Midnight Remorse ~ Remord de Minuit

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I get off my throne 

Take off my clothes

I keep my crown

My silver bangles

Get down on the floor

Crawl

A slow

Deliberate animal

I lick my lips, shake my hair

I can see your hands tremble 

Such are our desires

An urge, intense and primal

To play predator and prey 

At times you are my slave

Others I am yours 

We revel

In filth and shame 

Games of pleasure and pain

Now

You stand over me 

Still statue carved in stone

Silent with burning eyes

 

You are already mine – 

 

But my submission 

Its meaning 

My legendary pride 

Discarded

For you, thrown aside

A queen purposefully brought low 

 

makes you even more so

 

Placing the final piece in the puzzle

So complicated and yet so simple

The contract that binds 

Is the one left unsigned

Your hand on my throat 

My fingers in your mouth 

The sharp intake of breath

I expect 

When you’re on the edge

When I know you’re close

Tomorrow

And the days after

I will bleed into your thoughts

Seep in little by little 

Until

The need 

To taste me again 

Takes over 

Colours

With crimson red over monochrome 

Controls

You – body, mind and soul because

 

Mine is the name you can’t say

I am the secret you can’t share

What should have been sunset-lit

But instead

I am your midnight remorse

Je suis ton remord de minuit 

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Once

We escaped gloomy cages

Breathed new air outside the musty pages

Of the books we’d sheltered in

For so long

We were bewitching birds brought back for a single song

Dried butterflies,

Wings untied,

Briefly swelling with life

Drunk on sun & scented promises

The sweet sound of stolen kisses

For a little while, we were allowed

To fly once more – high, above the clouds

It didn’t last

It never does

Alas everything must die

Go back to ashes and dust

But,

I’ll always remember

How once we emerged

From the cocoon of past winters

Happy Ending

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I dig out the old typewriter

as I want to drunk write

a crazy flamboyant story

Moulin Rouge style

only the whore doesn’t die

but lives happily ever after

having renounced her ways

stopped hawking her wares

for a handful of rose petals

a treasure chest filled with hope

wild kisses beneath a lamp post

silhouettes backlit by the storm

a canary bird waking up at dawn

twirling on its perch, notes emerge

from its tiny beak a power surge

powerful as waves on a fractured shore

there lies the beauty of being a writer

tap tap tap go the keys

you can rewrite, relive, tweak

each and every bit of the story

my whore has red stains on her cheeks

vivid colour induced by satisfied lust

I’ve taken out consumption, disease

added drama I deem alluring

it’s perfect now as it is—romantic—

tempestuous, but with a happy ending

*This was written and posted 2 years ago, but I like it enough that it’s worth reposting*

A Mother’s love

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Her beautiful boy is looking at her. A single tear is slowly making its way down his plump and perfect cheek, but he is quiet and still. He seems to somehow sense that immobility is what’s required of him. She forces a smile she hopes is reassuring, tries to pass off this wretched situation in her usually peaceful kitchen as normal. Only it is extremely difficult to do while there is a gun pressed against her boy’s fragile temple.

“Names. Now.” says the man in that vile uniform she has come to hate.

She has denied all knowledge until this moment, but the man who is holding a gun to her baby’s head smiles… a slow, almost gentle smile. The wooden blocks her boy was playing with before the man came in are still scattered on the table, making this whole scene incongruous – impossible.

Panic flutters inside her chest, a trapped bird trashing madly in its increasing desperation to escape – she cannot contain it any longer.

“The baker. He delivers messages late at night. I don’t know to whom… he takes that trail at the back of his house, the one leading into the woods… where he goes I don’t know…
Please don’t hurt my boy!”

This last bit escaped her, she couldn’t help it but what does it matter? The man knows she’s terrified, the man knows she’s weak, the man knows she’ll tell him everything he wants her to now.

He does look almost bored, maybe he does this so often that the enormity of it doesn’t even register any more, this thought scares her more than anything – the gun hasn’t moved, it’s still there, dangerously close, oh so close to the delicate temple.

“What else?” he calmly asks.

And now the dam has broken, a destructive flood gushes out and she couldn’t stop even if she wanted to.

