the day i stopped being a black hole and other poems by Linda M. Crate

“i bet you don’t remember me,”
he said,
flashing me a devil may cry smirk
and eyes full of talons;
i was a young girl
when we first met and he broke up with me
because i wouldn’t succumb to his
desire of sex
broke up with me when i refused to let him
rape me—
i wanted to become the perfect storm
to halo down rage with every clap of thunder
every lightening bolt of my fury
because anger is something
i know like the topography of my thumbs,
but something inside me broke;
i became that black hole
sucking myself inside
waxing and waning into void and becoming
somehow wider—
but suddenly i stopped when i remembered
i was strong, that none of it was my fault,
and that i had to remember
how to walk
because no one would be able to take these limbs
from me unless i let them;
and i wouldn’t let him.

the harpy’s promise

you like to break
what is comfortable
until the skin
into something painful,
biting, and deadly
like nightshade;
you strike like a cobra
with your false
sincerity and bravado
insisting that you only said
that you were charming
not honest—
if i could i would stop myself
from loving you
so i could snap your baby blue eyes
open and warn everyone of the
monsters and sirens within
so no one would be
lured into your
winter of cold and dismal gray death
of distance and silence,
and i know you break a million hearts
just for fun;
you don’t want to belong to anyone
don’t care should you own
someone else, though, because to you
women are conquests—
you must have missed your mythology lesson
because pandora opened the box,
and some of us are harpies;
i will slay you, monster, for betraying me.

the wildest rose

i was silence
for many
a year
swallowing my words,
my fears and my truths and my
told that my dream ought to be
wifehood and motherdom—
but i always saw myself
wild as the wind
kissing a man in a fit of passion
coming and going as i pleased because
he appreciated me
realizing i was wild as fire
instead of trying to
put out my flame,
and maybe it was only a dream;
but i swear i saw his face but once—
my mother always taught me
not to make waves,
but i am a hurricane and so i let loose
my words because i was tired
of holding all of my secrets
they only cast my heart into despair;
i had to break open the bones
of my past and learn from them so that i
could have a happy future—
they tell me i need to hide my crazy,
but i say at least i’m honest;
if one cannot handle my wild then they do
not deserve the roses that grow amid my thorns.

you can’t force me

do i remember
does the frying pan
remember fire?
how could i forget the boy who thought he’d
make me succumb to his will
should have slapped you
with all the force
of the ocean,
but i was far more docile then than i am now;
found my voice and my fire
had i been half the woman i am now
that girl would have scalded you in fifth degree
everyone tries to tell me that you’re a good person,
but they don’t know you the way i do;
the way you forced me to
kiss you and the way you tried to force my shirt
over my head and when you couldn’t
took off your clothes instead
making me feel like a canary thrust into the heart
of a blizzard
i knew i didn’t belong here—
ran past you and down the stairs where your sister
told me that i had perfect timing
my mother was there
she had no idea what i had just experienced or how
my heart was thundering like a unicorn in my chest threatening
to break free,
and it didn’t end until i opened the door and got in the car
closed myself like a wilting flower;
i remained closed for several years before opening my petals—
you don’t get to come here in my private space
trying to force me open again
i will destroy you
stronger now than i was then.

fell by the wayside

i remember
their pity,
and i think i hated it more
than their scorn;
i was fine
being alone but they seemed to think
there was something wrong
with someone who
didn’t need anyone else—
i didn’t need any adornations to my hands or
none of the boys that were interested in me
intrigued me,
and i was tired of everyone telling me
i needed a man;
my father was the first man to break my heart and then
there came a villain disguised as a boy who wanted
my body but nothing else and at this time
i was only twelve so didn’t really
understand everyone’s fascination with the other sex
just wanted to be left alone—
the girls with their painted eyes acted as if their youth
would last forever,
and the jocks with their popular status acted as if they’d always
be gods;
and then the real world came and i laughed
when they all fell by the wayside
maybe it wasn’t nice
but it was more honest than they’d ever been
to me and to themselves.

counteracting darkness

you mistook my heart
for a white flag
that i had surrendered myself to
your will,
i sacrificed my morality
for your love;
in the end it wasn’t worth it
never is
when you compromise yourself because
you’re all you have—
i will never do that again
because none of the moments spent in your arms
were worth any of the demeaning you gave me
after it all ended or the pain it gave me
when i had to die to who i was
plant myself in the ground
grow again,
and i suppose you think i ought to give you credit
for being stronger than i once was;
i’ll only ever thank you for smashing my rose tinted glasses
sometimes you have to see the world for what it
really is
so you can give yourself even better dreams to counteract
the darkness.

About the author:

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of the seven book series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novels Corvids & Magic and Phoenix Tears are forthcoming.

1 Comment on the day i stopped being a black hole and other poems by Linda M. Crate

  1. Alison // March 7, 2017 at 10:58 //

    thanks for sharing


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