Aphrodite’s Disaster

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She burned the box devoted to him,

And scattered the ashes in his car.

Hiss —

Irises flared in heated rage,

As she hugged her knees in the backseat.

~

He broke the window to her bedroom,

And stumbled through on drunken legs.

Thud —

Trembling knees cracked on wooden boards,

As he dropped his head to the mattress.

~

She found their picture in the glovebox,

And clutched the print with bloodless knuckles.

Rip —

Smirk and smile mocked falling tears,

When she tore their faces to pieces.

~

He saw the frame upon the nightstand,

And seized it with a strangled laugh.

— Crash —

Glass shattered, denting white plaster,

When he threw their love across the room.

~

Splintered,

Tattered,

Disfigured,

Destroyed,

She clawed his skin as he crushed her heart,

And Aphrodite sobbed from her throne,

As her masterpiece fell to Hades.

– kh.

March 2017 | Placer County, California

Her Beelzebub

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Her mother sensed the evil

When she found black stains on white sheets.

Torn fabric and charred wicker

Sent infant cries from the cradle.

A string of coos hushed the child,

But unchecked went streaks of red in brown irises.

~

A depraved soul not yet sixteen

Sat atop frozen roof tiles,

As her mother lamented friends

Sent to push her over the edge.

Burning lungs reflected a life turned left,

And a shooting star sprinkled ash on coarse skin.

~

She turned twenty-four in a black alley

With blood on her hands.

Jagged metal pierced skin

Before disappearing into cold flesh.

Her mother’s sobs rang in her memory

When the steaming vent released a cackle.

~

Her death fell behind metal bars,

Fluorescent lights turning pale skin gray.

Red roses turned black

On a shattered gravestone.

Tears dripped from her mother’s cheeks,

For she knew the path below the grave,

~

And Beelzebub welcomed his child to hell

As she clawed her skin raw.

– kh.

© February 2017 | Placer County, California

Down

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To her, the ground went up.

To her, the sky fell down.

To her, the walls waltzed with the staircase,

The carpet barked at her toes,

And the sofa gave her a smile.

She saw stars on the ceiling,

Clouds in the television,

A snowy mountain on the nightstand.

The world spun circles around her.

It was left.

Inside-out.

Upside-down.

But when the world went right,

She saw the time run out on her life.

– kh.

© September 2016| Placer County, California


I finished…

SEVEN DEADLY SINS POETRY SERIES:

Envy | Gluttony | Greed | Lust | Pride | Sloth | Wrath

41. An Open Letter to Society

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Dear Society,

I understand your push for perfection. I realize in many cases striving for perfection is the only way to move forward. My own family has trained me to never settle for less, as that is the only way reach success. But as a young girl living in this society, I would like to point out a few things. You see, your quest for perfection, while no doubt stemming from good intentions, has negatively effected the younger generations for decades. Whether you intended to or not, you have handed us unattainable standards and images of the perfectly dysfunctional lives all young Americans are “supposed” to live. Everywhere I turn, I see magazines full of “perfect” men and women living their “perfect” celebrity lives, I see commercials, movies, and television shows featuring unrealistically fit and athletic individuals, I see ads promoting products meant to transform us into the “perfect” people we all should be–the list goes on.

Honestly, I am a consumer myself, and I know little about your agenda other than how it affects me and the people I love. I can only tell you what I know and what I see. And what I see is a group of young people searching for their worth and happiness in superficial things. I see young girls worrying about their weight instead of living carefree childhoods. I see little boys worrying about girls instead of playing outside with their friends. I see teenage girls, including myself, dressing like they are thirty-five, and teenage boys spending hours in the gym trying to attain a Ryan Gosling physique. I remember one day my ten-year-old sister coming home from school and begging my mom to put her on a diet and exercise plan so she “wouldn’t get fat,” even though she was nearly underweight for her age. I remember my five-year-old sister coming to me and begging me to put make-up on her so she could “look like the girls on Disney Channel.” Through conversations with most of my friends, I learned we all began wearing makeup and worrying about our appearances because you told us we had to; that we needed to look good to avoid ridicule.

But we all know we can’t live up to the standards you’ve set, even if we don’t admit it. No one’s perfect, not even the celebrities you parade in front of us, but you’ve done a great job of convincing us otherwise. And the result is the scene I witness every day of my life. A scene of cookie-cutter individuals living cookie-cutter lives; no one willing to accept who they are, and everyone willing to transform themselves into who you want them to be.

I can’t change the way you do things, but I can push my sisters in front of me and show you how the reality you’ve fabricated has negatively affected them. You claim to think so highly of the future generations, yet you continue to dilute their young lives with everything fake and unattainable. You may not even target them–in fact I doubt the little ones cross your mind when you go about your business most of the time–but I hope you realize…they notice everything. They pick up on every detail. They can’t tell the fake from the reality. If you tell a teenage girl she needs to look perfect to have worth, any little girl standing nearby will believe it, too. If you tell a teenage boy he needs to have abs to be a man, any little boy standing nearby will believe it, too. I can’t make you do a one-eighty, but I can show you the ripple effect you have on all ages, especially the younger ones. They’re watching you. We all are.

Sincerely,

An 18-year-old girl

XX. Feelings

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She wrote down her feelings in a journal.

No descriptions.

Just the words.

She wrote down a name next to each feeling.

No explanations.

Just the names.

She stared at the paper for a while.

No tears.

Just silence.

Then she burned it.

– kh.

© Placer County, California | April 2016