Lub Dub, Lub Dub
(the beating heart)
It seems no matter where I hide fetal-positioned
cursing the rainclouds for infiltrating my brainwaves,
my eyes all grey water pouring, a blinding fog
choking me silent for the fifteenth time
in two weeks, my husband is always there. He says
the clouds are just water and so are you
and suddenly I’m all Pisces electric, practicing
my backstroke as I gaze up at the harvest moon.
But always there’s another storm,
always I am followed by black shadow serpents
whispering, so sly they are, how they slither into
my thoughts rhythmically building their nests, laying
their eggs, giving birth to another round of black
shadow serpents hissing all static blocking,
There is no hope for you, no life
for you here!
Again, my husband will talk of waters
and sometimes even stars smashing
heads of demonic serpents beneath the weight
of my supernovas— my heart!
My beating heart beating life alive again!
I’ve been feeling so censored lately, gagged
and bound to other people’s comfort. Their truth
intertwined with my truth, but really they’re erasing
me. Really I’m just pencil marks and they’ve rubbed
their brand new jumbo pink eraser all over my pulsating
veins. I’m left kind of faded, I’m barely there,
but a trace of me comes through every once in a while.
But even when my truth is right in front of them,
they find themselves blind to it. They find themselves
dumbfounded. Eventually they find themselves
without me as I have a tendency to storm very red,
And often I find myself alone like this. Alone like the trees
planted in the black top parking lots of all the major
shopping centers. Alive among the vast
empty black masses. Alive but not planted
close enough to other trees.
I’m alive but not alive because I chose to be.
Birthed to fill another’s empty chest, to be a pretty little
thing, but she didn’t consider the upkeep. She didn’t
understand that once you plant a tree, the tree requires
a special amount of tender care.
That sometimes trees need protection from the bad men.
That sometimes trees need their mother to stop loving bad men.
Sometimes the tree wishes someone would notice her
leaves, how they change, how she’s not beautiful,
that she’s dying. Each breath bringing her closer
to her funeral. Each breath like taking three breaths
because everyone she loves keeps breaking her heart.
Each breath a precursor to the final breath.
The tree says I don’t have much time,
could you please stop swinging your ax
at my gut?
*Thanks to Brian Michael Barbeito again for his amazing landscape photography that we have used as the feature photo for Azia’s work.*