Erasable Scent of Yesterday

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She finally realized it
wasn’t him she missed
but her old ideas of him.
Molded by the absent
years. The feelings lost,
and reshaped in her head,
so many times, that they
became something that
didn’t exist. Emotions.
so foreign they felt
familiar.

Standing on reality’s
shore, her back turn
to the mountains.
No longer between
the future and the past.
The desire to move
ahead, stronger than
the desire to recreate

Freedom replaces fright.
That which is gone, is
now gone completely.
The sun swelled, and
disappears.
She slips away on
the stars, leaving
confetti in her wake,
and the erasable
scent of yesterday.

-Tosha Michelle

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Played Out.

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Sometimes all love is,
is weary longing.
Desire that has
worn itself out.
The shuddering of
misfired neurons.
Journeying on the open road
like a rock band
on the last few cities
of their tour.
I remember when I first saw you,
sitting at the coffee shop,
eyes intent on the book
in front of you.
I still see your hands and
the way you held
the novel, and hunger.
Your body like some great map
I wanted to unfold and explore.
And language, this strange
speech that we spoke
in a tongue native
to just the two of us.
Each day, we dreamed a little
more, but its too late now
in this story of a wakefulness.
We came from wine, faltering,
the clutter of bombastic brains,
the tumbleweed of dust on the floor.
We left simmering ash.

-Tosha Michelle

Lost Lines

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This is my elegy for those lost lines of poetry.
The ones that died in my mind,
when I was in the store, out on the town
or walking in the park.
Those times when pen and paper chose to stay
home and take a nap. My usually
fruitful memory-barren.

Go, little poem off to the land of word limbo,
out into nothingness.
The braids of forgotten syntax and out of sync time
will guide you. You’ll forever dwell with untold
stories, names unrecalled, and dreams unremembered.
What if and
what never was will comfort you.

I’ll mourn for you as I sit at my desk
staring at the unfulfilled pages, lonely,
for lines that came and died suddenly.
Erased between here and there.
Sentences that turned into ashes,
leaving only the residue of punctuation
and a memory of the moment
just before I forgot to remember.

-Tosha Michelle

No Gem Here

Knowing that I’m less than a diamond,
no emerald or pearl, only mere glass.
I’m not afraid of being common,
or choking on insecurity’s bone.

I carry no bitterness in my veins.
Just a faulty valve of naivety.
My blood pulses with compassion.
The flow of humanity.
Brokenness, the barbedwire
fence I like to call my soul.

I trip over needle and thread
trying to sow a stronger spine.
I back tack kindness to my sleeve
and watch as my heart slips to the floor.

Hope perches on my breastbone.
I listen to it’s tune, wanting to soar.
It drowns out the murmurs
of negativity and doubt.
Finally unencumbered,
I sing along, the words repeat
“go on” “go on” “go on”.

-Tosha Michelle

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Just Walk On By

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Do you see him the man on the street?
His eyes that beseech
His lips that speak of
hopelessness and despair.
His thoughts and dignity
stolen by society,
and an anguished mind
The icy hands of circumstances,
taking his livelihood
held captive in poverty’s relentless grip

People walk by him in a rush
chasing unattainable goals,
slaves to the impotent narrative
of success. trying to impress,
spurred on by imperatives
devoid of substance

Passersby consumed by time
always in a race, a constant haste
teetered to an elusive dream
bankrolled by the Joneses
their blood and sweat
revenue in the stream of greed

Lusty mortals seduced by the
whorish temptress
that is corporate America
specializing in the cremation
of aspirations and inspiration
climaxing in the loss of morals

Strangers immune to plight of the homeless
They are too busy wagging the tail of the dog
Mindless sheep devoid of sovereign reason
spineless and passive, sowing empty seeds
paying on mind to the tolling of the bell
or the beggar on the street.

-Tosha Michelle

Life’s Poetry

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I sit. Heart in hand. I
create. Some of you
may turn away from
the blood. The red
spilling over. It’s OK
if you do.

Sometimes it scares
me too, but still I
hold it. Palms out.
I’m giving you what
frightens me. This
is me saying, yes, I’m
still here.

I give you my less than
moments, my insecurities,
my madness, my ideas
about life and love, my
shrine of longing.

My heart slipping from
my hands, falling past
my knees to the floor.

Falling toward your
shadow I hope you
will pick it up.
Feel the hopeful
beat that wars
with my still
soul and chaotic
mind. I give you
my wounds.

We connect through
our pain, my friend,
my reader. Through
the hornets in our
coffee cups. Our
syllables of what
we can’t forget.

As we suffer together,
fear becomes less.
Our hearts beat stronger
Place them on the
dashboard like a
plastic Jesus.

It’s doesn’t matter if
they leak on the
floorboard. It only
matters that we travel on,
even if we’ve misplaced
the map, even if our sanity
becomes displaced, even if
we drive down a reckless road
on a moonless night.

Understand, if we want
heaven and angels,
sometimes we have
to ride around with
our demons.

Understand, sometimes,
darkness is the heart of
life, of beauty, of art.

-Tosha Michelle