Weather

It comes in droves on a good day,
Unexpected, like the first rain
Drops on the head before the clouds
Can fully overtake the blue sky.

Despite the sensation of cold,
All logic escapes through sleepless eyes
And leaves but a body to wonder whether or not
The umbrella shall open.

Green things and moss grow in absence of an answer,
Their little leaves mocking the glacial pace of thinking
And stone begins to replace flesh
And panic sets in with a torrent of rain, a splash of thunder
And breathing is snatched away by a hurricane of thoughts.

For a moment, heart muscles forget the rhythm of old drums,
Frost travels through airways,
Ice in veins,
Then birdsong, tenuous and somber shoots, through the aching–
And a thought:
“It is a good day.”

Left at that, sun goes down and
The day begins again.

 

Mien

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Ice Age

The world–
It’s glazed
With ice
Climate change?
Or is it growing pains
Or the drivel of a man
With a crown on his head–
A mad saint.

It’s slow-turning, a mammoth
Of fat in dead winter–
A cemetery where things rot
Forgotten and unused
And eyes of dead friends, offsprings–
They stare
While this saint prays

A song for salvation or a fable,
Whichever entices first.

 

Mien

Man-made

Once, the scenery flew past in a single bound
Now it stands still as it should
Amidst railroad tracks overgrown and lost,
Train rusting elsewhere, a whale carcass
At the bottom of some earthly pit;
They think gods came and tread on these synthetic works
Yet fail to realize they are gods of their own ingenius;
The feeling of abandon festers until its
Petrichor solidifies once more
As life, then death —
Inevitable abandon.

 

Mien

Character Assassination

Do you want to know how to kill me?
All you have to do is
Destroy all that I live for, effortlessly,
With one system, one thought process–
Just take away my passion
And nothing else can kill more than
Stripping me of who I used to be

I’ll tell you briefly what it’s like to die:
For centuries it seems all I do is wake up
And stare at what my hands once wanted to
Pick up and create
And now all I do is regret
Staring at walls and taking in the feed
I barely think now except for those times
Before the murder was done

If you kill me this way
It’s a painless assassination
And colorless and stainless
I’ll die when you lobotomize me
And maybe when the time comes it’ll be
Your turn.

 

-Mien

Greek Toes

They said her Greek toes were too pretty and started with them. She gave her toes willingly in exchange for the promise of even prettier ones. They pretended each digit was a little piggy as she watched them disappear; she dreamed they were kidnapped and murdered in a slaughterhouse. It was shortly after that she realized her piggy-toes were not coming back. That was the first time she felt the deep hatred of herself, and the nursery rhyme sung from her childhood chased her since.

 

(This little piggy went to the market…)

 

Toeless, she could now fit the shoes they gave her, perfect and proper. She thought she was prettier than ever and winked at herself every morning for days after. The nights passed by swiftly in peaceful sleep, the darkness just a means for morning light to arrive: the day she’d wake up beautiful. One day they caught her smiling in the mirror. She had to stop or they’d take it away. In the end, it didn’t matter what happened to the mirror because she had stopped using it altogether. There just simply wasn’t any time to be wasted in winking and thinking, they said as they took her thoughts, still young and fresh, and stored them in a jar. Later, they would steal more of them without her knowing. They told her it was better this way and gave her a new wardrobe, so as to dress her in concepts she could no longer think of. Beautiful, they whispered.

 

(This little piggy stayed home…)

 

She smiled discreetly from then on, an addiction to this secrecy setting into her body. When she had realized it, she thought they had injected in her a drug. It was a tireless thought, as each thought that was thought disappeared mysteriously. Perhaps that was also the drug’s doing. At night she touched herself, trying to remember her skin. From the space between her eyebrows, down the slow curve to the raised tip of her nose, she felt the shape of her face: her fingers roved feverishly about her eyelids, prodded gently at the inviting grooves of her dimples, lingered about the slope of her jawline to the smooth edge of her chin, teased shyly into slightly parted lips, felt the soft bite of teeth, or the slick of tongue, until they came away throbbing for more. But every memory made was sucked up in the blink of an eye. These little instances of bone and skin and cartilage–instances she held tightly to so she could be reminded of the small differences between the others and herself–was each a journey of rebirth that peaked into a moment of beauty. Tugging longingly at the corners of her mouth with fingers learned from muscle memory, she would flash teeth in the dark, hoping no one was watching. Darkness was blindness. She didn’t know her smile anymore–did she forget? Invisible toes wiggled in shoes caressing the smooth skin of her feet. A small comfort it once was. Many nights were spent with open eyes: attempts to see herself, to recognize. The mirror on the wall was forgotten.

