Author Archives: Julie Ayers

About Julie Ayers

Seasoned apocaloptimist, keen admirer of well-placed words, fierce mama bear of extra special children, black belt hugger, and advocate for a fashion rebellion which elevates the most human of hearts to socially acceptable outerwear.

don’t call her bitch

Standard

she doesn’t bite
much
mostly in play
not breaking skin
but do not test her
her teeth are strong
enough

she doesn’t respond
when you call her
bitch
fears not the night
as she’s sharpened
her claws
against the hard surfaces

her coat is admired
but she doesn’t want it touched
without prior consent
no matter how beautiful and inviting
it appears on the street

remember those teeth
remember you don’t own her
you never will own her
enough
enough
enough

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A Hornet’s Nest

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you are everything
the head of a dog to delight
a turban of devotion
the woven purse that at times waits to be filled
or holds things hidden, benign and dangerous

thin as the air surrounding
you hover
well fixed
on the most natural skewer

your continued existence
truly remarkable
despite the freeze, the drought,
the downpour, the raging fires

you are papyrus
to be unwound
and marked with symbols
of simple sophistication
that will take them centuries to decipher

like burnt paper
you are unstable and insubstantial
but for your potential
to sting

what remains of the wild and steady
hum that was everything
called home

November 2018
Julie Ayers

Paradox

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I am not justice
not blinded
not silenced
the scales I hold
so severely pitched
my shoulder has launched from its socket
twisting my form and making me unrecognizable

I have choked on the bitter
medicine offered up by the shovelful
the salt of my tears has left me pillar
brittle and about to crumble
all pliability and sweetness left on the roadside
hundreds of years and miles behind

I am dust
raised by your stomping feet
that swirls and settles
as a thick and unpleasant coat
on your skin
sludge on your tongue
as you continue to speak

When will you learn
you cannot breathe
without the lungs I knit you
from my own flesh

That the more you trample
the deeper you sink

While we rise

Always rise

 

on Tuesday

Standard

(for Michelle, my hero)

the man with the tattooed sleeves for arms
thin as wind
assembled of muscle
body fat discard long ago on clanking free weights,
gym floors, and jump ropes
blanched at the sight of the needle
deftly held in phlebotomist’s fingers

he may have looked like steel
but she was forged of it

quietly smiling in her white coat
she carried worlds
and had survived every apocalypse
sent her way

the blood drawn and labeled
she opened the back door
and stepped through
not ready, but still able
to hoist and carry the full weight
of all of her children’s needs:
school supplies, broken hearts,
dinner, dialysis, hair braids,
soaring blood pressure and dread

deftly she steeled herself
and smiled

With A Whimper

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I leave you, not with the slamming of a door
or a plate launched across the room
and shattered on the wall. No raised voice
or underwear and shoes tossed out the window
onto the front lawn. Your car will not be keyed
and the tires will remain unslashed. I won’t storm
into your office and humiliate you in front
of your colleagues by cataloguing your every
weakness or railing about the painful stretches
of awkward silence that often hung between us.

I am not seething or boiling over with rage.
Nor am I undone by you or destroyed
by your unreasonable demands.

But I am worn through, threadbare from brow
to dragging feet. Gone empty of emotion and
entirely depleted of words.

I leave you, National Poetry Writing Month,
humble, hushed, and contrite. Although
you are a meticulous and vexing partner,
I wish I could have offered you more
this time and resented you less.

Day 30

post truth

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the world has equalized
#MeToo needlessly ruining lives
protect the artists and politicians
as work is more relevant than any dark deeds

the meek shall inherit
everything left
after corporate tax breaks

racism is extinct
every man for himself
pulling hard on those bootstraps
achieves the dream

choice in education
paves the way
to brighter students
versus heavier pockets
for the few

dreamers can dream
all they want
and live anywhere freely
in those wild imaginings

if you die violently
you should have been carrying
unless your skin is black or brown
in which case it is always your fault

the intricacies of female anatomy
are better managed
by those who are most effected
leave it to the wise men

smaller more efficient government
must include consolidating
legislative, judicial, and executive
branches need pruning

opinions are more relevant
and significant than facts
the showman has earned
his time on the boards

this sleeping dog lies

we are free
we are safe
we are happy

Day 29

Dinner With Buddha

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If I could have dinner with Buddha
I’d lay a blanket on the grass
cover it with pillows
and ring it with candles
I’d spend the day baking cookies
and creating a gigantic fruit salad
with mangos, peaches, blueberries, and kiwi
I’d serve ratatouille
and glasses of iced water

After we talked about the weather
the pleasing texture of the nearby grass
on the soft skin of our palms
how the Earth’s ever growing
brightness has limited
our view of universal truths
and how people continue to treat
love and kindness with suspicion
I’d put on some Vampire Weekend
and challenge him to a game
of Cards Against Humanity
to see how he would Eightfold Path
his way through that minefield

Day 26