Peculiar Vanities


I will lay myself bare in front of you
strip the skin away from muscle
turn my spine to bed for flowers
roll in the shallow
cicada larvae my only adornment

peculiar vanities
fretting over the spidery purple spread of veins
across legs long ruined with fists full of cigarette paper scars
trolling for topical cures
when the real monsters are gnawing deep on bones and myelin

dancing myself back to life
week after week
chasing alternative endings


age, infirmity, disease
life so sharp
it ribbons me to words

white flags don’t flatter my coloring
I’m a winter
burning red

I’ll samba on the frontline
shake it
with or without a doctor’s note
until the flowers
consume every cell

then I’ll sing
shout with the wind
rattle the trees
so you never forget

become your springtime
© Julie Ayers
June 2012


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