Friday, February 11, 2011

The Charcoal Years

The Charcoal Years


My bedroom was located at the end of the longest hallway in the house.
Windows lined the corners overlooking the backyard of pruned rose bushes.
The rose bushes I pushed my sister into one summer afternoon.
She cried.
I still feel terrible.
They stood proud, like in uniform, their strength and beauty proven against the winds and rain that would frequent springtime in southern California.
And my own, an orange flower blazing with passion, was my pride.
I still remember how it smelled.
Tangy and sweet.
The color of simmering sweet and sour sauce before being drizzled on a bed of pure white rice.
It was that delicious.
Tips of yellow reached towards the sky, trying to drink in the last drops of sun before it fell past the horizon.
Those petals were always hungry.

Inside my bedroom, shut tightly from my parent's concerned eyes or the folly of friendships, I sat against the accordion door of my closet.
Ancient in its design, the wood was peeling along the top and the metal handles spun counterclockwise.
Taking a safety pin or pencil, I'd etch words into the sides along the dark corners.
Not immediately visible to the eye, they expressed in few syllables what I ached to shout louder than the Spartans ever could.

Wood scraps would fall into the carpet's thick fibers, lost in the hustle of scurried feet running outside to soak inside one last ray.
And while one day I knew the marks would fade or be painted over, they would never disappear completely.
The scratch bears a permanent scar to the inscriber.
Nights here were spent agonizing over displacement, relishing in what emotional outpour I could muster with nine years on my back.
That wood would see it's final days years later after moving from my childhood bedroom.

And now, rust shaded wood has been torn down and its place, a modern door for a modern closet where shoes and clothing are in abundance.
Those new linens and bright pink cubbies never bore witness to nights of scribbles or the tears produced to lead on their creation.
Silk scarves, glittered cashmere and designer leathers now stand in place of worn carpets and old blankets.
Perfume lingers were salt water crashed down with a fury.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011



Climbing inches to the sky's precipice, I looked down to see the life fade and eventually disappear.
The life consumed of joyless sunrises and waste.
Parking lots turned into checkerboards, the lonely ones turned to pawns, commanded to move backwards.
Expectance in their favor of this black and red game. Raging war.
Their obedience seen as necessary, not voluntary.
Learned behavior.
Chipped ivory lay around their feet after every forced move.
Mouths closed.
Eyes glazed.

Higher still while the skyline turned equal and the sun hid behind thick clouds of pale blue.
Disguises, hiding the shine and relishing the dark they cast during the early mornings, affecting everything that flourished in light and shuddered in its absence.
What power they must have to create and destory a soul as delicate as a dandelion, who's seeds scatter at the slightest touch and draw inward when evening hour falls.

And with one breath, I fall quickly to the ground.
The metal cocoon violently thrums, whizzing through the tang of sweet frozen morning.
Ears are ringing with sharp silence and my hands fly into the air.
This feeling of free will only last for a tick of the small hand.
Departed air hangs heavy, close to the asphalt as movement takes me over another climb, downward to the smell of toxic and fear.
Chaotic calm layers the flesh as the last few seconds of this rebellion are savored.
Chest aching with wind, tears cornering each eye with a delicious nip.
Tucked inside my jacket are crisp leaves from minature tornadoes, my nails blue with winter temperature.
Souvenirs of a time where the chipped ivory was constructed into champion.