Amber


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Passion made me its marker

Of swells and sighs divided

Regret the tenderest heresy

And each tear, a watershed

And yet no arcing, tumbling,

Glittering thing of mine

Could rival hers; I remember

That frisson of the empty sky

That cry from below

Of heart and soul and mind

My summers sleep in amber

And to look at them

Is to remember

~

Elizabeth Cook, 2016. Image from Hyouka.

 

Sidewalk Deportment


No longer do I scoff at that same

Foolishness that sees one

Endure as kind an enemy

Or keep with lies stale-spun

As I unravel in my psyche

A host of lessons so contrary

It seems a wonder I believed, and yet

They idle still within me

Truly, I have chosen

The aesthetic of daydreams

Constructs of unlikely substance

Which so often fail to please

Light of youth and spring of beauty

Between covers abounding

Allure of the unattainable

Through jibe and wit increasing

And even the plainly absurd

Bled into understanding

While manners of daily address

Were ever reinforcing

The pictures welling in my smile

My laughter meeting irony

Resigned to stoic byplay

Have been ill-taught indeed

No longer do I scoff at that same

Foolishness persisting

But hold mute my derision

Wishing that it had left me.

Carpet Squares


Listless at my habitual 3pm low, and wishing that I could work in a more comfortable position, a change of position, I studied the long space under the underutilized half of my L-shaped desk.
I looked at it, and that was to envision explaining myself, which irritated me. It was a perfectly good bit of carpet, shaded and never walked upon. It would fit me nicely if I were to lie down there and read a journal article or something. So why would it be all ridicule and strangeness if I were to actually lie down on the floor?
 –
Open offices are detestable.

 

Undergrounders


Lost, they seemed like neighbours

Sometimes odd in manner, yet

We saw them as sharing in our mix

Of foibles and humours.

What did they hope for, here?

Suspending all their visions

And locking safety away

To fall asleep in a world not their own

Lit by the rude incandescent

Grey with sameness and waste.

What did they think of us, then?

As they strove to eat as we ate

To test the waters for their ideals

And, sensing rebuff,

To secure the lines of escape.

Even today, I cannot comprehend

The disappointment of four centuries,

And as many awakenings;

Nor the abiding hope

That saw them living among us

Only to be chased down sewers

By the latest elite in soldiering.

Once off, I admired their masks

Relics to be auctioned now that

They’d fled deeper than Onkalo

Below their barricades.

Elizabeth Cook, 2016

Image from tommo at 28dayslater

In Glass


She was a creature made in glass

A camouflage transparency

Pierced by light and colour, she

Could be seen in all her trembling

The pulse in her lips standing out and

Anodyne innocence recurring

By turns she hid and by turns she gave

That laughter of daybreak on snow

Then dull unto fading, lest one forget

Incongruous afterglow

Every embrace the first, the last

With frets for nerves pulled thin

Exquisite as a crystal shattered –

Swayed like a bough in spring

Distances


The only reason she has him, is because she doesn’t.

This man, sitting next to her, who cannot remember to put the bathmat back up on the side of the tub. She sits next to him only because he is so laissez-faire that he let it happen – and then she became a part of his routine. A part, not a prime mover.

Like his cards. Like the music to which he bobs his head. She is the movement of clothes, some his, some hers, into the washing machine. It happens.

She is the added pressure of a pair of feet on his thighs while he reads his newsfeeds. He could be doing the same thing minus that pair of feet; that’s how she knows he would be the same without her.

She wouldn’t be the same without him. Without him, she would no longer be watching these differences, or measuring distances.