Martyrs or Miracles

Stacey Fredericks

Tell me why my eyes
Are closed but I still see
Dimples and baby-blue windows
To souls and feel you hold me tight
       (The way you always did)
In a cradle so my forehead Rests in just the right place.

I only remember your smell
Like new books and sandalwood,
Beads of sweat and pink cheeks.
Salt trickles from my lashes,
Gasping for air.
The sound of your piano lullabies,
      Glimpses of sunsets in May.  

I cry for you and I cry for myself
When you crumble on the couch,
Like sand slipping through my fingers.
Anxious and equivocal with confessions,
That you were lost from the beginning  
When you should have been held and  
Safe.  

Thieves take things  
(Perhaps someone stole from them too)
Makes me wonder how God could  
Exist and not save you.
My words crash against the jagged horizon
Tumbling into the murky water below.  

I love you
I love you too
 

Empty words, aren’t they?  
When you sit with that shackle  
Stifling the stomach,
Hungry not from lack of food -
It does not sustain us.
Gaze at those violent waves  
Thinking they will change the ending,  

Clutch that watch that ticks with time  
To remind me of the choices and
That I live in the past.  
(Most of my life is memory)  
Clench that stone to remind me of strength,
Smooth and unyielding.  

I die a thousand deaths  
(The loss of your body next to mine)
But I reincarnate each time,  
Knowing I find myself in the ashes,
My breath steady again.
This existence is unforgiving,  
I shouldn’t have to          
Save you or myself.  

I don’t believe in martyrs or miracles          
They are all just myths anyway.