[POEM] Home

Crumpled I lay, hugging a can of olives

within my bare cleavage. This is home,

the comfort of openness, exposure, fearing

not what may creep along, unseen, and dart

through my door to take me, sending my snack flying. Of course I would hew

someone down for such edible blasphemy. I’d see them choke

on canine hairballs and strewn pencils while I choke

back tears of vengeful laughter. Afterward, the olives

would be given a reverent service, with all hues

of black in attendance. Well, more darkness than blacks. The home

of food is the dark of the body’s caverns, which brings my eyes darting

back to my can companion, now hollow. I fear

I have become lost in that fearful

maniac, emerging when my food is threatened. I’ve choked

my old roommate in a dream once. She had thrown darts

at my mandarin oranges, and I left olive-

green bruises underneath her jaw. I awoke at home,

gripping my pillow down to white knuckles, a hue

of skin tone I had never truly observed outside racist slurs hewing

away at my sanity on a street corner. There is a fear

always that one’s sarcasm of racism will go beyond the home,

follow you to the sidewalk and leave you choked

out or at gunpoint. The glistening black of olives

now not so appetizing, staring you down like a dart

aimed at the bull’s eye. Can a dart

board dodge a bullet before being hewn

asunder? I’d rather not find out as I rinse out the olive

can and toss it into the recycle bin, alongside my fear

of the thoughts they have evoked in me. To choke myself

is far too wearisome. I settle into the one thing that brings me back home;

my bright blue recliner and my home-

made bookshelf, filled to the edges with inscribed spines. My eyes dart

between worlds, fingers gently stroking those bindings which have choked

me up, held my breath, brought out rosen hues

to my complexion, torn away all sense of fear

for once in my life. I touch upon the olive-

hue lettering: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I think another can of olives

is in order. To make this home for a moment more: no darting my arms, no choking for air.

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