the ceiling lower here. I’m bent and wet and the waves are slapping at my belly and I expect my lips are blue from cold. But the beat is fast. The beat is loud. By the time I reach the door, can feel the soft wood, worn by waves, it is almost deafening. The pounding has seeped into my mind, broken my defenses.

I open the door, pull myself inside, and use every ounce of my strength to push that door shut again.

And all is quiet. The floor is dry, smooth, dark wood that stretches the expanse of the room. My bare feet leave small wet footprints behind. Softly the music begins, stringed instruments to accompany the soft beat. I take a deep breath and the air is warm. It smells like an old book store, and I see the walls are filled with bookshelves almost bursting with stories. At the end of the room is a fireplace with roaring flames and a large red sofa. The room is barely lit, but that fire puts off enough light to chase away the shadows.

There are no windows here, no one to see into my space. I strip away the nastiness of the day, the sludge that I seem to carry with me. I stand naked in this space, before the fire, and let it dry away the remains of that horrid walk. I curl up onto that couch and my blanket is there, the one I sleep with at night. I wrap it around my body and lie back, letting the music soothe me and the words come as I hear them.

Beside me is a table, and on it, stacks of parchment paper. As I start to talk, the words appear on each page, filling the space until every page is consumed by them. Later I will scoop them up. I will place them in a binding and onto one of the many shelves. But for now, I will stay here, by the fire.

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To visit more heart rooms, please check out Jennie’s post.