“The butcher, he shelters resistants sometimes in his barn…his daughter cycles all over the county which is quite strange nowadays…and she used to go with the Chardin boy who’s joined the maquis. That man, Monsieur Pierroux who lives behind the church?…

She’s aware she’s babbling now, words rushing out, anything, anything so that cold hard barrel gets away from her boy’s soft skin.

“…he has counterfeit ration tickets, he sells them and…he listens to the radio broadcasts from London…”

What else, what else can she tell him so he leaves her and her baby alone?

“And Monsieur Thierry, he didn’t deliver even half of the harvest like everyone has to, he kept some of it back for his family… and the rest to sell on the black market… please, please…”

Finally, mercifully, the gun is lowered…. she doesn’t move though…not yet, it doesn’t feel safe yet.
The man in uniform releases her boy who immediately runs to her, she scoops him up into her arms and the relief…the knowledge and feeling that he’s safe is so huge that she’s crying and laughing all at once, on the verge of hysteria.

By the time she looks up again, the man in uniform is gone. Where? She doesn’t know. It is only the frantic pace of her heart and her boy’s tear-stained cheeks that convinces her she didn’t just imagine the invader’s presence in her home.

What is going to happen to those people she told him about? The baker, sweet Monsieur Martel whom she has known since childhood…who used to give her a freshly baked petit four on Sundays… the butcher who’s not particularly liked because he has the awful habit of casually laying his fingers on the scales while weighing meat…sweet lord, so he’s not averse to cheating his customers, but he’s certainly made up for that in other ways, hasn’t he?…and his daughter, whose only crime was falling in love with a man who can’t, won’t, accept the invader, whose only crime has been to help him in any way she can because she shares his outrage at what has been done to their country.

She heard about what happens in those cells…torture, often going on for days, torture that goes on even when they have squeezed every bit of information out of you, torture simply because they can, torture until your spirit and body are so broken you don’t even feel the sweet release of death.
She did this. She gave the names of people she knows… to the enemy…condemning those people to horrors she can’t even imagine. She smells her boy’s head, breathes that unique scent in deeply, closes her eyes and relishes the feeling of his precious body against hers.

Yes, she did this terrible thing she’s going to have to live with all her life…and she would do it again if she had to. She realises this, and the knowledge fills her with a mixture of despair, hot burning shame and defiance.

She doesn’t expect to sleep that night but she drops like a stone falling into a deep dark pond where neither dreams nor nightmares reach.

The next day, she walks to the village with her boy. She has had time to think: her house sits on the outskirts and she has no close neighbours. With luck, nobody will be aware that the invaders paid her a visit. It is a lot to hope for but hope is all she has and she grabs onto it eagerly.

Her husband is in a camp in Germany, letters are rare and she has no way of knowing if he’ll make it back, and in what state if he does. As for family, she has none to speak of: her parents died just before she married and there were no siblings—her husband is an orphan—the boy is all she has and there is nobody else but her now to love and protect him. Before yesterday, she also had the village where she lived all her life: her neighbours, the familiarity of paths trodden since childhood, the comfort of knowing there was a place she belonged.

The walk to the village is slow because the boy is fussing: he’s tired and his pale face pinched. She carries him part of the way though he’s getting heavy.
The unhurried pace suits her. It gives her time to put her thoughts in order, get her story straight, re-arrange all the facts so they fit depending on what people know—if they know anything at all. Self-preservation is an instinct that kicks in surprisingly quickly she has found, and she desperately needs to protect herself, as doing so is protecting the boy.

At this point in time, nobody can anticipate the frenzied and bloody revenge acts that will occur on “collaborators” when the invaders finally lose the war—but she does envision it – instinctively – a full two years before it happens, so she is aware of the need to get her story just right.

When she reaches the village, everything is quiet. The only sign of the intruders is the flag floating over the Mairie. It is a repulsive sight to her, even more than usual. They are to blame for what she had to do. They didn’t just invade her country and her life, they made her betray everything she believes in because they threatened the very core of her identity. Her nationality matters greatly to her and so does her essentially gentle, kind nature… but underneath all the different layers, she is fundamentally a mother.

