• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 03

Head Over Heels: A Sijo Sequence

Head over heels, I fell, with a painful thud, flat on my ass,
Stunned into an impossible silence that echos too loudly,
A newfound malaise falling, unrepentant, from my eyes.

You successfully found that one tiny chink in my armor.
Minuscule though it is, that bit of vulnerability
Left me reeling in shock, in suffering, in disbelief.

It left me wondering how I let moss grow on this rolling stone.
It left me wallowing in self-pity, self-hatred, self-doubt.
It left me willfully defiant and utterly determined -

Determined to forget, determined to be stronger than before,
Determined to stay upright, determined to never fall again,
Determined to be better, determined to do better than you.

So, I picked myself up off that hard, frozen, unforgiving ground,
Bruises, bloody scrapes and all, anger seething - roiling - in my veins,
My mouth desert dry with shame, the devil’s words upon my tongue.

Bitterness calloused my soft fingertips, my gentle, velvet palms
As my clouded vision cleared and the world slowly returned to me,
Its dark clouds taking the shape of monsters, of demons, of you.


Head Over Heels: A Sijo Sequence

Bile rose, burning, in my throat, and my stomach churned with violence,
Keeping perfect time with my furious and fevered mind,
Trying to both forget you and to remember my own damn self.

Unfortunately, I failed miserably at both these tasks,
So simple on paper, yet so difficult and intangible
In morning’s bright sunlight, its dust motes dancing, its rays mocking,

And thus the battle of my memory was lost on both fronts.
Thoughts of you still haunted my days and nights, menacing and hurtful,
And my formerly naively badass self remained elusive.

Raven-like I started collecting, imprinting on shiny things,
Attempting to rehabilitate, to retrieve, to rewild,
All those microscopic Humpty Dumpty shards of my once proud self -

Infinite slivers of stardust I cannot put back together,
Too hollow-eyed and thirsty to see their worth and taste their beauty
And much too aggressive to handle with the necessary care.

With incurable rage now embedded in my very marrow,
I traded that old horse of mine for a one-way train ticket
And my heavy, useless armor for a leather jacket,


Head Over Heels: A Sijo Sequence

But I held tightly to my sword, unable to part with it,
Sharpening it nightly, just in case, just in case, just in case -
Just in case I needed to defend my broken heart, my torn soul.

Just in case my wounded ego started to crave the taste of blood.
Just in case we ever meet again, and I can have my vengeance.
Just in case I ever need to throw myself upon it.