You used to have feet like a Russian ballerina
Arches (like ones plebeians would stand under, lose their breath for a moment)
The weight they carry remarkable for the
Tiny bones inside
When you’d move… there was an undetermined
Beauty. An unmeasured glass of wine
With legs dropping frequencies no one could count.
No one wanted to.
Toes tired like a gargoyle’s
Clawing onto a ledge you used to dance on
when you’re still, those beneath you come back for a second look
Can you answer the questions buried in their brows?
Are you really that untouchable?
They now see spidery lines in your calf and cracks on your feet -not even the sweetest blood could excuse-
And all of the sudden their tongues are coated with the skin of cheap grapes, on oil slick on a cobble stone street
And from this height they’re all staring up at you, fat little circles, clusters of soft grapes themselves
And you finally know what it’s like to be seen
To cheat the world of knowing your Silhouette.
And there is only falling, knowing you will not fly
But sink (into the crooked arm of God)
and you smile
Your toes stretch out wide like little wings
You are moving again,
And this air is everything.
- Haley Joray Arnold
Despair stalks the house
Outside, like weather
Inside, like air
It has no form
but is heavy like no other weight—
The force that fights against
the typing fingers
the stepping foot
That must be pushed against, impossibly, upwards, from beneath,
as one rises every morning
It fights each decision
It lies like dust on the shelf
of self-help books
It laughs at Mindfulness
My love fights it single-handed
Like a fighter in a travelling boxing tent,
he takes on all comers
Is that all you got? he cries
He is injured, but he gets up
cast down, but not destroyed
He bears the weight of two lives
He does not sleep
I sleep, and the dust settles on me
But he brushes it off
His will to live
will have to be enough
for both of us
Two can live as cheaply as one
And despair stalks the house
But my love despairs
- Cassandra Golds
Haley J. Arnold is a social media marketer and freelance writer. She has a performing arts background with a passion for creative non-fiction and ardent love for poetry. A graduate of Florida State University and self-proclaimed world traveler, Haley resides in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
Cassandra Golds is the author of six books for children and young adults. She has been shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards twice, and her novel The Three Loves of Persimmon won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award Prize for Writing for Young Adults in 2011. Her most recent novel is Pureheart.