The Nazis. She had so far resisted giving them any more than a vague name -referring to them as “the invaders”—as if doing so would make them more real, more “there”. However, she discovered yesterday that it was a futile gesture, like children tucking their blankets around them carefully without acknowledging that it is so the monster under the bed will not get them. The monster will get you if it has decided to do so, whether you name it or not – she knows this now.

Walking slowly towards the butcher’s, the ration cards in her hand, she notices that the blinds are drawn. The shop has an obscure and furtive look—a closed eye which may open at any moment and freeze her in space with its accusing glare. It is nothing short of unusual for the butcher’s to be shut on a weekday morning but she acts like any of the villagers would and approaches the door with an enquiring look on her face.

“They took him away, they came for him last night.”

The voice makes her jump, she turns and sees Monsieur Perrin leaning out of his window on the other side of the street.

“What happened?” she half-whispers, the two words getting caught in her throat.

“I saw it all, they dragged him out and threw him in the back of the truck. Marie wasn’t here at the time and I haven’t seen her. I hope they haven’t got her as well.”

She nods, not trusting her voice and berates herself for acting strange. Then again, how else is she meant to act faced with this awful news?

She says her goodbyes to Monsieur Perrin who quickly closes his window after looking up and down the street with a suspicious air she has never known him to have. Not until they arrived.

It is another three days before she learns the butcher’s daughter, Marie, was warned before she got home and not knowing what else to do, went to her fiancé in the Maquis. She wasn’t safe there for long, the resistants were attacked just a day later and most of them massacred. The butcher’s daughter and her fiancé were among the few who tried to run, to no avail. Seeing themselves surrounded, he shot her through the head before turning the gun on himself. A quick and merciful death compared to what the Nazis would have done to them – but how terrible to die between the trees which sheltered your hide and seek games as children, to have your blood splash the blades of grass you rolled in with your friends after school, how tragic to die at 20, in the full bloom of youth.

That night is when the nightmares start, they will come night after night for many years—more years than she can bear. They are horrifying even in their repetition. The hands grabbing in the dark, seemingly disembodied since she can never see whom they belong to, the mouths opened on silent screams…and no matter how hard she tries to get away from those grabbing hands, they always get closer and closer until the thought, the sheer terror of being dragged and forever caught in the dark with them wakes her, breathing harshly and covered in rank sweat.

Nobody ever finds out the part she played in determining the fate of so many people. Monsieur Pierroux, old, frail and benign was shot against the wall of his house—a random act meant to serve as an example, no doubt. Monsieur Thierry was taken to the Gestapo headquarters and kept there for weeks. In a capricious decision, they let him go and he came back with the eyes of an old man and trembling hands. The fate of Monsieur Martel, the gentle baker is never known. Some say he was sent “elsewhere”, others that he died in his cell.

Long after the country is liberated and the Nazis vanquished do the nightmares continue. It is the price to pay for her betrayal. It is a cross she has to bear and not one she can ever complain about. Not out loud. Not to anyone, not even to herself. When the depression threatens to engulf her, she looks at him: her boy. He is healthy, strong and happy. His father, improbable as it seems, came back from the camps when so many others didn’t. He has consistently refused to discuss his war experience but she understands and doesn’t prod him. After all, she hasn’t divulged what happened in her kitchen on that day either. Some things are best left pushed back in the recesses of the mind, buried and left to rot. What good would it do to articulate the horrors now?

Instead, she feeds the chickens and watches her boy as he runs and chases them, laughing gleefully. His innocence lights the day while she stands in the shadows, tainted. She watches him as he grows and turns into a man who, even with a family of his own, still comes around every Sunday and plants a kiss on her cheek on arrival, with a love that cannot be denied. He has forgotten all about that dreary day, he has no idea of everything she has suffered. For him. She hopes he never has to learn that love can be the deadliest of weapons. 

