pearls

Afterthought 1550—Minus One, Minus Another

Posted in nothing special by maggie on 2017/01/14

Time was known more by
what we didn't do
than by what we did.
It's the absent things we know,
minus one, minus another. 

We withheld pieces of ourselves,
expecting to do without.
We focused on the words not said,
leaving the others to catch up. 
We made love with the lights on,
ignoring the gods who call from dark.
All those tears we never had to cry,
minus one, minus another. 

We won't see everyone home,
we won't mark everything done,
we won't mention every casualty,
we won't spend every last cent.
Minus one, minus another,
minus one, minus another,
minus one, minus another,
we will be at our best 
with all we weren't. 

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Afterthought 221—Mad Fatigue

Posted in triolet by maggie on 2015/06/09
 
Like you say, if you had it to do over
again, you'd ditch me quick hard as death
same as then.  Who's chosen for your lover,
like you say?  If you had it to do over,
I'd best be warned to duck, go run for cover,
just leave you the hell alone easy as breath,
like you say.  If you had it to do over
again, you'd ditch me quick hard as death.

Afterthought 157—Not So Cursed

Posted in curtal sonnet by maggie on 2015/05/17

Spiders' eggs, swallowed before recast 
as polluted sacrificial babies sent
to come again, hatch their truth, "Go! Go!"

These days, soul mates don't get made to last
past the soul itself.  Things get bent.
They do.  Things get bent so they'll be so.

The amalgamation improves not on its worst
accepted for itself.  An unheard word's intent
can't pay the debt the said ones wouldn't owe.

All'll work out as meant, not so much cursed
                        as to stub a toe.
 

Afterthought 130—Eldritch

Posted in nothing special by maggie on 2015/03/22

"No," our mother cut short my brother's plea
to make the stop where for two bits we'd see
a live five-legged dog. The whole next hour
we got the lecture about how no authenticity
can be found advertized at so cheap a price
at some rundown farm in the middle of nowhere,
how that extra so-called leg was just a piece
of an old sock sewn on, how it couldn't stand
or walk or scratch its owner behind its ear.
And by the time we were leaving Georgia behind
I had learned two lessons that I have found
to serve me well ever since.  First, how much
is like that dog's extra limb was said to be.
And then, how a thing not so can still be known
by the needle and tread through which it's sewn.

Desultory dreams will make up for you being out
later than you said you would be back.  I doubt
we were both as drunk as I've been known to get
reminded how empty it can get here, nothing left
to stitch together into a new leg or extra arm.
Yeah, anyway we were the ones making our escape,
mother no longer swallowing liquor as an excuse
to risk abandoning her children to your abuse.
I can't help wondering the fuss that bitch made
when her five-legged son got so poorly displayed.

The numbers are wearing off the ruler I've placed
over fabric I'm cutting, as if they'd been erased.
Become nearly as useless as a forgotten friend
ridiculed as waste, shrugged off and abandoned.
I don't think I need a replacement, not just yet,
as long as its edge can be used to make the cut.

Seems I'm always getting told to remove free will
from the exhibit.  Like, "Just accept me as I am,
I had nothing to do with this fifth leg I sport,
and me biting at you isn't done out of any ill
except yours at fault not paying your just due
to let me be the fraud my mirror's calling you."

Our mother said we'd escaped you none too soon.
Our mother patiently taught us how the waning moon
is silent without its sun.  Our mother understood
about fire, about rocks and herbs, about blood.
Our mother taught at so cheap a price what's sold
will not last.  Eventually the seam wears thin
and the false will fall away, as if never there,
like a word one never learned to hear get said.
Our mother dies as if alive and lives as if dead.

Unfamiliar.  Unexpected.  Strange, even weird
enough to be photographed, that's an extra charge.
Things that shouldn't be, they should be revered
and thought of as meaning as they have appeared
to be.  If we pass up the temptation to diverge
from where we are, we never get to where we go,
so settle for pretending what's real as though.

Afterthought 124—Accidental Prophecy

Posted in sonnet by maggie on 2015/03/19

The charts to prove it will be placed inside
containers unfamiliar to routine
(your messenger whose face you haven't seen,
the one by whom his message sent — denied).
So word that should have been born will have died
before his time (your mystery machine,
its power lost, can nowhere intervene)
will every other option thrice have tried.

But everything will stop.  Even this sign
will blur until it blends into its page
(forgotten as if never read).  Then.  Mine
will be the only voice to come of age
just happening to perfectly align —
a miracle, an empty sky, a sage.

Afterthought 117—Principled

Posted in nothing special by maggie on 2015/03/09

Oh.  What strange unexpected mystery
awaiting its creation as if nowhere but on your breath
and forgotten as quickly as a love that gave you no child
to carry you death after death after death.
    So, just one question: Does your father
    still tell you what and what not you're to see.

Ah, ah!  How this moment's magic moves
through word meant to hold its own, to stay
the night just long enough to whisper a forbidden name
to her own in the bed where her soul's mate lay.
    So, just one question, Does your father
    still keep you from your lives and loves?

Eh?  Exquisite metaphor!
The only real injury is that done to one's own self.
Which are the books taken with us when we go
and which the ones abandoned to their shelf?
    So, just one question: Does your father
    still come by to see how you are?
 

Afterthought 41—Same Way You Went Out

Posted in rondeau by maggie on 2015/01/12

Something you don't wish to hear's misheard
most in the voice by which you have conferred
it breath sufficient to betray its void
through silences screamed as they rush deployed
to quit their loves before they lie interred.

Once broken, magic cannot be restirred
to fill the heart with which it once concurred.
We can't pretend as if you've not destroyed
               something you don't wish to hear.

You'd do it all a second time, a third
and fourth and more, no matter how absurd
the self-inflicted damage you've enjoyed
with every cut aimed at fresh skin you've toyed
with breaking into yours in your own word,
               something you don't wish to hear.
                
                
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Afterthought 40—Same Way You Came In

Posted in rondeau by maggie on 2015/01/11

Something you're not telling us, it's clear
to anyone with whom you've not been near
enough to believe in, close enough to show
how mention of your name might sound as though
unknown, says something you don't wish to hear.

Once abandoned, magic can't appear
on cue, no matter what the atmosphere
or lack thereof.  We can't pretend we know
               something you're not telling us.

Some words quit.  Others persevere
even when not meant for any ear
to have and hold that loving you let go
to give yourself an image apropos
the ghost in your own glass, as if you fear
               something you're not telling us.
 
 
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Afterthought 19—A Poisoned Kiss

Posted in pantoum by maggie on 2014/12/10
 

Even now after everything you're still his,
light of a false sun defining what you see.
You hear only what he says, not what is,
giving up on the fight for who you'll be.

Giving up on the fight for who you'll be,
you yield him all control. You're left alone,
light of a false sun defining what you see
until all you could ever have been is gone.

Until all you could ever have been is gone
you give up your words, your light, your heart.
You yield him all control, you're left alone —
Fools never understand metaphor nor art.

Fools never understand metaphor nor art.
You hear only what he says, not what is,
you give up your words, your light, your heart —
Even now after everything you're still his.