I Wear that Sadness Like a Skin 

~~Scotland, 2009 

I lived among monsters for a time.
I was dying of a disease no one knew.
The creatures of my body found purchase
in the breaks of knees,
scored the surface of my bones with
aches and blood.
I named them, as one should,
from the history books.
Loch ness, Each Uisge, the sidhe,
blue men of the minch.
For a while I rode a kelpie built
of teeth and pain.
For a while, I believed myself a lady
of the lake.
For a while, I went into the water and
buried my green dress
and waited for red cap to claim me.

The myths are supposed to come for you.
It is what we are promised as children.
If you hear the black dog in the dark of night,
and go to pet it.
If you see a will o’ wisp,
and follow its promise.
If you fall, panting, after the dance,
into the circle of stones.
They will come and claim you,
gnashing of ghostly teeth,
flipping of fiendish fins,
promises of pulling you under
and under and under.

And still I lay, dying at the surface
of things, for a long time.
And then I wasn’t dying anymore.
There was just a girl in an iron bed
bled to the core, green sheets soaked
with sea, the far-off light
of the morning riding away away.

It is hard to know that in the end,
you can run to the beasts, calling,
your knees stained with grass and beg,
your life a small thing crouched underfoot,
and that they do not want you after all.



Image: Taken with iPhone.
Words coughed up with brandied lungs.
Time Taken too long.
Brain high on coffee and cream-filled donuts.

This entry was published on May 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm and is filed under Colin James, May, Poems, Seattle. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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