Pressed Glass; Words In My Mouth
I found me in an empty glass
its sides pressed like mine,
cut with patterns, sharp
but not too sharp,
the edges dulled to protect.
We cannot cut your fingers
even if you hold us tight.
We are the same that glass and me;
it would take a lot
to break us,
to shatter the pieces.
We would have to slip off the edge
or be thrown down with purpose.
My solid shape, transparent
to those who love me,
won’t give way
wont fill with sadness,
wont shape shift,
become the briny liquid
that fills me.
Like the glass I tilt forward
and allow only so much
to spill out at once,
only that which I can swallow.
Words In My Mouth
I kept trying to not
put words in my mouth today.
I didn’t want to speak my own
and I was losing yours.
I needed to know what you thought of all this;
I wanted you to tell me,
I think I was putting words in my mouth.
I do some things you’ll understand
like putting a set of towels on your towel rack
or not looking at your side of the bed
(there are no shoes there).
Instead of words, wolves rise up.
I let them out;
howling, heaving, dry-eyed.
They last for a minute or two.
I make big ugly faces;
gasping like when
you were the fish tethered to machines.
I have been dodging steel stars,
that pierce me when I least expect it.
I am wounded in a place
I only guessed existed.
Today, yesterday and the day before that
I have been wafting
while you have been transformed,
transported in a cardboard box.
I did not know that but perhaps I did.
I discover that in my mouth there are no words left.
Charlene resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a Teaching Artist for The Alzheimers Poetry Project, part of the Las Vegas Poetry Promise Organization. She is published in numerous anthologies and magazines including “Dash”, “The Esthetic Apostle”, “Chaleur Magazine”, ”Legs of Tumbleweed; Wings of Lace, an Anthology of Literature by Nevada Women”. Her second chapbook, “One Bare Foot” was released by Zeitgeist Press.
"These poems were written after the passing of my husband who was ill for a very short time so that his death was unexpected. After the first week my sons left for their own lives and I was alone for the first time in many, many years. My writing became my way of dealing with the aloneness, sense of abandonment, fear and, of course, grief. In hindsight, I realize that these poems, and others, written so close in time after his death, were not only cathartic for me but also affirming, like a hug, for others who have gone through the same feelings of bereavement. Poetry is the place where words reach out to the universal, primal forces that make their home in all of us."