Thursday, January 22, 2015

hot coffee

I take a sip of my coffee; it's gone stagnant and just above warm, but I swallow it anyhow. I can drink my coffee black when it's piping hot, but anything less than scalding has me choking on the sludge. Funny how a hot nectar can be a warm sludge and a cold poison..

I am frigid and cold inside, cool blood coursing through a cooler body. My flesh is pale and tinged with blue, and I paint my nails to cover the sickly beds beneath them. I emit no heat and am always shivering, bundled in sweaters and seeking an unseen warmth. I buy used clothing, oversized cardigans. I burrow into the warm memories of previous owners, but I can never quite seem to make their memories my own.

I need my coffee so it burns, so I can drink it and hope that the warmth can disperse, that my heart isn't just a morbid diathesis of predisposed sickness, too ill and cold to pump.

I breathe in, breathe out, and watch a single puff of breath leave my mouth. It's winter, and the trees are so bare.

I get up and go to microwave the coffee; there's still some remaining in the pot, but my mother's voice rings through my mind--- something something wasteful, and so I can't bring myself to pour it out. If I want to drink a fresh cup, I have to drink this cup first. I smile briefly when I think of my mother, but then I frown that, here I am, twenty-two and obliging myself to rules that used to make me cringe. That being said, I still follow them. I quickly down the coffee, fresh from the microwave, and grimace. Looking at my watch I see that, yes, it's nearly seven and I poured this cup at six.

A fresh cup. Fresh, hot, soul-warming coffee.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I imagined myself as a spirit, cold and breathing from the habit of it, my lips blue like my eyes. I was drifting through the mountains, my feet hovering over the dirt and my body angled and quivering as I ascended. The air was thinner, and although I didn’t need it, I found myself growing lightheaded. I was a visitor in my own body, lacking control or even will, just going where guided. The top, my mantra. The top, the top, I whispered. Trees were plentiful , and I extended a ghostly appendage, my fingers touching those Alabama evergreens.  I moved faster, dizzingly fast, and began to circle the path, still headed up, up, but now through the trees and into the trees. Spirits can’t bleed, but I imagined branches scratching my face as I flew; I imagined the lines such scratches would make, thin and slightly raised, jagged skin torn in some places, just perturbed in others. The trees with their long fingers, gently caressing my cheeks with biting fingernails and the wind dancing with me. The image seemed beautiful.

I saw a stag, his horns thick and captivating, his eyes dulled and a pale blue- unseeing, and he turned to me, those milky irises square on me.  Unsettled, I reached a hand to him but to no reaction. The thought of talking appalled me, the idea of having to listen to my own voice. My words were to be a punishment to us both. I smiled sadly for this deer so clearly nearing the end of his life, so tired, dead-tired. He can rest, said the wind, writing in goosebumps on the back of my neck. I found myself thinking of his impending rest- a rest so deep and heavy, so permanent- with longing. As if he could sense my thoughts, the stag reflected those same sad eyes once reserved for him onto me. My hand, still extended, was met by his cold nose, a nuzzle as if to say do not be sad. You can rest soon.


If living has taught me anything, it’s taught me that I’m no soothsayer. I’ve always relied heavily on my intuition, but intuition and a clear vision are two separate beasts. It’s an odd juxtaposition; my instincts rarely wrong me, but the confounding and unknowable destinations that my instinctual paths build remain just that—a sort of place that I can sense but never see clearly until I stumble forward and fall flat on top of them. I’ve found that each time I think I’ve etched my path, each time I feel like it’s written, I learn all over again that it isn’t. Maybe my karmic life is like the phoenix, destined to live and burn and be reborn in its ashes. I’ve lived lives where I could close my eyes and picture a destination, where I could practically see who I could become, what I was becoming, only to have one small pebble start an avalanche and to be given the terrifying and humbling foresight to pack and rebuild. There’s nothing quite so transcendent as being destroyed so that you can become more than the sum of your shattered parts.