Mute

Today’s Daily Inklings prompt is ‘falsely accused’.

 

Anger used to be silent,

dark-faced and sullen,

not a roaring fire,

just smoke from an unknown source.

I know now it was hurt,

hurt too deep to be spoken,

too deep to be heard,

explained, cajoled away.

Mute accusations burrowed beneath the skin.

How can you fight silence?

 

Anger flares rarely now and when it does,

it lights the sky with Latin histrionics.

Things get broken and doors slam.

Do you remember the old times

when we were feeling our way in the dark?

When there seemed to be so much to forgive?

Best not.

Let it go.

Embrace the flames.

 

 

Microfiction: Armour

Sacha Black’s writing prompt was one of the stop-watch kinds that I can’t do. Maybe it comes from the phobia of exams that still grips me sometimes in nightmares. I could stare at an exam question until time was almost up before rounding up the thoughts that were fluttering around in panic. I know Sacha isn’t going to come round to our house with a baseball bat and beat the snot out of me for going over the time limit, but it takes me more than the time limit to even start.

Her latest order/suggestion was to write for 120 seconds on the theme—Armour. In two minutes I actually got a few words down, a sort of micropoem. But the germ was there and I’ve since had another go at it.

Attente_à_la_fenêtre.jpg

 

Armour—

what I strap around

the soft, tender places

to stop the barbs of pain,

and a cage for my heart

to stop me reaching out

with misplaced forgiveness.

 

I knew you’d call, and part of me, the tender, wounded, cut-to-shreds part that still bleeds tears of bright memories, longed for it. Another part, the sensible part said: stop your ears to the siren call, and shout your anger and your pain, drown out the mellifluous effusions of sorrow and regret because they are lies, bare-faced and hollow.

The phone rings.

I pick up.

Your voice, deep, warm and hesitant.

The day, the bird singing, the warm light falling in dapples on my hand, all dissolve in a soft muddled haze.

Is there any armour proof against the hope of love?

Forgiveness

Originally published on Ali Isaac’s blog, but reproduced here because this morning, I feel like death.

The painting is by Gyula Derkovis
Bridge_in_Winter_by_Gyula_Derkovis_1933

“I wish I’d never met you.”
Perhaps you said more, but I didn’t wait to hear. I fled to the door, flung it open and raced down the stairs. Didn’t grab a coat or put on a proper pair of shoes. Just ran. Outside, the street was as packed as it was every Friday evening. People hurrying home from work, people on a night out mooning along. Anonymous people. Traffic. Pushchairs and shopping trolleys getting in the way. Fury. Heartbreak.

“I wish I’d never met you.”
The words hammer inside my head like the clapper of a bell.
Ding dong ding dong.
Evening is falling. Chill. Damp. I wrap my arms tight across my chest. People had been looking at me. No coat, clapped out shoes, tear-streaked face, wild eyes. I hated them. So I ran to this bridge. Melodramatic, I know. Not that I intended to throw myself in the river. I don’t think. It just seemed the right place to brood, unburden, cast adrift.
“I wish I’d never met you.”
With my back to the crowds, face hidden behind a veil of long hair, staring into the current swollen and brown with the autumn rain, I sob. Your voice rises above the rushing of the water, the footsteps on the flagstones, the chatty, chirpy conversations of people in that moment I loathe. Your voice, sharp as a knife, slicing through the heartstrings.
Your voice.
“I wish I’d never met you.”
I turn, hair flying, cold, bitterly cold. Fury raises my hand.
“And I wish—”
You grab my wrist and you are here, in front of my face, filling my vision with those eyes I loved so well.
“I wish I’d never met you, because it hurts so much. Because you have my heart and I can’t live without a heart.”
“Liar! You never gave me anything of yours!”
“There’s an emptiness inside where it was. It’s gone. I wish I’d never met you, because if you leave me, I’ll die.”
You pull me close and kiss my hair then my forehead then my eyes. You kiss away each tear. And I know that this is not the end of the hurting. Perhaps it will never end. But perhaps it will.
“I can’t leave you, can I? And trail your ghost behind me forever? I’m glad I met you, because I love you and I can bear the pain of love.”
“Come home,” you say, “and forgive me.”
I don’t take your hand, afraid you might flinch away, interpret my gesture as possessiveness.
“I’ll come home.”
“And forgive me?”
“Forgiveness is easy,” I say. “Hating you for a lifetime would be too hard.”

Streetlight

Kirchner_-_Straßenszene_bei_Nacht

We stand on the corner
Between noisy bars
That strew their rubbish
Beneath the stars.
From your stinging words,
Ill-concealed disdain,
I turn and run
Through tears of rain.
And the rain shafts cold
Through the orange light
Of the streetlamps’ glare
That obscures the night.
And your words, how they hurt
You will never know,
Are synthetic and cold
As the neon glow.