 

(This little piggy had roast beef…)

 

After taking away the mirror, they took the sharp point from her nose. She didn’t remember when they shaved it down–what was it like before? After, they shaved her chin to a sharp point. The next day they took her eyebrows. Then her freckles. Her dimples. Each individual eyelash was plucked from her lids, then replaced with synthetic ones, curled like a doll’s and heavy. She had thrashed, once. Now, she stays still, her face a canvas of silence. They said to her, how pretty how obedient. She remembered her toes and how they stole them from her. She remembered how beautiful they were, how Greek, how perfect. When they came for her again she recited the rhyme they sung to her during operations and wiggled invisible toes.

 

(This little piggy…)

 

After shaving her bald, they gave her a mirror–a new handheld one. They required she inspect herself every morning to maintain her appearance before leaving the boundaries set specifically for her. She saw their smiles as they fitted a wig over her, stripped and admired her with unnerving ease (what could she do, they might set her on fire), then replaced her clothes with new ones. She could tell her breasts were exposed despite the thin fabric, could feel the slight breeze on her bare back. Her shirt was buttoned to the top, restricting her neck from expanding when she breathed. Smiles. Smile back. Applauding. Now, you are ready for the real world, they said. You are not pretty, but beautiful, they said. Precautions have been made, they said.  She found she couldn’t stop smiling. The following nights consisted of minimal invisible-toe movement and much despair.

 

(…This little piggy…)

 

Snip, snip, cut. Lights blinded her, but she was only an eighth awake, and numb. Naked. Drowsy. They were all around her, gathered towards her chest, clothed against germs and the smell of antiseptic. She thought of her Greek toes turned into pork and sold to the market. In no time at all, they finished and handed her the mirror issued from before. Already the unnatural, unfamiliar weight was upon her chest, laboring her breathing. She thought she could cry. What had they done to her? They clothed her with care and wiped away any dust that befell her face. She relaxed under reassuring pats and sweet whispers. The tune of a nursery rhyme escaped her lips, but she could not quite remember the end. They unraveled the fiber from her body and stripped her down naked. Then they stripped her even more. Then they shamed her. Her lips pulled back tightly at the corners of her frozen smile. Beautiful, they said.

 

(…little piggy…)

 

She blew all the breath in her body into the balloon given to her and tied it to the jar of fresh, young thoughts. They sent her home that night so she could lay in her bed and suffocate. On her way home, their cackles rang in her ears. They took everything from her, and now she had no breath to breathe. The sensation was a first for her body, but it was a familiar friend to her mind. The laborious, slow gasping of manual breathing was tiresome. It’s normal, they said, you’ll get used to it soon enough. The image of the balloon haunted her nights, and sometimes she awoke choking. This suffocation did not lead to death, and oh, how she longed for such sweet relief. That night and many more after, she clawed the walls with toothless nails, kicked the bed with toeless feet, and cried tearlessly with a smile on her face. The mornings that followed were filled with handheld mirrors in the morning before she walked among the others, sorely naked and suffering. Sometimes they came back to strip and shame her, but the tendency for this education had faltered as they watched. Sipping on premature thoughts and her sweet balloon breath, they enjoyed the spectacle of her and all the others, revelling in the glory of their god-like power.
(This little piggy had none.)


Edited. Originally titled “Breathing”, but, well.

 

-Mien

Cycle

This is the feeling of
despair
when night breaks to dawn
and awakens those who
have slept
rested
and come up again renewed,
yet, here, a lone
eyes glazed and open and fingers
at a desk screaming for
something
to relieve
them.
Hoarse-voiced and bleary-sighted
Damn this
fragile yet sturdy feeling,
a vigilante traveling towards
other like emotions, rousing
revolutions with but one statement, this
base for insanity, this
knowing that again it happens
when night breaks to dawn and
What can i do to
Stop it

-Mien

Dear god,

Dear god,

They sent angels to dive-bomb us again, saying prayers as they whistled through the air. I saw from a distance, they splattered in a flurry of feathers, soaked with the red of dawn when they landed. In their embracing arms they took some to hell with them. When the Heroes came there was no light that followed.

They said, you will be safe.

They spoke of angels and I could only be reminded of the ones that come for us. Dread curdled what hours of sleep mustered, set into my bones with the first-born ache of my home. During soot-cloud hours, the angels raged against one another on promised land, brilliant and pure in will. What did I look like, so covered in dust and ash and powder, baptized by the light of their fervor.

They said, the battle is won.

The angels had gone, retracted with white–teethed smiles–badges of honor–or dragged under, fallen. I surveyed the land, all that was left, all that dared not breathe lest it brought those hungry beings back. There were no more souls to take, but here was revealed the rift to hell: cracked and splintered and seething. For a moment I saw them beckon my soul.

I ran before they could take me.

Father, forgive me.

 

-Mien