Ash by Daliah Al-Shurman

Posted on March 8, 2014 by


My eyes are as dead as my soul-mates’ laying in their deathbeds.
Their tombstones read syllables as faded as those in the veins shooting down my arms.
The blood in me feels thick and heavy, still almost.
I remember my mother pleading
“Most days, I wish I’d never met you. It was then I could sleep at night. I wouldn’t have to walk around with the knowledge that there’s someone like you out there.
I wouldn’t have to watch you throw it all away.”
My mother has to watch me throw it all away.
Baby, she whispers, the smoke won’t carry you home.
But at night when all I hear is rattling of bottles of pills I crave instead of the dinner she sets on my plate, guilt eats at my whole.
The demons lurking within feed my skin to blades, and I am nothing but cinders of my own destruction.
Thoughts tear me apart piece by piece. The art I mold is less words and more color,
splattered along the hills and valleys of my knuckles.
I am both, Leonardo De vinci and my own Monalisa of remnants left to rot; built from centuries wasted on what I have become.
Baby, I hear her, the smoke will not carry you home.
My home is a cemetery, Mother.
I’ll kiss cigarettes in prayers to be taken where they lay still. My body craves the death in my pupils.
My eyes read numbers like bar-codes to be scanned for each year I doubted God.
1993, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2010. 2010. 2010..
This is not a history lesson, but a family tree disintegrating to the dirt it came from.
My skin is a record of the centuries I chose to let turn to ash.
I am sorry I haven’t let my ancestors live, Mother.
I do not deserve the heaven beneath your feet, Mother.
Forgive me, Mother, I am fading.
I do not have the strength to wrap my arms around my whole, and my hands can no longer hold me.
In the blur of my reflection, I see words pounding against the walls of my chest no longer.
I see a silhouette of words slumping in eternal sleep.
The poet in me has settled to ash, as did your family, Mother.
The dead wander these grounds more than they lay in their graves.
The blood in me feels thick and heavy, still almost.
Forgive me, Mother, I am fading.
There is a pitiful loneliness in how willing bathroom floors are to hold me.
Cigarettes have become my nighttime lovers.
But Mother, I hear you.
I hear your nighttime cries in grief, over your forgotten family, and your to be forgotten daughter.
I know you see the life inside of me.
Mother, I hear you, I know you’ll soon hear me too.
There will come a day I will use the dirt my ancestors fell into and swell like a Phoenix towards the burning light.
There will come a day I will rise from the ash I leveled myself with and breathe.
(They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but Mother, I will not let our family settle to timber. I am a fucking fortune.)

The verse in bold is not of my own work, it was borrowed from a movie by the name of Good Will Hunting, for the sake of the contentment of this piece.

Posted in: Ash