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.

Magic Trick

I learned early to avoid your gaze.
Survival comes from looking down at my feet,
amplifying every stretch of my ankle,
angling my body to the side,
as if the mere act of shifting myself for you
would give you enough space to ignore my existence.
I would agonize over my bangs,
drag them down to cover light, almond eyes.
Hiding in plain sight was always an arduous process.
I used my skin, an atypical artifice, as a Halloween mask
and abracadabra –
I disappeared.

© Laura A. Lord, September 2018


Thank you to MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie for their prompt.

Make Me

I don’t need fragile smoke whispers
slipping past my eyelashes
and hanging as beads of sweat at the hollow of my neck.
No, darling,
I have forgotten who I am.
I need the molten mocha of your eyes
to burn through the butterflies of doubt.
I need pupils dilated,
heavy breathing,
sounds-like-someone’s-breaking-me
kinda burning.
I need you close as ivy, grasping on the legs of my pale skinned veranda.
I am a foreigner in my own skin
and I don’t need your swaying, sultry song.
I need you to scream my name into the back of my throat.
Make me remember
who I am.
Make me.

© Laura A. Lord, 2018


Thank you to Mindlovemiserysmenagerie for your 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

Good Intentions

In the first few weeks after I met you,
you formed the habit of placing your hand
on the back of my neck
while I drove.

I thought it cute.

You were addictive
in your senseless charm
and I was a careless heart,
struggling to keep time
with the beat.

Decidedly, the tempo increased
and the knuckles scraped
a tap-dance slide
across concave cheekbones,
stark and thinned
by my hungering smile.

I thought to terminate the dance.

I thought to notify you of my intentions.

I thought to step back from passions raised
and push my narrow chin in the air,
to settle my shoulders back
and stiff as rigor mortis
my words would fall
and in their strength
would not break as they hit the ground.

Instead, you showed me the weakness of my spine
and your hand on my neck
tightened its grip
and my words fell hollow in the squeeze.

I watched them shatter,
as only sparkling good intentions can do.

© Laura A. Lord, 2016


Sometimes thoughts drift to darker times. Regardless, I am thankful to MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie for their wordle prompt this week.

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Photography by Jairo Alzate, Unsplash

 

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

Amnesia

I was lost in the apathy of a broken heart,
the disloyalty of dreams that had been
drug mercilessly through the sharp,
splintered edges of a fake romance.
I held animosity close to my chest,
covering myself in the lie that was fear
and cowardice. I courted misery
as if somewhere in the depths of
his indifference I would find hope.
I dressed myself up in swaths of
optimism and met the stare of disdain
with a heart coarsened by hatred.
I searched for endless hours through
the rubble of my faith and staggered
across the first moment I saw him –
the thick sprawl of his lashes
against storm blue eyes and
a smile that sent a lurch through me,
knocking me to my knees.
I remembered how love tasted of
his breath and forced amnesia
for our fragmented love. I forgot it all
and loved him anyway.

© Laura A. Lord, 2016


Written in response to the prompt at The Reverie Journal.