Dead of Night Eyes
I pace inside the grip of the clock,
glide across darkening patches of linoleum,
hunting for murmurs of isolation
as disease sneaks around the edges of my sight.
I pierce the quiet, spear- like and devilish.
My pulse taps against the delicate canvass
of my wrists, a vigilant rhythm that comes
to life in the groping tips of my fingers.
I don’t need eyes to conquer this terrain.
Feeling my way through spaces stained by the lash
of midnight’s arrival, I am guided by memory
and the contours of paint that peels like skin
from the blackened walls.
The tongues of shadows steal the light,
devouring everything that lurks beneath my feet.
Silence is prey to the whisper of my toes and
floorboards that sigh under the weight of my steps.
I thrive in the communion of touch and sound and smell,
knowing that one of these bleak early mornings,
I will fall boldly into the center of blindness,
surrendering my breath as I wait for the sun
to pluck out my dead of night eyes.
The Rasp of a Sleep Starved Voice
My enemy calls me to the kitchen,
leading me on a quest for carbohydrates.
She lures me into late night infomercials
that advertise creams doused with secrets,
sprigs of magic that promise to shave the years
and scars of anguish imbedded into my face.
She weaves ribbons of shame into my thoughts,
enveloping me in the buried mantles of
unwanted child, teenage slut and cheating wife.
She brings me crashing to my knees,
parched under the hum of nights spent shackled
to the bleary desperation of unrest.
I beg for slumber.
She spits out her reproach, leaving imprints
of exhaustion that stain the skin beneath my eyes
and linger in the rasp of a sleep starved voice.
Limbs aching from wakefulness,
I struggle to step into a fire of reverie
and burn her to a crisp.
The Scent of Waves
She inhales tendrils of smoke
and shrugs off her cloak of grief,
leaving it on the floor to shiver
under the weight of latent sorrow.
Vapor dissolves into her taste buds,
filling her head with the scent of waves.
She reaches into the ether, grasping at
the fingers of her brother’s hand.
They are children again, searching for
treasure under a canopy of gold.
They race across piping sand,
falling breathless into laughter that
echoes in the booming arms of the sea.
His whisper washes over her eyelids,
pleading with her to hurry up.
She follows him into the water,
her pulse swallowed up by the ocean.
Susan Richardson is living, writing and going blind in Los Angeles. In addition to poetry, she writes a blog called, Stories from the Edge of Blindness. Her work has been published in Foxglove Journal, Amaryllis, The Writing Disorder, and Eunoia Review, among others. She was awarded the Sheila – Na – Gig 2017 Winter Poetry Prize, featured in the Literary Juice Q&A Series, and chosen as the Ink Sweat & Tears March 2018 Poet of the Month. She also writes for Morality Park, an Arts and Lit Collective.