Paper Sky


The sky is the color of dirty paper —
it is the color of
yesterday’s news
dropped in a puddle, clinging
to the cold dead ground

It is the color of
cheap ink
running off the newsprint and bleeding
into the rain (the sky is crying)

It is the color of
Choking grey to fill a world
too real


She holds her pen like a syringe
ready to inject the ink
into her veins
so that when her eyes
and her vision goes
she can breathe in a world
of beautiful words
and stories
can fill her soul



“Don’t move,” he says
“Look here,” he says
So she glares into that mirror eye staring back at her, unblinking
White light swallows up the choking dust for an instant, and then the world returns
He takes her callused hand in his and smiles; she does not smile back

She has seen photographs – oversaturated
stills that fail to capture
the gritty sand, the shuffling feet, the heavy silence amidst the constant noise,
how red blooms on white linen and sinks into the dirt
She hears the promise in the shutter click
and it falls hollow to the ground

Because here
the blue sky bleeds death and the bombs scream as they fall
to shatter already-shattered city bones
This is always and forever and she can hardly remember
when clear skies meant kites, and laughter, and life

So she knows no camera can solve the pain, but still –
the sun never stops rising, and the stars all shine at night
so she hopes against hope that
that promise in the photograph
can one day ring true

Minimal Damage

Strange that her aesthetic is so clean cut
When she herself overflows with
of red paint, dragon scales, endless flower bouquets
that she never speaks of

Strange that she can’t laugh it off
when he tells her it was nothing
and poison boils bitter inside her

She knows for him, for them
it is just a hiccup in the grand scheme of things
A small scrape at most
just minimal damage

But for her it means the world
(or the end of it. Sometimes she’s not sure)
because maybe it’s her fault for
not telling anyone

How can she though
when just one mocking half-thought can
take root to tear her apart the way

Strangler figs choke the breath from trees

written for daily prompt: minimal