Play Doh

A short piece.

by Marcus Jonathan Chapman

I’ve found that little piece of Play Doh
went missing around the age of 4 or 5
I found that little piece of Play Doh
stuck somewhere between my
kidneys, ribs, lungs and heart.

I can’t quite make it out
but I can feel it giving way
to the pressure of my fingers
I can feel that joyful squish
running up my hands, arms
and dancing in my brain
just how I remember it

I found a little piece of Play Doh
given up for lost
I’m not sure how much is left
but I’m running it through my fingers
making fart noises, bubbles and
molding it to the shape of organs

I’m holding tight to a little piece of Play Doh
and my eyes light up
and I can’t see it
but I think it was blue
and I realize, it’s just as soft
as I am

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bones, broken or not

A short piece.

by Marcus Jonathan Chapman

I am bones when I see a friend
I am bones when I eat
I am bones when one of us survives
I am bones when I lose a friend
I am bones when I am hungry
I am bones when one of us goes missing

I am bones because
thoughts about feelings are lanterns in dark, empty rooms
I only imagine what might be there
no light shines around the heart
and
feelings expressed as words are chattering teeth
I only hear an echo of
wet cracking and heavy flapping
the feelings lost in translation

I am happy when I see a friend
I am happy when I eat
I am happy when one of us survives
but that is not adequate

I could regurgitate a thesaurus, vomiting up excited, elated, pleased
but those are just words for happy
If you missed the expression of happiness
no words will make up for it
I will not make up for it
If I do not know if I am happy
then I am not paying attention

I am sad when I lose a friend
I am sad when I am hungry
I am sad when one of us goes missing
but these are not adequate

I would be sick all over the page with sorrow, mournful, somber
only shattered teeth from the mouth of sad
If I missed the expression of sadness
in any of its degrees
I will not make up for it with words
If I do not know if I am sad
then I am not paying attention

But feelings are blood, moving in and out
always there, always flowing
I am more than that
bones remain after death
so I will know

I am bones when I see a friend
I am bones when I eat
I am bones when one of us survives
I am bones when I lose a friend
I am bones when I am hungry
I am bones when one of us goes missing

broken happiness is sadness
broken sadness is insanity
broken bones are bones
I will say I am bones
broken or not

© 2020 writesmarcus.com All Rights Reserved

Chipping scabs, touching stars

A short piece.

by Marcus Jonathan Chapman

standing on a pile of pain
touching that middle star
in Orion’s belt
where grandpa said he’d be
waiting for me

dancing on floor made of
cracked and splintered bone
skin stretched thin
scarred pink and white
I dance, heals chipping scabs
fingers reaching for the stars

© 2020 writesmarcus.com All Rights Reserved

I can forsake you too

A short piece.

by Marcus Jonathan Chapman

I walk with a limp
two devil’s on my shoulder
both on one side
my right leg shakes
fearing each step

two devil’s on my shoulder
both on one side
one sat down, gently
with grandpa’s big smile
and the weight of Orion’s belt buckle

the other
splashing spirits
pressing against glass
shouting “one more”
a spluttering cry

Succorer!
grant me serenity
accepting two devil’s on my shoulder
courage
for these trembling steps
wisdom
to know which foot
one foot at a time

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