Some nights, I randomize my entire music collection. I like the surprise of never knowing which songs I’ll hear, or which memory roads they may lead me down.

A song from Grease, the musical, plays. Those Magic Changes. It’s a song I love to sing from the corners of lonely rooms.

I think of change and how it is, indeed, magic. I should know. I’m a master of illusions. I make grand, spectacular entrances, then no one notices when I dart out the back door with loads of ancient secrets & experiences up my sleeves.

I leave dust bunnies behind. Trace evidence of my existence. Clues for anyone paying close enough attention.

And isn’t that just the thing, darkling?

No one’s paying any attention.

Paranoia only invents the idea that I am constantly under a magnifying glass.

The one constant change–the magic–that I can believe in and rely on, is that no one’s looking out for me anymore.

Only moonbeams and angels hear my screams. Only stars know my inner melody.

I suppose they count as somebody.

This refrain will always remain the same, but the tunes can turn on you, and will land you where you least expect.

You see, it’s more than just

turning seasons, more than just

inclement weather, when a person so warm,

in a blink, hardens into winter freeze

Sometimes it’s something in the room,

an energy electrifying the air,

a certain pressure, a cracking

in one’s armor, a dish flying across

an inner war-torn room, a taking back

of a good word, a breaking of promises

Blindsiding, these transformations,

out of the infinite nowhere, moving up

& on, & getting over the old,

accepting the new, the differences

between then & this awful now,

& the risen ashes forming into

someone I don’t recognize, &

it’s true, sometimes I’m the wind

whirling in rampant directions, & I know

that I’m freshly invisible to you too

It’s more than just a transitional phase

when someone’s disappearing

right in front of you, & more than

metamorphosis when a rose

becomes a dangerous thorn


I start to chant my affirmations,

call out the impossibility,

that what I feel is about to happen

is made up in my imagination

feeling, sensing, hyper nerve endings

ears listening for the newest threat

I feel the waves of anxious fear

rise higher with each deepening breath

the lies I tell myself unclear

this time will be the last;

the last time I wait for the phone

a message from someone I love

a tension felt within my bones

a question of what I’ve done wrong

a feeling that I’m somehow cursed

from what I’ve wished for all along

since coming here, to this cold earth

the wonder, miracle of birth,

clutched tightly to my mother’s side,

nightly sleeping on her chest,

afraid of men from inception,

a strained, distant relationship

a father I both loved and resented,

a Father I was taught to worship,

a Savior I was taught to thank,

for all the trials I experienced

a prayer for redemption, on my knees,

trust in a divine, inspired solution,

I found I only inspired myself,

to repeat the cycles I had seen

now in the same adult position

I teach my children what I know,

a chill and rage grows in the place

of what once was hope for new progression

I write these words in saddened haste

rocking back and forth again;

a sign of trauma, sadness, strain,

my words of hope and love renewed

temporary, melted down to voids

of unworthiness, always unworthy;

a truth engrained by dogma lies,

patriarchal sins and men,

suppress the fire that beats within

I wonder if they will succeed

if my depth of wounds can truly seal

if I have a chance at not being scared

if my walls will be scaled with effort and will;

If I’ll stop looking at the fucking phone, for validation of who I am,

look inside and see the girl

embrace the change of shedding skin

embrace the chance to love again

embrace the pain of leaving them.

A collaboration by Pretty Kool Dame & Emily C. Poésie © 2018

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