In His Boots

In His Boots 

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The mementos we hold on to, heirlooms we choose not to discard and throw away.

All the traditional, routine ways we try to live inside the memory of someone, some one precious,  beloved. To feel them near in the physical awhile longer can seem foolish and nonsensical.

It’s ridiculous to think an oversized, outdated, uncomfortable pair of black boots with fleece lining and thick rubber soles hold any value, and yet.

I wear my father’s boots when I head out to walk the dog. It’s crazy, they’re too big and my heels slip and slide trying to find solid footing on shaky ground. It doesn’t matter. I’m not trying to be practical, or looking for some mystical answer or hidden treasure. The cold air smashes against my ankles and makes my toes curl. I don’t care; I like the deep freeze against my skin. The winter frost reminds me I am indeed breathing as snow creeps in and drips down my exposed limb. I suppose I could double up woolen socks, try to fill the void. Why would I? I tried that once, my feet felt cramped and uncomfortable screaming for some space and air.

To feel the empty, sit in the hollow spaces he once filled effortlessly makes perfect sense.

I don’t want to box up the boots, stow them in a back closet or even gift them away. I want to remove the black boots with zippers on both sides from the shelf each winter, and grin. Another season to make new memories together, him and me.

I will carefully set them aside for when the inevitable seasons change again, and wait for spring. I want something to look forward to.

His smile fades as time and distance creates a vacuum, the gaping, fuzzy recollection plays tricks on the mind.

Was it a false memory?

Did I pile into the back of his rusted, pickup truck for Blackberry ice cream on many a summer’s eve? Did we giggle and laugh until we peed our pants from the smell of horseshit? Did he lift me up on his shoulders every chance he got? Did his eyes beam each time he looked at me?

Did I hear the snores while he slept on the floor beside me when I was fevered? Did he count laps as I swam lifting my head from the water peeking to make sure he was exactly where I left him? I still do that sometimes, turn my head to the side expecting to see him instead of an empty chair. My reflexes and muscle memory are still intact.

Were there tears in his eyes the first time I left home and the last time we said goodbye? Goodbye for now, not forever.

Did he love me?

That, I don’t doubt. I don’t need a faded memory to feel his love in my bones and smiling under my skin. His grin is the brightest, fondest memory I hold. My heart and his are forever entwined.
Still, doesn’t make the missing any easier.

I wear his boots and trip sometimes.

That makes me smile, on the inside.

 

To The Orbs by Jacqueline Cioffa

 

photo-1445443385222-53ca40599f15To The Orbs 

Duty, responsibility, obligation and drudge

I run around making false promises lying to myself

I must end this cycle of debt, hush-hush niceties and learn to live it

 

This life

 

Starring me

The oddity full of venom and regret

Regret for harsh words hurled in the face of others living in the continuum

The vortex seasonal cycle of disgust and disappointment

Passing judgment upon judgment and hanging no mirrors in my house

I am unable to see the pretty person’s reflection in glass

Wake up child and move on

Go, get, get on and get the hell out from under

The relentless abuse you swallow the misbegotten forgotten soul

The core is damaged from unwanted vocabulary, an unpleasant learned space and skin scratch uncomfortable place

Molestations and accusations what are these words?

I am innocence tossed in the trash long discarded

I have no choice but to make amends

To say, I’m sorry

Simple, two simple impossible words do not roll off the tongue

I’m sorry for so much wasted time

I’m sorry for doubting my perfectly imperfect being

I’m sorry for forever cursing and cussing the bright light burnt stars

I am after all worthy of love

A life filled with some resemblance of happy

I’m not asking for false pretenses or avoidance

Gut punch sharp zinger pain is necessary for growth

A second act?

To right a whole bunch of fall in formation wrongs

I shudder at the possibility of abundance where olfactory senses delight and grandiose dreams are free from jagged edge worries and boundaries

If I can’t be this plain and simple unruly self, who then?

Some other pleasing needing false misrepresentation?

And so, I make amends

And so, I choose to forgive my horrendously ugly fuckups, mishaps and misfortunes

And so, I will learn from the past and the present

Goodbye, old friend

I’ll meet you in the heavens where the orbs are light dancing and colliding transparent

A buoyancy and freedom of physical weight your human form has never known

The torrential, unrelenting downpours of distraught

The hell you experienced?

Dissipated, forgiven and forgotten in less than an instant

Time is not measured in increments

A myriad of wondrous, cheery, crazy beautiful light bright color streams encapsulate and flash brilliant

Hues and the most superfluous elegant words paint the world you left behind

In the orbs there is only purity and lightness of being

You can’t possibly see it, dream it or feel it 

Human

The weight disappears and floats upwards 

Hope floats forever unbound

 

 

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Do I know with complete certainty there is an afterlife waiting for me?

Of course, I don’t. This I cannot say.

 I want my bubble to be filled with words floating by in a lighthearted stream of consciousness in no particular order.

Being human is hard and excruciating at times, I expel the pain onto the page and wait for cathartic transparency to come back around my way.

To the orbs, I place words with meaning in no varying array. My black and white truths become a grey concept and fade away. The dark cannot shine without the light.

 Family, love, rape, anguish, hope, faith, purpose, death, life, home, heartbreak, birth, joy

The words lose their hold and I am set free

Forever Betrothed To The Night

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Forever Betrothed To The Night

By Jacqueline Cioffa

The rotten apple bobs atop the pond scum drowning and dunking under the sweet, brown silence of murky still waters.

And me, I understand.

In tune with the dark, the death concept softens the breath in an instant. My heart does not skip nor quicken under the harsh white rays of a chilled, September sun. It is calmed and quieted, intoxicated by the still-birth possibility.

The black and grey gravel, foreign misshapen pebbles, and boorish stones stab underfoot. They do not annoy me; I empathize with the rough surfaces and pierced, jagged edges. Bleed, I bleed forest green and dream of Parasol queen ghosts walking beside me. Heart shaped brown and red leaves curl and quiver in the breeze, hiding from the menacing sun discoloring their emerald green envy.

The Goldfinch dances above skimming over tree top branches in a frenzy. Pausing mere fractions of a beat, milliseconds, something I find intoxicating.

The obscure does not threaten, caressing the skin like a careful, thoughtful lover fully awakened and in tune. The dark washes free my sins baptizing the polluted thoughts, brain obstructions. There are no edges, disciples or boundaries in the midnight hour. The world is less loud, less demanding, less  everything the soul is expected.

The spirit feels safest alone; there is no need for words, responsibility or white noise complacency. The night and I are very much in love, betrothed and besotted to none other.

For the night and I agree; the light is purest, more radiant, more blinding and most magical undistracted.

Home, the night and I are at home in each other’s company. No false niceties, polite oddities. Solace is fondly found in the sweet dew evening. The sky blanketed by black oblivion. Only a splinter of smiling, silver crescent moon shines lovely in the evening.

Streetlights, the whirring nuisance jolt me back from daydream reality. Children’s raucous, the humdrum beat of the screaming orange basketball as dirty sneakers glide across the asphalt leave me weary and maudlin. The anarchy disappears behind closested shadow curtains and forty-watt, somber, dimly lit yellow bulbs. I don’t mind the absence, longing to fit in. I am enthralled, mesmerized and enchanted by the underbelly.

For the night and I are in too deep, too enamored with the quieting, melodic air wrapped and entwined inside the mysterious respites of the eve.

I am forever betrothed to the night, in love with the moon and the stars as I quietly walk the day’s thunder.