Medusa in a Mirror

Female anger sanitized by a male expression
The undulating danger of the monstrous made feminine,
Medusa in a mirror,
The gorgon in the blood,
The nefarious banal,
The shimmering echo of the demon in the throat,
Choked once more into sobriety
By Adam—
Giver of Names,
Arbiter of Shame,
Blameless Judas,
Are you still the only one who can tame
The witch in the woman,
Bottle the marid,
Set fire to the madwoman’s ghost,
And tell her to sit still?

That lick of insolence when you take a woman’s anger into your mouth –
Speaking a spell you don’t believe in –
Boy of flesh,
You have never understood the femininity of ragnarok
But I have.

Beneath the half-lit gas lamps of living in your world,
I, Woman, have bound myself to what is true,
Learning to distrust the light,
I have welcomed only stars, only moon,

Only the way my own eyes glint in mirrors,
When, once again,
You have come for my head.

 

©K Paige Medina 15 September 2017

Advertisements

Glass

Could once it have been perfect,
a moment yet to spend,
astride a sleeping, peaceful hill,
unfamiliar still with ends?
Is ignorance so peaceful,
that storms must stay so far away
that even unperturbed tranquility
should these flimsy hearts assay?

I have not long been walking here,
though fond yet have I found
the world of pain and calumny,
and hearts too often flayed and ground.
Is it blissful then to sit alone,
untouched by loss or love,
and still to breathe, though fearfully,
lest one from this gentle perch be shoved,

And tumble down to rougher scapes, where fire and fury find
as plentiful a purchase as in calmer, simpler minds.

 

©K Paige Medina 26 August 2017

Stone

I dreamed once of a little child
Whose name was that of stone,
And for all I’ve ever felt alive
That child has felt alone.
We’ve wandered long, two specters twinned
Up to the gates of hell,
But for all our silent, ghostly looks,
I could never really tell
If that child followed in my wake,
A lonely phantom saint,
Or whether it was I who trailed,
Sullen, bruised,
likely to faint.

I get the feeling he has walked
Much farther yet than I,
Yet wander on I know he must —
Little longing yet to die.
So let us go then he and I
Into that depth of place
That stops as suddenly as a fall
In his ghastly childish face.

©K Paige Medina 28 June 2017

Oil

I want to be the man who rescues the dogs of the desert,
but I am not.
I am the desert, rustling drily beneath an unforgiving sun,
that I also am,
punisher of cracked seeds, the beating heat of a purgatory
I cultivated for myself.
But I am also the dogs, running, tumbling,
children trapped in the spiny grasp of an unkind world,
but the world is me
and I am dry
and I am sweat
and I am asphyxiating on the calcified fossils of unsaid words
dipped, acidic, into poisons I feed myself,
where the roots of my soul cling desperately to
aquifers full of toxic, molten, gangrene sunlight.
Tarantino sunlight.
The sunlight that brings death in a bride–
a poached kind of brightness that
bleaches in nuclear fallout the bones of dogs
unrescued.
I want to be that beautiful savior,
but I am the unsaved and the desert,
bearing yellow teeth,
oozing with the oil slick hatred that grows,
abundant
in the dry, buzzard air.

©K Paige Medina 25 May 2017

The Blood of Trees

Did you learn to lust for
the blood of trees,
sapped from blighted limbs,
the litheness of leaves still
falling
in the unhasty way that trees fall?
Did you let them grow
only to marvel more greatly
at the size of the force
needed to fell them,
or were the bared teeth of your saws
merely bad harmony
to the pathetic sound your fists made
against the trees that you wanted toppled?

Did you see them like spirits,
reaching with their skeletal fingers toward
an unflinching creator?

If they had skins, they might have
looked like dead elephants,

but they were trees,
silent and patient,
bleeding for the amusement and glory
of insignificant men.

©K Paige Medina 30 January 2017

Orlando

The darkness of a keening world,
no longer bared to light–
the untipped scales of one man’s hate
prowling through the night.
We reach for answers like a shield
that blocks us from the truth
that wafts away like gunsmoke or
the impermanence of youth.
The nights we sought to quell the sound
of being all alone
were shattered into violence
the minute we found home.

By morning light we heard the news,
awoken into fear
by bitter voices importuning
how could this happen here?
These others, fallen shells of hope,
these others who have sinned,
we kept them far away from us,
the self-righteous, till the end.

Nostalgic for the silence of
indifference or fear,
no glooming peace this morning brings,
no peace at all, for we’re
the judges and the jury
for the ones we left to die
collective in their plaintive call,
the hardest question—“why?”

Why did we leave them in the night,
these vibrant castaways
to suffer judgment all their lives
until one violent man’s choice sways
the opinions of the populace
into graceful mourning sounds
as if we held them close to us,
as if we’d ever found
a reason to see in them
some of our humanity–
no, now it is our turn to cry,
“why’d you take them away from me?”

We’ve torn ourselves asunder
trying to pronounce the blame,
but truth is we’re all culprits
in a crime we’ve yet to name,
that states we’ll sit in silence
through intolerance and bigotry
until we feel absolved through
some new mass tragedy.

Awaken into struggle
do not fear your life’s true pain,
Offer up your sacrifice of loss,
Don’t let it happen again.

[6/13/16]
© K Paige Medina