*Written last year for the Master’s – Fiction is really hard for me to write but my tutor really liked this so here it is.*

Image credit: ppding.deviantart.com

When it snows

If I ever got married, if I was ever so inclined

To make another forever mine

I’d like it to be when it snows

Cheeks red with cold, perfect scarlet apples, breath like puffs of smoke

I’d want clouds, across the sky blown by winter wind

No sun blazing at my wedding

Imagine Rod Serling

Introducing the twilight zone

His face bathed in monochrome shades

All my photos in an album of sepia tones

Love may mingle with the snow, neatly filling the Hollow

As a tiny church nestled inside sleepy walls

Sets the scene

And completes the tableau

*This little something was inspired by the last lines in this gorgeous (and v. emotional – for me) tune*

Halloween Lover

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So it is that soon I will rise again

I will come up

through the mud and dark earth

emerging in a damp cellar

dry flesh craving the touch

of an unwilling lover

will it be you that I caress

stroke with my ice-cold fingers

embrace for one fleeting moment

my frigid skin peeling, shredding

my eyes unseeing

your screams rising

in the raw glacial night

what a sorry plight

is yours, wretched victim

of my yearly Halloween yearning

*I have posted this before, but it is one of those I like though I wrote it ages ago – it’s got that sexy creepy vibe. And I just love that pic – it deserves to be reposted just for that*

Image Credit: Beautiful Decay by jaded-ink @deviantart.com

Do you remember?

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Do you remember?
I used to wear candy pink for a dare, play the part of the prom queen for a day.
You never took ice in your drink, you liked to drop obscure hints.
We thought we’d be forever linked.

We lit innocent hearts plucked from unlucky bystanders, kindling in our palms we’d quickly discard and throw on the bonfire.

With the tip of our fingers we’d pick up the smouldering embers, watch them slowly die, and
laugh with the cruelty of youth… that has no regard for consequence & can’t comprehend the pain of absence.

There was so much love still to drink and no one had yet clipped our wings.

Do you remember?
We looked for art everywhere, prized intellect and quoted Voltaire, performed pirouettes, pretended to be the precious heir in a play by Molière.
Who did we think we were, all attitude and complicated words.
We thought we were deliciously sarcastic, delightfully ironic, we were – really – pathetic kids verging on the moronic, with impossible standards and a bad case of folie des grandeurs.

Do you remember?

As the violins cried behind the hills, we tried to imbue the bartender with the charm of Michelangelo’s David, but even the power of wishful thinking has its limits and we were left with nothing, not even a pale copy, not even an apprentice’s underdrawing, because the bartender, far cleverer than we were, had scampered with our tenners.

We made our memories and tore them into strips, scattered them to the wind, unable to believe that one day we’d want them back, if not intact then at least some kind of scrap.

Do you remember…
My purple eyeliner left streaks over my face. We still had to learn nobody ever wins this particular race, and that the best you can hope for is to reach the end with some kind of grace.

First posted July 26th 2016

You


Come and inspire me, come and pull my strings, save me from silent glaring mannequins

I’m in need of a waterfall crashing down steep hills in cascades of feelings

You, I will let you

Whiskey with ice is a crime committed by swines and pitch-black hearts

Break the glass, select the largest shard – stab convention keeping us apart

You, I will let you do

Breathe heavy and deep, drown my faded pink, exhale burgundy reds with your lips on my neck

I walk, you follow, I talk, you swallow, inevitable thoughts of your tongue down my throat

You, I will let you do anything

We glide down parallel lines, I’m here and you’re there, you want me, throw the dice, live & dare

Take your time, please come fast, we’ve fallen, crossed over, it’s so late – too late in the day to be scared

You, I will let you do anything to

It’s not you, it’s me—it’s not me, it’s you—we’re so much of the same – balanced on opposite sides of the scales

On my skin, on my heart, it’s not a stain, it’s your name—you’re calling mine, in the dark—it is right, it is sane

You, I will let you do anything to me

*Is anybody else exhausted due to General Election? What a week it’s been. Special thanks to my friend Adam for closing it in style with me late last night, or rather early this morning*

We

Sun in the sea

The sun dips into the sea, making it blaze while the waves, amazed, shyly retreat.

I’m the only witness to this explosive orgy of flames as you’re standing behind me with your arms around my waist and your face buried in my tangled hair.

For that one brief moment, as you inhale deeply with your eyes closed and I attempt to fully grasp this extraordinary spectacle, we are one and the same — fierce, invincible, we are the guardians of the Galaxy.