Fire and Ice

The silence is a cold slap in the face,

staining my cheeks with a red I can’t feel.

The looks are icicles falling into the space where I hid my heart.

The sneers are tiny flames dancing on my fingertips,

trying to burn away any memory of a touch I gave you.

 

But memories are not old photographs,

they don’t crumble and blacken.

The fire takes time to eat away at the images,

time I fear my heart cannot stand.

 

These memories are not old photographs,

there are still feelings hiding in the scenes,

Dialogue, long lost, can still bring tears to my heart

and hugs, I can no longer feel, still warm the part

of me that once welcomed you close.

There is love still hidden in these memories

and when the fire gets too close it cries out,

pulling at my vocal chords in an attempt to save itself.

But your words grip tighter on my voice,

than the love I’m trying to burn,

 

So I have to choose, the pain or the pride

and I choose pride, like you knew I would,

because it is the only thing I saved from the fire.

I hold it close, hiding it from the monsters peeking through the cracks in my armor,

like the numbers I now use as my name,

and the words I breathe into my pillow between my dreams and my prayers.

 

But even though I can still see the embers

of almost burned photographs and movie reels,

I can still feel the icicles in the cave,

rocking back and forth,

over the cavern I dug deeper with your words.

 

And in the cavern I can’t decide who to feel more angry at,

You for denying me an identity,

that tells me I am worth something,

For using words darker and more staining than ink;

Or me, for having skin like dry journal pages.

 

But I know that anger isn’t the puzzle piece I’ve lost.

I know that the piece probably went missing

Somewhere under the magazines

of girls that didn’t look enough like me.

 

And this empty hole, doesn’t look quite usual,

I don’t think there are any stores that sell pieces quite like it.

But the pain beats too hard, and too loudly to leave it open.

I try to fill it with the fake flowers you gave me too many sunsets ago,

yet, the fabric can’t mold itself to fit the entire emptiness

and I’m left with white spaces peeking out between petals

like the cracks in my armor. And I can’t help, but wonder

if I’m going to be broken forever?

 

I remember too many nights staring out at the clouds,

Trying to see if Wonder Woman was racing over.

I would press my ear to window,

Hopping that Sailor Moon was just running a little late.

Believing that when they got here, you and I would see something beautiful

Staring back at me in the mirror.

 

The me who gazes back from behind the wall of ice,

Displays tattooed confessions on her skin, like giant sapphires,

Her eyes are weighed down with the eye shadow of crushed hopes and trust.

The marks of your careless hand are evident on her arms,

Like a glass you’ve shaken too much, trying to ensure the alcohol was mixed.

And I can feel the weight of her stare,

Trying to stamp out the fire I’ve begun.

 

But, I have hoarded too many movies and pictures

Some are useless, and soiled,

the bitter smell of dinners untouched permeating the air.

But with each touch I make, ash forms and burns skin healthy.

 

As I look at my piles of ashes, I begin to think,

That with time I could build a ladder to the icicles.

 

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