Braver Love

Love,
we have cooled, haven’t we?
Slowed to the rhythm of days
we never saw coming,
preoccupied now with the minutes
that once seemed tenuous.
Is it granted, this life,
made up of the coffee spoons we
recycle without telling each other?

Or are we still
allowed to burn with the flames we once knew,
standing billowing upon the mountaintops
of hills we fought to crest,
when we were brave and excited?

Let us not go gentle
into the twilight of our love’s forgetting,
but make of life
a more impassioned cry

and remember once more
that ecstasy does not keep,
but must be found and caught
like the fireflies we saw in humid nights.

It is work, this
braver love, this
scaling of walls, this
looking at another person and seeing them
as another universe filled with light and sound and fury
and yes,
the smallness, too,
the inconsistency
of fireflies.

I will not sit
to watch love wilt in jars;
let us climb again
those towers that yearn for, but do not reach,
the stars.

©K Paige Medina 27 March 2017

Advertisements

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

No Thank You

No thank you,
I have had quite enough
Of this
Business of being cool,
Playing it close to the chest,
Making like the feathers of water birds,
Sheltered,
Proofed,
With beads of water
Rolling off.

I’d rather be thunder,
Inconsolable
For once
Than this quiet contained thing,
Drenched
Moment by moment
In the unconquerable rains
Of disappointment.

I’ll not keep quiet,
No thank you,
With this slow hole burning
From within,
Sucking down words with smoke
Swallowing uncomfortable truths,
No.

Politely, I say,
Thank you,
but I must now
Be loud.

© K Paige Medina 9/6/2016

The Breach

I fell asleep in no-man’s-land,
With flower petals in my hand.
Above my head an orange sky
Blows angels’ flight paths all awry.
We fell in love like dreamers do,
with sound and fury and ado.
We pinned ourselves to each other’s breast
And let the world do the rest.
We held our hands with spiky smiles—
Secrets, intrigue, lovers’ wiles—
Our paths were bound to wander down
Into each wasted bitter town,
And crest again those wanton shores,
And leave us always wanting more.
Alone I sleep, till some long hour
When I’ll restore this broken flower
Once more to that dear breach I sought
To lose once more the battles fought.

© K Paige Medina 9/5/2016

Should Have Been

You should have been here.
We should have been these
Lovers, fingers twining
Beneath tabletops and sheets
Glancing with eyes like firelight
Secrets dancing
Shared
Promises hanging like smoke
Or nets
Above the dinner table
Laden with plates and cups.

It should have been you
Plying willing fingers,
Slipping breathlessly into
Smiling silence,
Looking,
Seeing,
Polishing our sweetest words
Meant for each other.

But I am alone,
Fingers laced with rings
You did not give me,
Enveloped in smoke,
Holes in my socks
With no one to hold me.

Lover I lost,
Your lingering distaste
For my incessant need to feel
Reaches like long fingers
To wrap my memories in tears.

© K Paige Medina 9/4/2016

Capsized

We walked into each other
Like the sea touching the sky–
Full of hopeful purpose
Without ever asking why.
We were lovely then and braver
Than we thought ourselves to be,
With the wind behind us beckoning
Us toward a soft and simple sea.
It wasn’t that we somehow stopped,
Or ever once awoke
And saw our lives a dismal thing
And the sea a vat of smoke;
But rather that we both pressed on
Though clouds heaved storms and rain,
Refusing to see the hardened lines
Ground deep into our veins.
We swore our oaths like sailors who,
Upon encountered gales,
Bark out their words to steel the sea
And make winds fit to sails.
But there never fonder captains were
Than we two once had been,
As, struggling toward horizons yet,
We succumbed to the ocean.

Our sailors’ cries still haunt the waves
Of my soul’s restless seas–
Yet heartsore from the bitter winds,
Yet shipwrecked, yet I find ease.

©8/1/2016 K Paige Medina

The Last Few Days

Did I give up love
For this arranged marriage,
This stranger,
Cackling,
Broken,
Embracing me with her fear?
What, then, is love
If in the midnight throes of this
Strange body’s upset,
I suddenly feel myself discovered,
Bound up in a mistress
Who is myself
And my wife,
Who is not any of us?
This dark thing,
A creature of my own design,
Brought to life by the echo
Of my own discontent.
Villain of my own heart,
Harpy with my voice,
Must I love you?
Claw out my eyes and make me profess your beauty.
For I am but a soul adrift
In the vastness of your witchery and theft,
Beckoned, drowning,
Down
Into the hell of your heart.

The golden light of longing
In the dark of discontent
Has led my feet too many times
From the path for which they’re meant.
The call of something better
From beyond a wayward turn
Sets my heart to promises
And my restless feet to burn.
It’s the strange impossibility
Of hope beyond defeat
That keeps me walking forward
Towards mirages in the street.
You called yourself a prophet
But the harder task is still
To calm my heart to silence
Through sheer force of will.

Romantic though the thought may be
To wander on forever,
There never was a lonelier road
Than this, stretched, ending never.

It’s the fire knowing it is not the smoke.
It’s like all the yeses in the world saying no.
It’s being all alone at night
And saying this is still alright,
That’s called home.

We’re just shadows of ourselves, darling.
We sit and stare at the beginnings of ourselves.
And when we look into the sky
And we’re only asking why
When we’re waiting for the answers
Then we’re home.

It’s like watching the rain
And seeing oceans.
It’s like when we laugh and all we hear are tears.
All the patience that we’ve given,
All the faults that we’ve forgiven,
Are we moving toward the end
Or are we home?

Don’t tell yourself you’ve never been in love.
Don’t wait because it’s never been enough.
When you’re wishing for a dream
That never asks for being seen,
If you’re looking for yourself,
You look for home.

©7/15/2016 K Paige Medina

A Heart of Water

I hold a heart of water
In the caverns of my chest,
Whose beating waves keep lapping;
Who never stops to rest.
Its coolness tells a story of
Both depth and bitter pain;
Of sinking into passions that
One heart cannot maintain.
This heart I hold is far too wet
To stand all on its own,
But far too changeful, regrettably,
To be another’s home.
It moves in tides and shimmers still,
A lovely siren’s heart,
That sings through night tides wistfully,
“Oh, let us never part.”
But in the morning it is plain
This heart is now too shallow,
For love cannot find purchase here;
The pools are all too fallow.
The lover, disappointed, leaves,
Feeling restless and betrayed,
Impatient for a calmer heart,
Whose songs are quieter played.

But this heart of water bears the pain
Of each unfettered guest
And each new song sings more deeply
Of regret than all the rest.
So if you find yourself adrift
In this heart’s stormy seas,
Merely listen to the songs of love
And do not fear the breeze.

©K Paige Medina 7/10/2016

Poison

It’s the poison smell of morning
In the hinterland of night
When my eyes are shot with spears
By the promise of daylight.
Will I ever dream of winter
Without feeling so alone?
Can I brave the heights of mountains
Without thinking once of home?

It’s the sharpened chill of wood
Edging deep into my heart
Like the words chained to my spirit,
“Let us never be apart.”

©Kaitlyn Medina [6/22/16]

The Time of Goodbyes

The feathers of belonging
Darling, they become you.
Where you are going
Will you remember the way
The lights dance on the rain?
Will you remember how to be cold,
Your lips all dry and cracked?
Don’t forget the sound of midnight
In October.

Lovely,
In your hours of absence,
I will remember the way
Your face struck the bar light.
We are in love.
We are forever.
I will be where you are not
Even as you are where I cannot be.

Remember me
As I am after the wine.
Remember you
As you are
When you are.

for JCB

[10/22/15]