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monster"i feel like a monster" -
whispered secrets to a plastic Jesus;
pray for swift, holy justice.
no - Fate smiles. too easy.
swallow it down, let it
burn deep inside,
i tasted the fever on your lips
and it was metallic
burning quicksilver in your veins,
dripping off your tongue.
waited for it to consume you
like the monster
that it is.
"we're all monsters inside" -
broken revelations in the darkness;
the daylight was too bright
to see our sins by.
i drew the fire out with each kiss
and blew away the smoke:
guilt is like a glass hammer
beating against stone.
Orbiti think that if we were planets,
we would orbit in parallel -
side by side, but never quite touching.
we're both of us broken,
we don't "get" affection.
outward displays of love and happiness
are too much: just beyond our
limited scopes of capability.
we're kindred spirits, but
broken souls are no good to anyone -
not even each other.
i never noticed how delicate my grandmother's hands were;
they always seemed so strong to me. strumming her beloved
guitar, plucking out a tune on her banjo, dancing across
the keys of an organ, her hands came to life. watching them
shake as she struggled to lift her fingers to her cheek,
i couldn't believe how slender her fingers were.
i never noticed how small my grandmother's bones were
until i saw the skin hanging from them. she was always
a big woman; it was a shock to see her arm no bigger
than my own. when I was little, she would balance a
teacup on her belly and laugh, and never spill a drop.
then sings my soul, my savior, god, to thee
how great thou art, how great thou art
-- you are hymns on sunday morning:
and every other day of the week as well.
you and ionce a chubby man with a moustache and
a wifebeater told me i looked like elisabeth taylor.
and then i threw up on his shoes and
he told me he'd changed his mind.
another man once told me "let's get together" but
he didn't tell me that together did not mean always.
i did not throw up on his shoes, but
i did trash his cherry red '69 corvette stingray.
later, a beautiful man with an Irish tongue and
súile neamhfhírinneach asked me to be his forever.
so being the fool i was played for, i said that i would,
only to realize he had not made the same promise.
this is not a story about any of these men.
or rather, it is, but not entirely, because
this is a story about many men and
it is also a story about you and i.
except that there is no 'you and i', there is only 'you' and 'i'
but i'm strangely okay with that because
i don't want to be i, i want to be I, and
i want you to be You, and not Them
and only then will our story have a happy ending.
star sky, not starry skyyou're always on the tip of my tongue
like the words that i shouldn't speak.
i keep the pieces of you pressed tight
in the back of my memory and mostly
i try really hard not to think about them.
mostly i try really hard not to think
about the way you pressed me tight
against your chest under the star sky.
not a starry sky, a star sky, because
stars are what the sky is made up of.
i thought then that i wanted to be a
star in the sky because no one forgets
about the stars when they can see them
every single night; you laughed because you
didn't know the fear of being forgotten.
so i wonder now if you know that i am
slowly pressing you further and further
from the front of my mind, back to the
very backity backy of my tongue, where
i can't taste your kiss, and forgetting.
cannibalism: the art of eating my heart and souli. there are some things that you tell to no one, not even the pink-furred easter bunny who knows all your secrets and shares your bed at night and sometimes watches when you touch yourself in desperation.
ii. no one will ever understand that you don't always have to be asleep to be having one of those nightmares where you open your mouth to scream only to realize that you can't force a single sound past your waiting lips because what kind of freak are you, anyway? you should have -
iii. it's impossible to explain to someone that you might be in love with your best friend who is also a girl but you aren't sure because you're afraid that the only reason you think of women in that way is a reason that you can't tell them.
iv. this is what you have done to me: locked me up inside myself and eaten the key.
to an errant loveri have painted my loneliness white;
make no mistake.
it hides itself beneath my skin
and if i try very hard i do not see it.
only in the quiet moments.
you are a teacher
in the art of forgetting -
already i have forgotten
how to breathe.
air is as nothing.
you are in my blood.
i need to sleep to wake up but i can't.
you promised to return -
when? when? when?
i miss you.
i saw you today
and the words in my mouth
blew away with the leaves.
you whispered loving artifice
against my skin in the stillness -
"¿soy una puta, verdad?"
"sí, eres la puta más linda del mundo."
and i am yours beyond all doubt and reason;
only say that you will return.
i will wait here
so that you may seek me
if only in the quiet moments.
happily ever afterall the good fairy tales started
with once upon a time in a
far away land. so i looked on
a globe to see where far away
was, and started digging a hole
to see if i could reach it.
i dug a grave instead and laid
myself to rest, and there i
lived, happily ever after.
(the hole is still bleeding
because my heart
won't stop beating.)
CapsizedI listened in, I'm guilty of this,
I broke down and wrote you back.
I have to go, knowing you're leaving;
I'm calling to say I'm capsized.
I'm home now, I'm coming around;
nobody really likes to cry.
Maybe if I cry out your name and
list the reasons, maybe if I
never called you back, maybe if I
never imagined you, I could
close this distance, and would not
have to spend a million hours
thinking of how your arms
used to encircle me in my need.
Autumn AgainBrand new sweater
I don't know
Leave the house
Brand new sweater
SurvivalThe first time
you took off your clothes
in front of me, you slid
the white fabric of your blouse
off your arms and revealed
the pale ladders
You never referenced them
directly. You said you were
lost, once. You said you
did things, once, and you
did them because they
helped you survive yourself.
