I used to belong to a poetry group online. Actually that’s how I met my husband (eep! it’s still so new to use that word!). Anyway, they had monthly challenges and I embraced the opportunity to stretch my writing and move outside my comfort zone. I was looknig at some of my old poems and came across this one and was surprised to find I’d written it. I don’t remember what the exact challenge was, usually it was some form of using certain words and bonus points for using them all, etc. Anyway, this poem is so far from my own style that I wanted to share it.
dark is the night
under Mississippi moon.
the air so thick
it slides on your skin
like the jazz déjà vu
of my yesterdays.
in the shadows of my youth,
i wandered down Montana
backstreets, where a sixteen-
licked his moisture-less lips,
and smiled at me.
“child,” he called, head heavy
under the weight of hair-tracks
“you can touch me if you wanna try”
the chain link fence of back alley
tesselating his nightshift skin.
i found myself drawn there.
needing to taste his
café au lait beauty,
and he led me into
an abandoned church.
i kissed him in a Catholic confessional
and giggled, an undertween
“girl,” he drawled “you don’t want to end up
living under the influence of pain.”
afterwards, we emerged,
obscuring my chastity,
blinking at the brightness
of the moon, and shared
some skillet fried noodles.
the night pressed closer,
stealing my breath, and the world
spun round. the ringing in my ears
echoed ’til all i could hear
was the beating
of my own heart –
under the Mississippi moon
silence is the loudest
ignis fatuus – A wide variety of spectral lights,
whose alleged purpose is either to herald death or
to play tricks on travelers at night. “Ignis fatuus”
literally means “the foolish fire” and is so named
because anyone who follows such a light is foolish.
(The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley)