women. writers.

Poetry: "Tarped Against the Rain" by Elisabeth Ferrell-Horan

I try not to blame my sadness on the rain.
What’s the point of owning our pain?
Mood is affected by what is endured:
My wrinkles, my wounds; all I’ve gone through.

Gone too is the strain  -
The misguided and vain
Desire to be anywhere near you.

I shall now entomb you softly in sand
Roll up your black magic in the carpet of  land.

I will miss your mummy-white fingers
I used to adore their lingering touch;
They way they covered my mouth -
I bit them off and spit them out.

Ha! Embossed, glossy scarabs to frighten me now?
Still a snap to make me cry?  
Nice try.

You may resist my gladness;
As a human who has consumed
Victuals of our tears, our constant fears -
Familiar as the map of lines on my face.

I often trace the smile of a scar on my belly:
I know better than you what I’m worth.

Now all that's left to sip is the drip, drip of rain,
That falls on those who still shuffle in their rooms -
With cottony mouths; locked in opulent tombs.

Their lips softly murmur, fingers reaching for braille;
I absorb their pain through my heels on the ground -

And it soaks into the earth
This drumming of rain in my head -
That seeps into my heart
And waters down the hurt -

Weak cocktails of our hearts and livers;
Composting flesh about the alabaster bones.

On second thought, I shouldn’t blame you,
Nor your love for whipping me silly.
I’ve seen your soul saunter just behind you,
Sneaking up on me in dark alleys
Spiking my drinks, my fears.

Your own tomb runneth over with gluttonous pride,
Obese and sloppy now that you’ve died.
Acrid vapor forming droplets anew -
Baptizing my burns,
Gentle as the turning of youth.

And to not incite some retribution -
I’ll happily leave you be:
(I’ve decided it best you forget about me.)

I’ll hide in my vehicle, my vacuum, my womb -
Safe from you and your imminent doom.
Like a horse high above -
I’m a weather vane;
I learned to lend my face to the rain.

And I know my secret places
for they gallop freely in me -
Alas, those oats have colicked my fair steed
So I buried him as well
alongside delicious memories.

And your next fat horse;
swallowing my skeleton key
was not a funny joke;
you’ll choke and choke -

and my fire will corrode
the metal bone in your throat -
scalding acid rain
drizzled on our love sundae in vain.

I’ve had to earn my hard, flat freedom
and you’ll not eat me again.  
Ariels all rise twice, you know.

If not nine lives, then dabble in three:
Virginia, Sylvia; and finally me.
My body with worms and nothing left to flee -
Tarped against the wet, wet rain.
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