I didn't say anything,
but you took my hand
and pressed it to the
ridged rows of your flesh
and for every line you left
upon yourself and healed,
I found another reason
to call you beautiful.
SunshineOnce upon a time I knew a girl
Had her heart set to save the world
She couldn't see a why in the way
That evil men doing evil things
Well I can't recall her name
But her face looked like the sun
And if she caught you with a tear
She'd surely know just what to say
Oh how I wish to God I coulda' saved her from her fate
But the world ain't all that kind even at the best of times
And something sick inside pushes the weak
To burn the prettiest wings that they can find
Just to fit a sense of justice for which they have no time
I'll remember 'til I die
The day she met that lonely man
Who would be the death of her
Sure as the rain
Well he was sick and he was sad
And he was driving himself mad
With the needle that he chose
Stuck in his veins
She fell in love with just one look
And tried her best to make him see
The beauty of the wide, wide, wild world
But we all know what they're like
The ones hooked bad and for their life
He did too and tried to tell her
That she couldn't save his soul
Into the SunsetA boy screams into the mirror
With a gun against his head
Cryin' how the world ain't fair
How no one listens to what he says
Suddenly something clicks
His reflection's lying dead
Cold eyes are staring at him
Breathless lips must be read
"Is this what you really want?
To just give up and let 'em win
To go and face the Great Big Black
Before you've had a chance to live?
Forget your myths, they lead you wrong
There's no such thing as Ever After
You've got one shot and then you're gone
So take the reins and be your master
Now pick your bitch ass up
And pull this bullet from my head
You've still got fuel within your veins
Go light a fire, knock 'em dead!"
A man sets down his gun
And with both hands he packs a bag
The memories of love he cradles close
The rest are left to feed the flames
He walks across a burning bridge
With no glance at what was home
He faces west and starts to run
Eyes ablaze with the unknown
Bottle of SadnessYour little red mouth
is a bottle of sadness
and you think you keep
it stoppered up,
but the cork is cracked
and the seal is loose
and you drip
little splashes of sorrow
every time you speak.
In the morning,
I wake next to your wet sheets,
your pillow soaked through with it.
It smudges on the rims
of glasses you drink from,
it tastes of salt and dusk and blue
on your lips
and even when you laugh,
it boils away and steams
in the air --
the room fills with fog,
you stop laughing again.
I used to think
you had only liters in you,
but some days I think
you have the whole deep sea.
Beautiful in BlueI know that it's hard to smile
With your cheeks bright red
being outlined in blue
With those scars on your chin
and your lips being cut too
With all that dried blood
Leaving traces all across your face
Black and blue bruises on your neck
Where his grip also left its trace
It must be hard to smile
When you're missing some teeth
When the bruises run down your body
And it hurts just to breathe
When your body's tattooed
With scars and in blue bruises
that wont ever leave
When passing out from the pain
Seems to be your only relief
But don't you bring that
blade to your wrist
And hurt yourself too
Don't give up on life
Think that you can't break through
Because you can
And start your life anew
Even now I can say
That you're beautiful in blue
and blemished sight
in the night...
to tear that sky
The MinotaurYou stand undressed
in front of the mirror,
and every time,
you cast open the gates
into your labyrinth of
doubts, every time,
into winding passages
full of thorns
and black brambles.
You wander in
just to scratch
of hating yourself.
You pinch your hips,
and squeeze your breasts
and frown at yourself.
You are looking
for the minotaur,
for the shaggy head
and the bloody horns,
for the muscle and fur
that will put its knee
into your back
and break you.
You poke the lines
of your face, you
wander the moss-
and pick your way
through, you listen for his
lowing, for his hooves
stamping on the rock,
for the hot breath he huffs
and sniffs for you,
and with every step,
you draw nearer and nearer.
But there is more
in your labyrinth
Past the brambles
and the bends,
the cobblestones break
and there is a garden
growing wild in the center,
full of red and yellow dahlias,
full of climbing ivy and
white virgin's bower,
and the full brightness of the sun.
ExodusOne day, someone will ask
for volunteers to leave this place
and I will go.
I will leave behind the trees
and the seas and the bluest skies
and I will leave you, too.
I will leave you.
I will venture out
into the starry unknown
and find what lies beyond
this wet marble of a world,
aching, I will leave you
and I do not think I will return.
You will not come with me
and you will not ask me to stay,
and we both know why.
We have always known this
about ourselves. You love closely
and I love from far away.
thinnerwhy are white women
stick thin in magazines
and on television,
where everyone can see?
i wish that i was a black woman
because even fat black women
are graceful and confident,
and if i was so thin
so skinny-thinny that my
collarbones were like wire hangers
and my ribs a xylophone
it would never be enough --
i would want to be
until i was
just ash and bone.
what love is not.it was a s l o p p y first kiss where
my drunk lips fumbled against yours.
the dull thwack of my heart,
locked behind curved ribs
cleared my groggy brain,
clouded with lustful premonitions.
it was an e l e c t r i f y i n g first kiss where
you entwined your hands in my hair.
your mouth encompassed mine and
my breath became lost in the steady
of your chest.
it was a s h y first kiss where
i pulled away before you could explore.
your tongue grazed my teeth,
searching for a way past the ivory gates.
i dug my finger into the stubble along your jaw,
my nail lulling your carnal desires.
it was my first kiss with you.
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