She holds the steel bond

tied to the black

mossy dungeon walls

of my fear;

never asked if I wanted

to be free,

but the question was always

floating in the stale air

till now: Mother may I?


But there is such power

in these chains, such a fortress

in her sweet, screaming eyes.


No one heard it

when it flapped outraged

against broken bars

and flat, scattered notes of song.


She is as right as the noble dark

that holds the tiny specks of light in place,


shadow is a hole like this;

its growling sound

protruding from clinched silent lips:


I love the sound of my own

sweet, sweating abyss.

Do not try to scare me with your

opening doors and bringing food.


This is what our resistance to our own happiness looks like, smells like, chooses like.  Dark, dank, the smell of mildew and decay, the vicissitudes of misery…and yet we stay.  Even when someone comes to open the door, and brings us food.  We stay.  We send them away–saying all the while that they are just like those who left us before. See, now they’ve gone too.  In the dark recesses of the mind, deep in the dungeons we ourselves have created–so that we can continue to love that which does not love us–we live out the choices of our shadows.

© Andrea Mathews, 2014

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