T.K.O

Written by: Mariana Golphin

Have you ever felt so alone that even in the sun you only see darkness?

So empty that your thoughts echo as if they are bouncing off the walls of a long forgotten cave.

At that moment you question life and nothing you do seems to fit the job description of what’s involved with living it.

Breathing hurts because your lungs collapsed from a knife that ripped through them and went straight into your heart.

How can something metaphysical hurt?

How can something so seemingly intangible hit you like a professional heavyweight boxer.

It leaves you laying on the floor of the ring.

You are drenched in a pool of your tears.

He stands over you and starts the count.

Ten!

Nine!

Eight!

You don’t want to stand.

You can’t stand.

Paralyzed, you have forgotten how to walk.

Seven!

Six!

Five!

Your conscious is trying to wake you up yelling.

Listen!

Dammit it listen to them!

Four!

Your red, bloodshot, swollen eyes fight to focus because the tears are still falling.

Slowly they appear out of the darkness. 

Get up!

Get up!

Blurred images turn into familiar faces.

They are screaming for you. 

They are cheering for you.

They want you to fight.

They need you to fight.

All isn’t loss.

Three!

Two!

Don’t let that bastard count to one.

60 Seconds of Clarity

And I think to myself
Where is the wonder in the world?
Can we have a moment of silence for those we lost in the battlefields of deferred dreams.
Kings and Queens dethroned and brainwashed.
Profound amnesia.
Breaking news!
They have learned to manufacture hybrid marionettes with real skin.
See them swaying in the wind.
Unable to think.
Unable too move.
Unable to love without the invisible puppeteers approval.
Prisoners to a system that banished creativity, and individualism.
A plague that devoured traditions, cultures and civilizations.
Popcorn!
Fresh popcorn!
Monday through Sunday free matinee.
Watch them idolize the minstrel shows.
Watch them glorify the hate.
Profound amnesia.
What a sad state of affairs.
Isn’t it depressing?
Everyday, to walk amongst the living dead.
Ones that have lost the spirit to live.
Ones that have lost the spirit to love.
Mental oppression, leads to servitude.
Servitude leads to loss of identity.
With no identity, how do you teach your youth who they are?
Invisible man, damn.
Damn, invisible man!
No reflection in the mirror and you aren’t even scared?
It hurts to hear the truth.
It bludgeons your ear drums until blood drips the sides of your face.
Even as the blood stains your dress or your freshly ironed shirt, you continue to get dressed in the mirror for church.
Not the reflection you expected?
Of course not.
Tunneled vision is humanities crutch.
I
Mine
Me
Not ours
Not us
Not we
Queen me.
King me.
Everything else is just a pawn.
The last of humanity.
Every sunset draws them closer to extinction.
So they hide from the world.
They hide because they fear rejection.
They hide because they don’t want people to know their secrets.
They hide because it’s safer to exist in the shadows.
They gather in the moonlight and dance amongst the fire pits barefoot.
They are old.
They are young.
They are children.
They are the ones without a voice.
They are the ones with the story that no-one wants to hear.
They are me.
I am you.
So, I will stay true and continue to be the voice for people like us.
I will remind them all about the wonder in the world.

Have you seen her?

Battered soul.

Beware.

There she stands, beautiful and rare.

Seemingly laughing without a care.

Don’t stare, don’t stare.

She is the one, who everyone wants to be theirs.

In the sun she glows of golden hues.

A tan that hides her black and blues.

Skin so soft, overtime the scars got smooth.

She learns a friend isn’t a friend and love breaks the heart when it’s supposed to mend.

So the moonlight serenades her tears again.

When the sun rises she puts on her mask and blends right in.

Alive to the world but confused and lonely within.

Adrift

By: Mariana Golphin

I got lost at sea.

Again.

The water felt so warm.

I felt it embrace every exposed surface of my skin and it pulled me in.

It was so calm.

The water didn’t even splash, there were just endless ripples that carried into eternity.

The sun kept whispering my name in the horizon as it set and I just floated towards it.

The shore, the people, the sand became smaller and smaller.

My fears, my anxiety , my worries became smaller.

I fell asleep after a while.

I woke up staring at endless stars.

Diamonds in the black abyss.

A moonless night.

I decided to stay here for a while.

Memoir

Author: Mariana Golphin previously published in Pennsylvania Bards- Northeast Poetry Review

You said she wasn’t worth anything.
Making her feel smaller and smaller everyday.
Until she disappeared.
Little sad invisible girl she was.
An orphan with a mother.
Lights out! Click.
The pain hid in the dark of her eyes.
A prisoner of unchosen circumstance.
A victim.
A victim.
A victim.
Did they not see her scars?
How could they not see them?
Oh, I forgot she was invisible.
They only saw her when she smiled.
They only heard her when she laughed.
They turned their backs on her when they heard her crying.
They turned their backs on her when they heard the screaming.
She was invisible again, I guess?
So, what saved the invisible girl?
Her mind.
Her imagination.
She would transport herself to the stars every night and walked across the surface of the moon.
Sometimes she became a mermaid.
Swimming in the abyss.
Discovering sunken treasures, long forgotten by the world.
She transformed her pain into poems and her emotions into characters.
Even with broken bones, and open wounds her spirit perservered.
Soon she found herself enamored with a secret garden.
Overtime, she would constantly fall victim to the thorns of the roses.
Mesmerized by their warm smile, kind words, strong embrace.
Longing to be loved, she soon became numb to the weapons of the roses.
She bled internally.
She bled slowly.
She bled in silence.
She grew into a woman.
Well, she had the stature of a woman.
Inside, the sad little girl was still there.
Peeking from behind a torn curtain, in an abandoned apartment.
Scared to see the world.
Scared to walk to the door and open it and free herself.
The poor child.
She lived in the shadows and watched the world from the eyes of the adult women.
Until one day she awakens to the sounds of people calling her.
Telling her not to be afraid, not to hide anymore.
It was safe to come out.
Friends saved her.
Hope saved her.
Love found her.
Hands reached out of the darkness and tried to lead the scared, battered child to the door.
She was so heavy with burdens, she couldn’t lift her feet to move.
She began to cry.
All the pain and torment rolled freely down her pale cheeks onto the floor.
Soon she was drowning in it.
The poor child.
Struggling in the vicious, turbulent, tumultuous, viscous waves of dispair.
Forced to relive the pain, relive the beatings, relive the verbal attacks.
She almost succumbs , but then she remembers, she was a mermaid.
She remembers her adventures.
She swims towards the door, and grasps the handle.
She takes one last look at the long abandoned apartment.
This was not her home any longer.
It never was.
She opens the door and leaves.
I am a survivor.
I am real.
I am powerful.
I am what you said I couldn’t be.
I found my voice.
I found my strength.
You lost.
I won.