When You Chose Plastic Over Me

The first time I left you alone you were lying milk-drunk
against the soft flesh of my mother’s chest.
I had taken one of the samples from the changing table,
its color too bright yellow,
its compact shape too round,
its label screaming epitaphs,
“More DHA!”
“Better for brain development!”
“Easy on sensitive stomachs!”

I felt the pale mounds under my baggy, frumpy tee –
two sponges, ripe with nerves.
I showed my mother how to prepare the formula.
I thought briefly about staying.
I thought briefly about canceling my appointment.
I thought briefly about throwing my breast pump
and every failed attempt along with it
right out the broad bay window out front.
I focused instead on restraint.

And five hours later,
when my breasts roared with leonine intensity
and solitary arms ached to feel your weight in them,
I lifted you to me,
nuzzled you close,
and you turned

away.

© Laura A. Lord, September 2018


Thank you to MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie for their prompt.

Unkissable

My voice has become a barely legible script
careening off the sharp-edged cliff of my cracked lips.

I am unkissable, darling.

I’ve a leak in my head I can’t fix
and each heavy drop is jerk back to reality.

I’m leaving a trail of fuel and waiting
for one massive match to light
and fall
and set me ablaze.

The triage nurse wants to elevate my psychosis status.
She wants to twist the knobs at the back of my brain
and soothe the offline error tone that’s seeping
between the drought of my mouth.

I feel similar to a three year old
being taught patience,
“No, you can’t have that yet.”
But I want it. I want it, darling.

I want it back.

© Laura A. Lord, “Unkissable,2016


I have been away for some time. Away from my blog…my friends…my writing. I am struggling in the silence right now, so please bear with me.

Thank you to MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie for the wordle prompt. I needed it.

Our Old House

Our old house had paneling on the walls –
slick with lacquer
that peeled up at the corners
in thin, wispy sheets,
the shedding skin of a home in
metamorphosis.

We hung photos on the walls
so that there were sparsely visible
little brown lines
framing each memory.

We turned that paneling into
our projected hippocampus,
because we could no longer rely
on our mind to remind us
from month to month
that we did, in fact,
love one another.

Our conversation was an impregnated thing
growing silently between us
with each reviling word that slipped
off loose tongues
and shattered in the light of our
cracked bedroom window.

We carried Medusa
hidden behind our teeth
so when we opened wide to let loose
a barrage of violent expressions,
we turned one another to stone –
frozen in the ache that can only be caused
by one who loves us enough
to speak the truth
and use “Sorry” as an empty balm.

And the day we became I,
when the old Thunderbird rolled in heavy dust clouds
down the driveway,
framed by Summer’s green tongued corn,
I never packed our pictures.
I left them hanging in their little square blocks
framed by the yellowed ash from
our woodstove, because

we needed reminding of who we had been
and I
only wanted to forget.

© Laura A. Lord, 2016


I think it is true, that it is only possible to hate and to hurt those that we truly love. In that spirit I was reminded today of the past. Thank you to MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie for the wordle prompt.

Photo by Annie Spratt, Unsplash

Design by Book Genesis

3:30 AM

3:30 AM
and I am awaiting the hallucinogenic memories
that slip into my dreams
like we slid,
slick, hot bodies,
across the yellow vinyl of that ugly couch.

3:32 AM
and you are my gateway drug,
the little pill I pop under my tongue
while the shadow growth on your face
rubs a passionless rash
across my cheek.

3:35 AM
and I am as flat and stiff beneath you
as a carcass under the steady,
sharp beak of a vulture,
I pull away from you,
scalded by your touch.

3:48 AM
and your breathing has deepened
to the steady rhythm of slumber
and I dream of yellow vinyl couches
and the first time you slid,
slick, hot body, and shattered me like an ancient mosaic.

© Laura  A. Lord, 2016


I just finished a book, The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve, and without spoiling the story for you, because it is amazing and you should read it, the main character spoke numerous times about passion leaving a relationship as the time past. It inspired this piece, along with the wordle from MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie.

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Photo by Ales Krivec, Unsplash

Design by Book Genesis

Snow Race

The sun lit a glare on the snow
like daybreak had suddenly opened in the field
and a new sun was rising beneath
the deer tracks and branches heavy
with the irregular garland of ice.

You lurked at my periphery,
just enough out of the way that I had to
adjust to see you clearly.

It seemed the structure –
the baseline of you and of me –
had slowly been falling apart.

We were degrading as the
foundation of this house.

We were slipping concrete blocks
and creeping marshland.

We were winter snows
and bare feet, and you said,
“I’ll race you to the barn.”

I remember the thin slide
of my t-shirt and the way the cold air
terrorized my flesh.

