Poetry Drawer: Six Poems by Linda. M. Crate

all it’s many flaws

i hate that my jaunt
home from work
is in the
i like the hours,
but not the creepy men
who sometimes
are drawn to me like a moth
to the light;
and i’ve double backed,
walked slower,
and taken different ways
to shrug people off
but it’s exhausting always being
on the look out
it’s tiring always having to think
of the worst case scenario—
they insist that there’s
no such thing as rape culture,
but if that were true
i wouldn’t be holding onto my keys
like a weapon
every time i leave my house;
don’t give me your ignorance or your perspective
give me a change so i can believe that
“not all men” are truly accepting
of our culture as is,
and all it’s many flaws.

eyes that never see

i saw a white moon
folded backward
in a hazy blue sky
folded over
a peach lily
caught by the beauty
i gave pause
from my mundane task at work
of taking the trash out,
and i looked around to see
if anyone else
was dazzled by this beauty;
but none of them even noticed
some are given eyes
with which they never see
others have lost their sight and they
can see—
always rushing by
going nowhere fast
i cannot help but wonder
how some people, like me, are given eyes
to witness;
and others eyes that never see.

i wasn’t brave

the cigarette smoke
was dancing
in the air,
and she sat there all
charisma and elegance;
and i envied and admired it
both at once—
i remember the apple tini
with it’s carmel draped across
the top like a gauzy shawl
it was delicious,
and i closed my eyes
before opening them again
to drink everything in;
i remember she was wearing
the black beret and had made her
eyes cat eyes
with that liquid
that i’ve never mastered—
i think that was the moment i knew
that i had fallen for her,
but i was never brave enough to say
it out loud;
especially not to her,
and definitely not to me.

step on a crack, break you own back

i wasn’t paying attention
lost in a thought
i tripped over the crack in the sidewalk
flew forward several feet,
but managed
somehow to keep my footing;
i am good at not
in a way that i don’t know if it’s a talent
or just dumb luck
too mute to tell me a thing—
i scold myself
to be more careful,
but i doubt it’ll be the last time
it happens;
my mind is a curious thing always slipping away
from what they tell me is reality
pushing me forward
when they want to push me backward—
right now i’m paying attention,
but later
i may trip over that same crack again;
and this time i may curse
those who made the sidewalk for making it
so tricky
when it should be a perfect shade of straight
instead of curved, irregular
and able to trip over.

addicted to both

shooting star
makes me pause
is noticed
for a reason
either to rescind from chaos
or descend into it,
and i am always good at reaching
my fingers into the cosmic
cookie jar;
what can i say?
i’ve always liked cookies
a trait that
my mother gave me,
and i used to be better at self-control,
but sometimes it tastes too good
to stop;
i would rather be addicted to
the soft goodness
of a chocolate chip cookie
than the body of a man who doesn’t reciprocate
my love
as it so happens
i am addicted to both.

some days his name still hurts

my skin was the equator
his the north pole
i guess i should’ve known
the coldness of his death
would never inhabit
any bones
especially not the firey
song of love,
but when you care for someone
as deeply as i did;
you disrobe from any fabric of logic
start reaching for straws
your fingers are never long enough
to reach
pray the gilded cage is something more
than a pretty lie
even though it can’t be—
and when he finally leaves you,
you ugly cry
like a sky full of gray clouds
christening the ground with silver pearls;
you wonder how you wandered
on the knives of his lust
without realizing it wasn’t love, blaming
yourself for a broken heart
until you wise up
when he does the exact same thing;
then you become all fire and fury
passionately defensive wanting to knock
all his teeth down his throat
until one day you wake up and the pain is gone
although some days his name still hurts.

Inky Interview: Pennsylvanian Native Author Linda M. Crate

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