You take a quick note: Morning is far away
while peering in the dark, harrowing distance.
Each step you take demands careful rigor
& poignant scrutiny toward the fogÕs end.
You narrow your eyes past the trees' tops
asking the stars to show petty sympathy.
You lack knowing where you wander—
but you keep a slow & heavy walk.
Each thought passing quickly—knowing
all along, the streets are as lonely as you.
Another note: I can see the tip of the Sun.
The long road lost the luster of its length.
You know as you begin to turn around
that it will be an arduous journey home.
But you feel strength in your limbÕs stride.
You begin noting again—then shouting:
Sadness, my loathed friend,
you must give me back my mind!
It starts as the opening of clouds and moves as bullets
against the curtain-closed glass.
Somehow light could be seen in the bedroom
and complete the roomÕs sheer solitude
with its short-tempered flash.
This storm does not duplicate fright.
It is merely a dream; it is just a nightmare.
How amazing that the most colossal thing
sight will know is electricity
escaping through darkened sky.
It is similar to the feeling of being appalled;
like using a favorite book as a coaster.
How dare you, asks the night sky.
The backyard wind chimes silence; the storm subsides.
How could I long for sun after IÕve seen rain?
Is there a greater misery to admire?
ŅI canÕt drink you away. IÕve tried Jack, IÕve tried Jim, and IÕve tried all of their friends.Ó
And when IÕve reached the bottom of the glass,
I have the clarity that urges sheer melancholy.
Earlier in the month, you bought me this bottle,
saying you used the last of your paycheck on it.
I am buzzing numb & I canÕt form a coherent
enough word to tell you everything is fading.
I dare you to forget about me as you remember
sharing the lake together. The motorcycle rides
downtown. The 2AM calls telling you to come
over. The Beethoven mornings. We would just
lie there. I dare you to erase me from those.
If I am not unconscious, I will see no need to stop.
I pour until I can lose sight of memories defined.
I have a conversation with myself in the mirror
ensuring that once I wake up
my eyes will stop shaking.
My father once placed a memory in my much younger brain;
a clear enrichment of the mind. Touch the leaves, he taught,
soft, isnÕt it? The memory brought a youthful standard of amazement,
as if I could convince myself that The Purple Sage was the only bush
to ever embark on creation. In all of the wild-spread blossoms, the sage
could still just be a hallmark for Texas & known for velvet smoothness.
It rests now as long-term memory; a place in the brain I fear
my father will lose someday. The exact way my grandmother lost
memories when life appeared long-lasting & the mind began to grow
exhausted with recollections that were not actually there. Would I
feel compelled to explain the magnificence of the sage to the man
who introduced it to me in the first place? The worrisome vulnerability
in being fearful that everyone will appear as long drawn-out shadows
that wait in the plain daylight for me to turn around and see them.
© Sara Marie Smith
Bio: "I have recently graduated with a BA in English from the University of North Texas. Now, I live in a small west Texas city as I plan to pursue an MFA soon while waiting patiently in-between dreams." Twitter: @saraamarieee