There was a glint in your eyes,
something wild that sparkled,
and with each discarded piece of clothing
we were bare to one another
for the first time
in a long time.

And I think then, you saw me –

racing across the snow,
my bare feet leaving dark little
tattoos across the perfect crust –

I think you saw me and I know,
for a while,
I forgot all about us.

© Laura A. Lord, 2016


There are bright moments in any ending. Yesterday we told our children the truth about my husband adopting them. We told them about their birth fathers, and it was, by far, the most difficult discussion of my life. This brought back so many memories, especially about how things ended. I remember this day in the snow and thank MindLoveMiserysMenagerie for her wordle that inspired me to think of this.

Photo by Roksolana Zasiadko, Unsplash

Photo Design by Book Genesis


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Dancer

 

You are the delicate fuchsia flower –
a tempestuous dancer frozen in the middle
of a lustrous pirouette. I found myself
stargazing in the deep purple of
your petals, as if I were watching
for Orion to slip over the knoll
and appear, there, in the soft skin
of your eyelids, closed in fraudulent
sleep. I traced the sunlight, bright
and thick as yolk, as it draped along
your leg. I passed the stain of your
birth, there, at the back of your knee
and minded the flutter your
lashes made. Your breath stuttered,
in spite of your control and I gave myself
up to your kiss – a slow drip of laudanum
that numbed my lips and set you
to dancing, again.

© Laura A. Lord, 2016


All things considered, I never dated a dancer. I did have a very passionate fling with a gymnast, but it burnt out quickly. Thank you to MindLoveMiserysMenagerie for the wordle prompt that inspired some memories this morning.

Photo by Matthew Wiebe, Unsplash

Design by Book Genesis

I Will Ask

I find that I can be irrevocably human with you,
that in the sharp darkness of my soul,
I have made room for your light.
I have allowed the clouds to shift and fade,
have clawed out in desperation against the skies,
twisting in the downpour of adversary…
I have drawn out the irrelevant fears,
snipped them tight as a deadened nerve,
eliciting bright hibiscus blooms of paranoia and chaos.
I ask only that you love me in the darkness,
that you find beauty in my shaded bloom, and that
all of my broken pieces will be held tenderly in your arms.
I will not ask you to stitch me back together.
I will not be your doll.
I will only ask you to love me in the darkness.
I will only ask for your love.


Written in response to the wordle prompt at MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie and the prompt given by The Reverie Journal.

Birth

I came out like someone had dusted my skin with turmeric,
the bow of my mouth carved into a rigid scream,
my eyes – two angry slits,
with the thick purple cord pulsating around my neck.
It was as if the Moirai started out my journey with
the filament stretched between their wrinkled fingers,
ready to cut me out like a malignant lymph node, but…

untitled
Cary and Kacey Jordan, Flickr Creative Commons

They laid me into his hands, where he stroked my cheek
with tobacco stained fingers.
I was less than an hour old,
barely enough in this world to be an aftertaste:
the slick slide of emotion down the throat that catches
like it suddenly turned to concrete at the tonsils
and the adhesion becomes so strong you can’t just swallow it down,
you have to cough it up,
admonish yourself for the sentimental hang-ups
that come with the territory of fatherhood.

And someone let that shining filament go,
loosened their grip,
and let me live.

© Laura A. Lord, 2015


I don’t know why this collection of words from MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie made me think back to my birth story, but they did. Perhaps baby thoughts are just on my mind. I’ve been working towards becoming a surrogate mother and so I’ve certainly been thinking about babies and births lately. Either way, a big thank you to MindLoveMisery for the wordle prompt that inspired me this morning.

Dear Reflection

I know my world was lit by a technicolor moon
that labored in the silence,
poured through the grate of my window
and geminated into the haphazard designs
that lit your face in chicken-wire lines.

Creative Commons: Helga Weber
Creative Commons: Helga Weber

I know that your body was split by torsion,
spread across the bed –
puppet legs cut from the strings and twisted
so that they must be broken
or you are.

I know it is a rare moment for compassion
to slink its way into my heart,
for the razorwine to dull my sense enough
that even I, an inept caregiver,
can ignore your noxious, sour breath,

can find my arms wrapping around you,
tucking your pieces back in,
pulling you together into something almost me,
and wiping away the leftover bits that tell you
this world is not for living in.


I was so behind on my challenges, and more on why this week, hopefully, but in the meantime. . .This was written with words from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie and Three Word Wednesday. The theme was brought to me by Memee’s Poetry Party and National Suicide Prevention Month. Please check out my book Rumble Strip which deals further with one girl’s struggle with suicide and depression. Thank you.