without it I become a puppet
without a puppeteer.
I am a fixture among thousands
walking mindless towards—
but in recent days
the strings seem too brittle to hold
my head up, my neck straight
(never mind my arms, my legs)
I am a little past diminished than
even four cups in.
[note: if you’re picky about the formatting of poetry staying the way I wrote it, please click on the post to view it with the original spacing]
I wish our falling out was like Hiroshima
that mushroom clouds stretched in fine grey carpets
for miles in each direction,
and that when we spoke to each other
we could hear worlds burn.
But this, this cool dissemblance
logical, discussed, like a thick needle pumping blood
from my arm into a bag: I
will not, I can not lie still.
Small, sharp pains, fleeting–
our heartbeats keep us rocking back and forth,
holding aches in both hands.
This story is written as it writes itself onward,
and we burn with fever-eyed desire
to tear out the pages;
to flip forward
anything but this blind fumbling for answers–
but our hands keep slack at our sides.
I am walking in both directions, both towards
and away from you
and neither of us have the heart to stop
and ask for directions
because neither of us want to know.
I was born with my back to the stars
standing in my own shadow looking down past my feet
thinking I knew what light was.
But when I see you I forget to breathe
hands pressed together
and then I know
I never knew what light was before now.
hands cover hands, cover skin
smooth my heartbeat
more rises and falls than each key
for each lock and piano
in every woman’s living room.
whisper innumerable words
wait for me
whistling wanting nighttime wanderlust
I am a raven black.
Cover me with hands and hands
and fingers sliding slipping sideways
down the silent curves behind my lungs
lowered lashes linger,
fingertips like feathers.
know my skin like a lover
let sleep drape each flame with shadows.
It’s all bittersweet
The taste of hellish burning madness
With a hint of honey.
A honeyed smile masking the devil’s grin.
Walk with me a while, he said with
Crooked eyebrows, slanted smile.
I kicked my legs high, and I followed.
We walked a while.
© Emily Bragg 2013
I am strung out like
pearls hanging heavy around
the neck of a young girl
my mind is cotton batting
soft, bound by sleepy circumstance
and wooden window frames
through which a gentle sunset soaks
the shadows, steeped in soft light,
imbued with quiet morning milk.
© Emily Bragg 2013