"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.


Polly Alice

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Gas LIght

The little blue bathroom
had an oil lamp
with a wick
You said sorry
when it broke
your mother said
--These things happen--

You went years
without breaking
anything. You carefully
fixed everything,
the vacuum, the dresser,
the wall, bruises,
your dress
sewed
everything shut even
your eyes
so the seems wouldn't show.

It seemed the light was dimming each day.
One day You woke up
and forgot how to see
with your eyes closed
--The sky used to be blue--
you said, you said
everyone pretended
not to hear but what you
couldn't see that we were
signaling you with our
upcast eyes, reflecting
the blue of the sky
off our very souls.

The trouble with a part time
sociopath-- there is no relief--
is that you can
never prove the lamp
existed, any more than
someone dimmed it and
most likely it's all your fault
for believing a lamp
existed in the first place.
The dimness was because
the lamp was never there.

 One day you woke up
and you tried to say
--I used to be able to dance,
drive a car, sing, even
solve for x in a problem
as long as my arm--
but you'd forgotten
how to speak aloud.
The light kept dimming.
You couldn't see
the numbers on the phone,
your shoes,
the gas pedal on the car.

So you solved for x,
then ripped each number
out into little feathery bits.
they stuck to your head,
your face
your arms. The numbers
filed down your arms
into long white rows
until they made wings
and you flew away.

When you brushed
them off your lashes
you could see again.
The trouble is with a part time
sociopath-- once you run away
you can never prove there
was any equation at all, except
you can see
plain as day
there on your
arms are wings
made of numbers
and the numbers
don't lie, they
spell out freedom.

Enough of them
in a small grate
make a nice fire
better than any lamp.
your mother said
--These things happen--
and you remembered
how to say the alphabet

only you forgot the last
letter and ended
with
Y?

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