SPOTLIGHT: A Mournful Metamorphosis by Skyla Allen

Wayward Performances

I don’t know how
to make some of these things
beautiful, to rewrite them into existence without petrifying
my truth and your denial

Ink and paper work together
to hold any and all
of me without judgment, a luxury you’ll never understand
and I can safely narrate

All the horrible things you’ve done, resulting in flinching in the kitchen, desperate avoidance, and overall such unhealthy attachments to things I cannot control

Power seems to be the only thing you know, shrouded
in charity and divinity
words, actions, and love treated
as a script created just for your chosen depiction
a hero, a victim, an innocent
by-stander, the villain

(My part is always the same,
but I’m leaving now,
and not for your sake
it’s just too much
to hold all your offenses
to a standard of eloquence,
for now at least,
I’ll call it my great escape).

Good Bones

and what of this dis-
jointed frame of mind?

peeling oil paintings
line the gray matter walls

clinging desperately to canvas
my father built to support me

dust lines the baseboards
of decorated halls

eclectic in aesthetic with sharp edges in a studio apartment

stuck in the routine
stanza of suburbia
and screaming
for a nice red brick to lay

a bay window, scalloped tiles,
a turret with a windmill at the top

at least one stained glass piece
a mossy greenhouse in the backyard

sprawling ivy, herbs, and blossoming life.

while it sits empty, a preserved
figment in my imagination

the stone-throwers come, often
on your behalf

and yet it’s somehow
comforting to know

it isn’t the first time glass
has been shattered in this home.

Violet Night Shift

And oh how long she stayed
her back against the wall,
her arms raised
above her head to meet his blows
as he stood

Over her for what, felt like a front row seat but was only through
a crack in the door

I lay still in bed and in fear
obviously awoken
by the quavering of her voice
only for it to be lost amongst
the sounds of his violent throws

Accented by the hall light streaming through the crack in the door,
the echoes of his actions preformed
as shadows that poured and pounded onto the spotted, blue comforter

Neighbors’ eyes flash
in and out of curtain slots
like red and blue lights that creep slowly up our street

Skin blotched with mixed purple bruises on white,
like the jelly bleeding through

On the bread of dad’s desperate impromptu midnight comfort food

The best he could do after the unexpected call
and I wondered like a child does
endlessly –

Flashes & stitches, naive questions
about the cracks in the systems

A train of whys and hows derailed
by not nows and lots of its hard
to explain

Why the violets and red tulips swelled
upon the cream of the heavy comforter as it covered
me in a different bed

Falling asleep again

I remember the moments
as if though a crack
in the door can only tell
so much.

Growing Up & Out

I got my first cell phone when I was eleven. Was locked out of the house one too many times, you know? Yet you knew I would be home later, where else would I go? Paid for it by saving up from birthdays & doing odd jobs around the neighborhood.
I remember when you purposely stopped buying my favorite foods too, in order to preserve my
7-year-old waistline.

You’d leave for days with him, come home and berate me for the C
in math I never could improve. Hives vine up my neck as you scream inches from my tear-stained face, with my report card in your clenched fists. I managed to steal glances at all the other well-earned grades
you conveniently missed.
Your spitting snarl and glossy eyes the only thing I could really see, and as I grew, you went from bending over, to being on tiptoes when you wanted to force your point on me.

It broke when, my long hair wrapped in your frantic fingers, you pushed and pulled. Rocking me against
the car window, one hand on the wheel, and no sign of stopping.
I always wondered if you had to untangle the strands you tore,
from the wedding ring of yet another marriage, another addiction, another family, another try at all this.

Well, I’m older now,
and I’ve had enough.
It isn’t anything I’ll ever miss.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s