Maxine was the name of the woman in the pyjamas and the perfect hair
The one that came when the muddiness arrived to fill my eyes
Maxine would cook and clean, Scrub and Buff
The one whose mind is not easily displaced
Maxine felt no sadness or confusion
The one who is driven not by her happiness
She lived and did and made and created
She who did not give too much, or loved too much
Maxine, The One who knew it all
But she would disappear, Maxine would.
How could she stay long?
For I had to wake up and smell the coffee
and unlike her, I had to take off my shoes
and dance ridiculously to the music in my head
I had to get up, get out, stay out
I could be lost in the drafts that slip in from beneath my doors
And I would swing on rainbows that curved over high houses
I could sway, pray, give away
all that it is that seems to have made me
I can only accept that Maxine is not me
We look alike, sound alike,
sit on the porch of my mother’s house and share a cup of tea
We could even go to sleep and wake up in the pretty lime pyjamas
But when night came and the clock struck the hour
Maxine is the one that is when I am not.
The intense cantaloupe
Blazing above like an aura
Big, Bright, Hanging low
making the hours seem so slow
formulating this mirage to seem so real
sweat and the drowsiness a part of me
This ample colossal luminous streaks
cutting the grand azure into bits
Sun rays spiking off my skin
The radiant sky burns me to thin.
I see it about you
The crisscross of your bright and dark tones
the lines pulled taught at the nape
and sure strong bones tenderly covered
thinly protected by the stretch of dermis
Your natural jacket
The husk that fosters you
Your defense, your insulation
The paintings of the Almighty
who thought ahead on the exactness of canvas
This smooth coloured canvas that He always knew would be the death of me
warm and soft
weathered by light and air
Soaking my strokes and licks
The coating for the core
The casing for all beauty
The one I seek to peel off and swim beneath
The one that I would never stop worshiping.
kok, kok, kok
We heard him every night when we tried to act like we were sleeping
Eyelids squeezed tightly shut
bed sheets soaking the sweat that poured from us
labored breathing and swallowed spittle
kok, kok, kok
Why did we hear him only when we went to bed
when our parent’s raised voices had quietened down to tensioned silence
when the windows should not have let anyone in
when the birds outside where hooting themselves to sleep
kok, kok, kok
It had to be a man, it had to be
We refuse to believe that it was anything else
but we stayed in bed and feared to look
who knew what would be shook
kok, kok, kok
Our big brother was home from school
what is this noise that scared us so?
And so he went to take a look
ahoy! It was the cat and his curiosity
he’d loved the sounds of shoes on wood.
She was hoarse from screaming
Was it a nightmare, Please let it be a nightmare
She had been running down in the dark corridor for such a long time
The walls were sweating all around her
His little voice was all around her
inside her, on top of her, everywhere
“Don’t do this to me”
She’d had no choice. She’d had a choice.
She was crying now
Please make it stop.
The pleasure spreading through all of her body like liquid gold
Unquantifiable, this feeling of soaring
It was nothing like she had experienced before
His voice came from above her
“Open your eyes, I want to see you”
Tentatively, she pulled her lids open
How could she keep them pen when she was feeling this good?
Smoothly he slid into her and she bucked.
Don’t stop. Please don’t stop.
The tearing seemed to begin from inside her heart
The tears wont stop flowing, wetting her weave, pooling at the back of her neck.
One choke after another, the cold compress seemed to invade her, clean her,
dirty her, stain what was left of her.
She wasn’t hearing his voice anymore.
There was only one that stood above her now
Face hidden behind a mask,
Eyes that stuck to her sweaty face with understanding competent hands
He hadn’t been ready. Neither was she.
Not even when the feeling had threatened to swell her
into the a ball of joy.
He hadn’t been ready.
“It’s over now” The doctor said to the girl with the huge eyes
They looked haunted, deeper that he was used to seeing around
She could barely stop the racking sobs but he was glad he was done.
Inside her would be silent now. No more fluttering, No more feeling.
She would finally feel the emptiness now. It was over.
I hear their voices droning on and on
I need this sleep to take me but how would this happen if they never stop talking?
They talk about pedestrians, about girls in red dresses, about constitutional mistakes
and the slavery of cab drivers in a state with bad roads and a difficult economy
On a day that is not today, I wouldn’t care
On a day that might have been yesterday, I would fare well
On a day that the sun isn’t staying long in the sky, I would be fair
But it’s beginning in my mental screams
not like releases found in the shallow streams betwixt thick thighs
No, it is not the caffeinated green tea
or the exhaustion that this bed isn’t taking from me
They won’t stop talking
So I can’t stop thinking
Let’s imagine things ashore
Water against stubbornly scalding sand
Counting sheep in the hundreds
Damn, Today I can’t stand their yapping
Their misplaced ideologies
I can’t stand the rancorous laughter and the misled agreed murmurs
Today I can’t stand any of it at all
So I’m gonna get off this lush lush disloyal bed
and I am going to…
Why, I should…
I give to you
My largest duvet
so you can hide under and busy yourself
in the bed of my thoughts, be pillowed by my over-protectiveness, entangled in the warmth of my angst
I give to you my scissors
To trim, and cut yourself down, shorter,
way shorter than the largess that has been bestowed on you at birth
as the darker sex
The larger sex,
the more important sex,
I give to you a new brush
One that will scrape against your hairy skin
taking off the layer of dry wit from your lips
to scrub away the filth that remains in your mouth
the ones you call words, yet you hurt other people with
I give to you my oils
The ones you shall rub on your skin,
to vanish and cleanse
to layer as a shinning veneer to hide your truest form from the world
I give to you,
Nothing, Everything, Something
of me and mine
so you can turn away from them
and be one with me
So I can invite you into this bed to share
an intimacy forged by fear.
I don’t remember if I was a troublesome child
If i ran when my mother told me to sit
or if I cried she she tried to tame my unruly hair
I don’t remember If I was a smart toddler
If I learnt my Abc’s as I should’ve
Or I dwelt in the comfort of the mud in the garden
If I ever said the words correctly after my teacher told me to
Or if I screamed and stubbornly decided to learn them later
I don’t remember if I was a naughty preteen
If I cut my dresses shorter than was expected
and let all the boys stare at my skinny knees
Did I learn that curiosity would grip them and ultimately, me
and they wont stop looking and I wouldn’t want them to
Did I learn that my mother placed those rules out of fear
Trying to save me from the promiscuity of my age group
I don’t remember what kind of adult I had decided to be
One that would let her vices take the wheel
and drive her to distracted disorganization
One who would only study and pay attention to winning
I don’t remember how I got here
If I had hurt people on my way to finding truth
Or my version of what the world ought to be
How I got to feeling that I really do love being alive
being loved, being stubborn, being a being.
The feeling of occurring in this present time
In a moment when I do remember who I am
and the days that I don’t remember
are nothing to Today.