Sins like Rubies

Once upon a time, there once was a little girl, widely loved and hated; hair more sparkly than glitter, a smile made of a monster’s tusks, but wait, boy, she doesn’t look like one.

You’ll think twice if you knew her early childhood.

She burst from the devil’s womb and was fed by a crimson flood in there. Blood was what she was made of, blood was what she lived for, blood was what walked hand in hand with her, blood was the cause of never opening her eyes one more time. 

She loved it enough to take it as a life partner, a lover, a best friend. Together, they were a product of their time, brick on brick and sealed with culture. Blood soaked to the bone you can never be clean again, since the growth of the first, soft hairs under your armpits and between your thighs; signs of puberty till your last heart beats.

She claimed the ability to handle danger. Together, they ate sins for breakfast and broke the fragile hearts, just to make them harder and angrier. Bathed in the deepest parts of the ocean, places none could reach but non-breathing corals.

Snacked on your eyeballs and nerves elegantly, with a fork in the left hand, a blunt knife in the right hand, and may you never see a slower chewer. She dressed herself with red lace panties and walked topless just to convince you she’s docile and delicate, to earn your immortal love for she knows you’re a weak man.

Red is dominant, fire, burning, hot, anger, lustful, revenge.

Red is sin.

She got you on your knees, bowing down with an already hunched back, and demanded a sacrifice.

“Pink meat,” you shouted, “the whole sea, every green bit on earth, take my horses and lovers, but please, please, please, please, not me.”

The silky girl, now all grown-up and covered wholly with jewels, said, “You know I want none but your soul.” For the time she had spent with you, she shaped it the way she likes. For, now, there’s nothing more darker than your soul.

Together, they shout the hymns of war and love, for the monster is about to be unleashed with a martyr’s grin on his sorry face.

Go walk a dangerous path that had only been made for you, cracked asphalt and sandstorms, and don’t you dare test her, you have the right to remain silent, anything you say or do will be held against you, so be prepared, you sad beast.

Wear your sin on the cusp of your tongue, seek war everywhere even in words, speak with poisoned wine and white flames. When you’re not heard, scream, tear their tongues, rip their throats. You’re not wrong, this is your vice. Look for the weak and finish them off. Put a spell on rectangular paper, and let them worship it fanatically. Write sad poetry about the spiked rose,

I cry for you less and less each day, 

Is it because I’m out of tears 

Or of my fading love? 

You were a temporary charm

Struck my heart, 

But with little holy words 

You, silky girl, were rubbed off my heart. 

If I had any of such something called a soul left yet, 

It’d be as red as toxic smile.” 

The red girl told you years and years ago, that sins are what makes you a human, but now, poor thing, you’re anything but; empty save the brimful fraudulent pride, your hands shaking dreading a second life, the taste of embezzled money still crisp at the center of your throat. So what, you say, so what if I’m just bloody scraped knees on asphalt, it’s already done. Besides, there are worse people than me.

O, fool monster, you’ll never learn your lesson.


Blackout Poetry!

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Last night,

the old, half-made ghosts

wove through people.

On a broken beginning,

he rested lightly on a tombstone,

with the thing that crept beneath it.

He might never feel alone.

The first page from Victoria Schwab’s book; Vicious.

A Ghost in the Local Bookstore

That day, when they met again, by chance
In the bookstore, both looking for works
By Stephen King— their hands reach
For the last hardcover copy of Doctor Sleep
At once
And touch
They recognise each other; her face; his disasters;
Her thwarted hopes; his magnificent eyes.
And there, in each other’s bewilderment.
He knew exactly what to say, how to smile,
How to raise his eyebrow with a low degree of irony
How to nod rapidly when he agrees.
They began to speak as if there was a conversation held off
For the next meet.
He noticed her heart-shaped lips,
And poetry books.
Even told her to read him some,
And if she could perhaps recommend a good poet to him.
Tyler Knott, she said if he wanted raw emotion
Joel Derfner, if he wanted humor
Neil Hilborn, if he wanted both.
“And if I wanted to read just yours, how your poetry would be?” he asked.
She scarcely wrote some.
To her, it was easy to write about crashing and broken things,
Losing yourself and the 1001 ways to describe sadness.
There is enough of those in the world, she said.
She wrote poetry when she was at the highest point of her life;
So she can look at them when she drowned in the lowest.
When she’s 22 and dancing half naked to all the songs
She listened to when she was sad in middle school
And smile broadly and scream happily at the realization
That everything is now different,
But everything is good.
Journals in verses, she described it to him.
It is important to write about happiness.
Not the kind of happiness that has flesh and the ability to breathe,
But the happiness within yourself.
About love and life,
Adventures and faces you’ll never forget,
When you sneaked out of the house on a sunday night,
Or fell in love from the first sight.
Anytime your heartbeat was louder than your words.
How she will never regret anything she did between birth and deathbed
The times when she fell in love when she stood in front of the mirror
And loved her own curves and stretch marks and yellow skin that looked like a tanned dough.
Or the way she found pleasure in as many simple things as possible.
I like to write poems that remind me to sing along with thunder, she told him.

And many months later…
When she faces the blank page,
On a moonless night.
She still thinks about him
And hopes the girl who wrote poetry
Still crosses his mind.