Jade Gonzalez 2016

Poem:     Queen Contradictory

Poem:     What I Wanted

Story:      Directions For Life

Poem:     Morris

Poem:     I Seek

After "Originally"

Girls with Dragons and Teenage Blues

Queen Contradictory

 

You are the contradictory queen, 

casting shadows into sunshine 

with frenzied whispered secrets. 

You are a mosaic: a gorgeous collage 

of a million tiny catastrophes, shimmering 

into a collective masterpiece. 

 

Smothering me with cruel kindness,

you make breathing the same air feel

like a minor miracle. Our antics fill 

our footprints of delicate disasters. You are 

my colorless kaleidoscope, my rainbow 

and darkness. You are my contradictory queen.

What I Wanted

I.                                                                                    II.

Wanted, the word rolls around in my brain                  Wanted, the word aches in my chest

like a ball thrown into the faces                                    like the freight train

of all those who tried to pull me back.                          mowing me over in my attempt 

Wanted, Past tense.                                                        to be more than I am

I aimed to be the ‘good’ child.                                      Wanted. From back when  

I wanted to be                                                                when I yearned to be the ‘bad’ kid. 

the apple of the bitter world’s eye,                                 I wanted the power

but instead I stand before myself,                                  of caution thrown to the wind. 

sun kissed and life stained,                                            Now here I am witnessing myself, 

like a patch of flowers left                                             dark embraced and life drained, 

in the blistering heat.                                                      like burnt out neon 

Now, here I am,                                                              at a dying convenience store.

a record filled                                                                 I never stopped, was never here.

with dopamine fueled escapades                                   I traded for a wall of useless paper 

and grief driven rampages.                                            achievements and empty picture frames 

I wanted relief                                                                bought to fill with the memories

from the pressure life brings                                          I never cultivated. 

but instead I was pulled into waves                               I wanted protection from whirlwinds 

of recklessness rained as I get washed                          of potential pain, but instead

away,                                                                              never joined the herd

stranded between Felon Falls                                        Left behind, I’m stuck choking on their dust     and Hangover Hallows.                                                 drifting the world like a sullen breeze.

Directions for Life

 

     Tiny palm in hand, hot sand underfoot; we walk along the water's edge admiring the sunset in that cliche way every family does. Stopping ankle deep in a briny sea, a strawberry sticky hand pulls away from mine. “Mom, why doesn’t dad come home anymore?” A pair of pigtails looked up to me. The face between them, a blur I can’t focus on. 

 

     “Well, dad got lost in his heart.” I rationalize more to myself than to my four year old. A tiny pair of eyebrows furrow in confusion at the thought

 

     “Lost?” she asks “So he couldn’t find our house anymore? Wait, why didn’t he use the nice lady in the car to tell him how to get back?” Little hands pick at the sequins of her shirt, pulling off glittery hearts as she quizzes me, trying to understand what even I still don’t.

 

     “Daddy’s heart told him to go somewhere new even though his brain said not to. So he went on a trip and when he got there, he decided he liked it there more and decided to stay.” The slanting sun is all the façade I need to keep that pair of big eyes from seeing mine leak. The silence is pocked with flying fish and diving pelican splashes.

 

     “Mom,” the silence shatters like the vase that was thrown when he stormed out forever. Pink painted hands grasp mine again  “Do you think if dad had followed directions, we wouldn’t be sad?” Tiny fingers flutter nervously in mine.

 

     “Directions?” I ask.

 

     “Like the kind Mrs. Andrews give us for our glueing art. I glued Tilly’s hair to the chair and she cried, and Mrs. Andrews said if I followed directions, Tilly wouldn’t be sad.” 

 

     “Well sweetie, life doesn’t come with directions. We need to be nice and try our best to make others happy and hope nobody gets hurt.” Big blue eyes squeeze shut in thought at the remark and a vice instead of a hand was in mine.

 

     “That’s stupid” she whispers after a moment of consideration and crumples to the water below, soaking her fully clothed self, knees clutched against her chest. 

 

     “Why can’t there be directions? Then nobody would be sad.” She wails into the sea, her anguish over abandonment in the form of her salty tears mixing with water into a singular briny river. Pausing for a second to wipe her nose, those pigtails look straight up at me and ask in the most somber voice a kindergartener can muster.

 

     “Why does God want us to be sad?”

Morris

 

Morris loved porches

and salty melons. 

Never did he look 

both ways when crossing 

the street. He crossed it

to flirt with dear old 

matted gray Francis,

who walked with a limp. 

He slept with my Mother 

on more occasions

than one. My dad 

was jealous of it.

He was my first love.

He walked through the world 

as if balanced on

staircase banisters. 

Morris was having 

a midlife crisis 

when I saw him last.

I did not realize 

it then. Constantly,

he fought with neighbors 

and made dear Tripp bleed. 

Morris was still sweet,

and would sit for hours 

to watch my sister 

color, even though 

he would rather sleep.

Morris was my friend,

and like the adage goes. 

I insisted on him

marrying only me. 

Nobody came except 

for my sis, my mom

didn’t approve of it. 

Running off with him,

we eloped under 

the bright silver stars

on the trampoline 

because I wasn’t 

supposed to leave 

the yard after dark.

I Seek

 

Candied blazes of sunlight, 

pearly dew drops dropping.   

Metal trees tower over 

the ant-like humanity marches. 

Wish-washed fountains 

and coiled cul-de-sacs 

filled with pastel painted homes. 

 

I seek what I haven’t seen; 

I find joy in the unknown 

in all of its gilded glory. 

To search for what you have seen 

is to go out into the world 

and promptly turn around, 

closing the door on it.

 

Lazy lions roam in tall golden grasses,

cawing macaws circle overhead, 

and shimmering waters sparkle 

like freshly washed windows. 

Basket weaving maidens with rainbows 

woven through waist-length strands, 

sew together trembling bridges 

over deep earth gashes.

 

The sound of children’s laughter 

ring in the universal language of joy. 

I seek the unknown, but instead 

wander aimlessly in the labyrinth

of life, rediscovering sights 

we simply lost the will to see. 

 

Lavender scented lullabies

paired with Korean comfort food. 

Free falling adrenaline junkies 

dive off jagged cliffs into uncertain 

swirling dolphin pools. 

Subterranean shadow trickery 

dances in razor sharp stalagmites.

 

Patch worked mosaic windows 

light up crumbling ancient shrines. 

Century old secrets belonging to trees 

older than recorded time. Forbidden forests 

thickened with clouded mystique. Foreign 

phantoms faze through firm 

castle walls aging in the centuries. 

 

Nomads train hopping over wine country

and gold panning in African countries, watching

novel sunsets and sonnet sunrises. 

The world is at my back, pushing me forward. 

I seek the never ending trail 

of Dorothy’s yellow brick optimist road.

I seek adventure and terror from the unknown. 

I seek images seared into my eyelids. 

I seek goosebumps from breathtaking sights. I seek 

to be amazed with the majesty of life, 

to never settle for adequacy 

in this world of grandeur.