Chalk Bones

by Anita Lubesh

chalk bones whips blush poem

My cheeks inherited
these whispered blushes.
Above them sits one jewel
in the traverse
of my brow’s flesh,
a stream of teardrops,
permanently nestle
in the body of my face –

they remind me of the child
caught crying
in ink black darkness
where silver shadows
of pale moon would try and invade
my solemnity –
its own had wandered only to find
nothingness and me, hiding inside.

Occasionally,
we would dance
a reflection; swooning and
dipping, dodging emptiness,
faded scars and the morass
of past pain, unredacted, untouched,
left to degrade, as if it could.

Calm moon chalk
expressions would beat rhythmic
shadows on my chest, imposing
stoic interruptions
where my stolid heart should be;

and, still at press pause, afraid of my
own heartbeat, of my organs,
of mnemonic patterns –

myriad disjointed
memories have scattered
amid fabricated utterances

fluttering endlessly.  Out of control
in chasms of grey, fleshy matter –
pretty cacti run my veins –
flower buds seldom seen
are happy there
forcing blood, forcing life.

I bang on the mirror…
until cracks fill with my blood –

like grime and dirt,
the pain of my disease
is ingrained,

it cannot be wiped away –
so the reflection oscillates.
I roll my cheeks one at a time;
warm flesh pressed hard
against cold glass,
my painted orange lips, linger,

and I pray my bones break
so that I might heal.

I resolve to stop this
dance of attrition – and smear
the neon shop bought mask,
swapping sorrows for sin,

and we wade out from the mire –
facets polished, pores unclogged –

for a little while
at least.

With cupped hands, I drink
the rhythm of the rain
still smothered in shade.
Ashen faced, I find I have, at least,
become whole.

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