Poetry – My Love, My Adversary

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I don’t like Poetry.

So I reject her at every turn.

With every fiber of my exhausted being.

But she craves that sort of thing.

Stubborn Poetry. Blossoms in both sunlight and shade.

I detest how she makes me feel.

Or how she forces me to feel.

Or the ways she feels about me.

Or the places she makes me travel when we’re alone together.

Or that she makes others openly feel in my direction.

Or that she’s so unshackled. And raw. Nonsensical and free.

Unencumbered by filters or structure and gleefully vulnerable.

All things I’d rather not be in my fragile and fleeting existence.

“Please, leave me be….” I beg her to no avail.

It irritates me that she wallows, with a tropical drink and a smile, in my bubbling emotions like a jacuzzi. The very emotions in which I meditate and medicate to escape.

“You know exactly what you’re doing…” I cry to her.

She’s a grappling hook dragging me kicking and screaming into the dammed, watery abyss located miles behind my cheeky smirk and dry, unblinking eyes.

The abyss where I once drowned daily in my truths and choked hourly on my self-awareness.

“I don’t need you,” I tell myself.

I recall swimming with boulders on my ankles to the surface with sinking shores where  I built a foundation on an island of sand and ashes. And it was necessary and great.

It was paradise. She knew it was paradise.

But yet she digs trenches in me so deep that they scrape the center of my earth and leave scab marks, tall like mountains and deep like caverns on my inner core.

“Why poetry?” I ask. “Why ignite my flame?”

Can you answer that for me, Poetry?

There’s no extinguishing a torch which was never lit. You could’ve left me cold and blind. Where it was safe.

Why conduct symphonies with my heartstrings?

At first Poetry is silent. But then she replies to me with a wavy reflection. Every time. With a f***ing reflection. She shines that distorted reflection of me with a wormhole in my chest the size of a collapsing star.

“This is why I despise you, Poetry…”

Because I can’t help but love you. You leave me no choice but to love you. A love so strong that it bleeds into bitter indignation for you and for myself for loving you.

You’re meant for me. And I’m meant for you.

Tethered through desire and longing.

Like half-buried roses with razor sharp thorns.

Escaping you is escaping myself. Which is an impossibility.

“But you knew that, didn’t you… Poetry.”

Diamond’s Tuition

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The photographs looked nothing like her.

Snap!

The creeper photographer began snapping from lower angles.

She fixed her hair in one of several smudged mirrors surrounding the half-empty loft.

The photos looked nothing like her. Which was a good thing. She never gives photographers or agents her real name. To them, she’s Diamond. In case she ever ran for political office. In case she married a megachurch pastor. Everyone everywhere had a doppleganger somewhere in the world. Her’s was Diamond.

She straightened her back. “This good?”

The photographer lowered his camera towards her thighs.

“What now?” She asked.

“Nothing.” He Glared at her over the camera lens.

“Yes?” She snapped. “I’m getting tired.”

“Sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry, be faster please.”

The money he offered was going to pay off her tuition for the semester. And, though he was inches shorter than she was in flats, he was three times her size in girth. She needed to watch her tone.

The photographer approached her.

She forced a smile. “Done?”

“Yeah….” The photographer nodded. “Almost finished.”

The photographer’s wore an aromatic musk was something she expected from a tall, coco flavored Wall street hottie with muscles and a full head of hair. His aroma created conflict between her eyes and nose. A stout, balding man with a stretched out wife beater should smell the opposite.

The photographer reached for her vest.

She immediately pulled away. “Excuse me!”

“It’s classy…”

“You mean pornographic?”

“Nothing like that.”

Creep…

“These will all be tasteful shots.”

She left her stool. “Yeah… right.”

Slimeball.

“I didn’t mean to alarm you.” The photographer put his camera aside.

She scooped her clothes from the photographer’s unfolded futon and marched towards the door.

I’m an idiot.

She didn’t deserve a doctorate. Nobody in their right mind would agree to enter a strange man’s warehouse apartment to take semi-nude photographs for a blog she’d never heard of.

“Five thousand extra.” The photographer offered.

She turned to see two columns of dollar bills on his kitchenette counter

“Towards your college debt, Ms. Thompson.” The Photographer smiled.

The stack was tall. Thick. Greener than green.

“How many shots?” She asked.

“A dozen,” He replied.

“Too many.”

For too little…

“Only need three to publish.”

“The other nine?”

“I’ll delete.”

She returned to her stool.

“Panties remain.”  She opened her vest. “Hurry up.”

“Okay…” Photographer waved his hand. “Just need you to move your-”

She moved her arms to expose her breasts.

He snapped several photos. “That’s great.”

Doesn’t feel great. 

He lowered his camera.

She covered her chest. “What now?”

“One sec.” The photographer took off towards his room.

He could be back there gathering rope and electrical tape.

“I don’t have a sec,” She called.

The photographer returned. “Batteries died”

“Five minutes, I’m gone… I’m serious.”

“Got it.” He set his camera. “You ready?”

She exposed her breasts. “Yes, sir.”

“You’re doing wonderful.” Photographer inched closer.

She side-eyed the camera.

Wait… He called me Ms. Thompson… I never told him my name… 

The end