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

Unsnuffed

There is an element of sparkle
In the sputtering of flames;
In the moment of extinguishing
Fire yet spits forth her names,
Affirming in the moments when
Ceasing seems most true
The lightness of her being before
Life’s final adieu.
And I guess that’s how it feels
In the company of night
When I’m drowning in my failure
And something deep within me lights
And burns an angry rebel spark
That glitters into being
The forgotten words of truth that
Send my fears and regrets fleeing,
And for a moment yet I’m strong
And whole and ready for one more,
Alit within with stubborn sparks still
Glowing in my core.

©K Paige Medina 25 April 2017

Spider

Spider,
you tried to keep me afraid
but I met Ananse in Africa, and was

baptized in the silk of his tricks.
I learned to sweat out my anger
and not to kill what I feared;

your small spinner’s legs
are breakable too,
and I am no longer afraid of you.

©K Paige Medina 2 April 2017

A Time to Rest

I think it’s time I put to bed
the crawling things inside my head–
the tigers prowling in the night,
that gurgle waiting for a fight;
the dragons hissing in the seas
that spew half-truths sinisterly;
my poisoned sirens singing hate,
who love to drown and loathe to wait.
I’m made of monsters seething low
who strangle hope and cannot go
alone into their wicked nights,
so I must with them fly or fight.
A cursed gift to me they’ve been
weighty in their depths of sin;
yet mine alone to carry are
these monstrous, heavy, broken scars.

Yet light still shines its fragile beams
through unfilled cracks and weathered seams.
I cannot let these monsters go,
but may find peace in light’s halo
while sleep o’ertakes these devils mine
as daybreak crests its stubborn shine.

Not over yet, this fight I face,
but quieter in dawn’s embrace,
I too must rest from bitter pain
To wake, and then to fight again.

©K Paige Medina 31 March 2017


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Witch Children

In the dark you can see them,
smoldering in the muted light,
their elbows smudged in ashes from
too many close calls.
They are evasive like smugglers,
eyes somehow always upturned,
as if waiting for rain
or perhaps a rapture
which only they expect.

I have known them,
these demons,
these churlish half-goblins;
they have come to me bearing
the night of their presence.

I thought for a while they were
witch-children, scared as they were
of quiet and stillness,
carrying their thrumming wariness
in their clenched, bony hands.

We do not speak to each other in words,
but we know
there are things in the world which
all feel,
all hear,
but only some must see.

Our eyes have met, and
these spindly wolflings have
left me to return to the yellow
wallpaper of their invisibility.

But I wonder
if the words they don’t speak
are mere questions–
if they are not born of witches,
but rather of the fearful mediocre,
myself and others.
We left them alone,
to grow feral and hard,
so when they come they bring only
the wildness of longing
as gifts for their forebears.

They are not visitors,
rather masters;
could we have lived peacefully
had I just learned to love them?

©K Paige Medina 7 March 2017

Suspension

Is there a creature left on earth
Unafraid of falling–
Of the violence of shaken ground,
Of time suddenly stalling–
Do fish flung back to sea
Feel relief or feel afraid?
Are they sorry then to cease the
Soaring flight that they had made?
Can they mourn the loss of flying
Though it ended in a fall,
Or do they swim away instead
And never fear at all?

For I’ve been flung, myself,
Into abysses I have known,
And never been the happier
For once more falling home.

©K Paige Medina 6/30/16

I Didn’t Expect

I didn’t expect it to be so lonely.
Cooled by the dry air into cracks,
The fractures of a life
Lived too much
Too eagerly
The cracks and wrinkles of age at 25,
Wine in the morning,
Tears at night.

God I didn’t expect it to be so lonely
Sipping on the liquor of my disappointment,
Flicking embers from my fingers—
That impartial anger—
Singing the edges of words
And the corners of blankets
With the heat of the country that bore this—
Whoever she is—

I didn’t expect this loneliness.
Alone in the afternoons
Silent in the sealed houses,
The rooms full of glass
So impertinently unbroken,
So mischievously whole.

I didn’t ask for this loneliness,
God knows I didn’t ask,
Followed by ghosts into the dark spaces of my past,
Whispering in the unhurried way
Of ghosts
That quickening of the blood,
That little lick at the back of your throat
That says
Hush and hurry
Don’t linger too long.

I didn’t expect it to be so lonely,
Calmed to pieces by the lull of paved highways,
Friction between tires and road
Gleaming along like the shell of an egg
Like the calm of a morning
Unshattered by church songs.

It’s the loneliness of smooth surfaces,
The solitude of preservatives,
The isolation of efficiency
That I didn’t expect.

[5/6/2016]


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The Clock Breaks

Clocks are very lonesome things, as
their tireless ticking shows;
what other thing holds time itself
in regimented rows?
Its hands are stiff and even,
its face is round yet sallow,
its purpose simple yet mundane,
its love broken and fallow.
And yet it keeps on ticking,
marching out to dust the time
in metrical perfection–
its sisyphean rhyme.

A clock does not ask questions
nor ponder why it moves
time from life to seconds,
as its ceaseless slicing proves.
A clock could never face
the senselessness of time
were it alive and breathing

imperfectly.