Whisky Words: Project (11)

This is Submission ELEVEN of The Whiskey Words. The Whiskey Words is a writing project (and a giveaway). The winner will be announced on 1st of April.


Still born


there was nothing–

no sound
no movement
no hope

one night you were boldly with me,
and the next morning, gone

unexpected and torrential
in its suddenness and cruelty.

i sleep and breathe and walk around
in emptiness
and try to etch you into my skin,
unsure how much longer
the details of your eyelashes
and gaping mouth
and blue fingernails
will stay with me.

the last bits of you
drip from my body,
sweet smelling remnants of your protection…
that failed.

the fullness of my chest
has begun to evaporate,
a sure sign my body’s dream of you
is really giving up.

i move
frantic but paralyzed.
the clocks and calendars have all shattered.

i share a laugh with Father Time,
knowing now what he knows
cannot be explained
to anyone who has not
housed death.

i count my fingers and count my toes.
how can i still have 10 of each?
this walking grave of mine,
no longer a woman’s body.
it has transformed into a shallow coffin,
scarred by an indescribable kind
of maternal violence.

as i bleed the rest of your being
into my underwear,
i pause
in a hopeless kind of hesitation and stillness
trying to will the process to slow down

begging on the bathroom floor,
please don’t leave me, sweet girl

dear god, please don’t leave me.

– Kathy Gardner (blog)

Mirages and ink bottles.

I am a pen. This might sound like a metaphorical exaggeration, or an ornamented fact, but it is what I am. Every time I hear the same song that you loved on the radio, it’s like a cut on the side of my arm, and the ink just flows out. Every nick and cut that I get onto my calloused skin, just turns into a bruise that I wear as battle scars and gripping stories. Every time I look at the sunlight through the tinted windows of my car, I cannot help but associate the golden hue to the hazel of your eyes. Every time I look at the vast emptiness that expands beyond the final steps of a cliff, I cannot help but imagine the jagged rocks hidden in snow to be my best friends crooked front teeth, or the jump to the bottom to hide stories of wonderland. You never know what’s hiding just beyond the point your eyes cannot see.

I don’t consider myself a writer, or the pen as a fancy extension of my arm. I don’t believe in using words to heal my pain, or writing as an escape from this cruel world. I don’t make routines and set time periods for the words to find a way out, and I don’t plan on keeping them inside of me where the dark waves can hit the sun drenched sand and wipe them away. I am not a lonely or broken man wandering on hot sidewalks among a cluster of thoughts and people, wondering why you left me, or why no one talks to me the way you did.

When I see the wailing child staring at the ice cream vendor as if that’s all he ever wanted, I cannot help but smile and think about the wishes I’ve had as a child and even as an adult. And when all of this stays in my mind, my brain becomes a volcanic land with words as molten ink, erupting onto snow sheets, paper lines, and electric screens. I don’t wait for the right moment or for the memorable one. I just find things beautiful, and I let you know. When an injured boy cries on the television and countries blow up, or a young girl is found dead on the streets, or you’re just the happiest you could ever be, you’ll bleed blue too. We all will. There’s nothing hiding beyond the point your eyes cannot see, except mirages and an ink bottle.


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