Saturday, February 13, 2021

Be My Valentine

  

don't give me a blushing red heart

hand over your black soul instead

one I can bind with my wicked thoughts

and chain to my immoral bed

 

a soul that will lick my red-tipped toes

and tell me the taste is sweet

and using a warm, scented oil

caress my slender feet

 

a soul that will humbly bow to my will

freely offer a neck for a studded collar

clip on the leash with nervous fingers

as I lead, on hands and knees follow

 

a soul that will dare not question

while tied on their back to my bed

anything I may wish to do

with a needle and stout thread

 

I crave a soul as dark as mine

to get me through the night

no valentine for me, my love

give me your pleasure, pain and life

 

©2021 Kate Clark

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Senses

I adore what I see

When I look in your eyes

When you look at me.

 

I savor what I smell

When I’m wrapped in your arms

Ensnarled in your spell

 

I treasure what I hear

When you whisper my name

 Wet lips nuzzling my ear

 

                                                      I crave what I touch

                                                      When our glistening legs entwine

                                                     And our hungry hands clutch

 

                                                       I worship what I taste

                                                    As my tongue strokes your skin

                                                     In hot hunger and haste

 

                                                  All pleasures now are gone

                                                 Love washed away

                                                  Into the cold sea of dawn...

 

©2021 Kate Clark


Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Dinner Guest



 Lucas Jackson eased the rust-splotched black Escort off the shoulder of the road and rolled into a pool of moon-shade beneath the drooping branches of an oak. He turned off the key and settled back onto the seat. And he waited, his fingers nervously tracing the outline of the snub-nosed .38 special in his coat pocket.

He had parked in the squat oak's inky shadow every night for a week straight, sat there from ten pm until two in the morning. He had watched the sparse traffic crawl up Blessing Hills Drive, watched the Caddies and Mercedes and big obscene Hummers amble by, turn right and pass through the electronically controlled gates guarding Blessing Hills Estates. He had watched, invisible, as a black-and-white had climbed the hill every two hours or so and cruised through the gates that swung open in welcome. A quick circle and back out. Two hours later, another pass. Two hours. Plenty of time to get in, get the job done, and get out. Piece of cake.

But Lucas was still nervy.

He had never done anything this big before. Never used a gun, either. Sure, he'd swiped stuff, but it was petty crap: cigarettes from the convenience store, old man Easton's weed-eater that Lucas had later pawned, and at Walmart, the Barbie doll. He had almost gotten nailed on that one, barely outrunning a gaggle of kids, their name badges flapping Justins and Julies and Jonathans. But he had made it, and Samantha had gotten the doll she wanted for Christmas.

He knew it was wrong to steal—his old man had beaten that fact into him when Lucas was no more than five and had pocketed a candy bar at the grocery store. But what was a man to do when his little girl looked at him with those big, sad eyes, and there was no money?

Friday, January 8, 2021

Black Is

black is...
the color of the ocean floor
the color of the deepest well
the color of a witch’s cat
the color of a lover’s spell

black is...
the color of infinity
the color of a new-moon night
the color of secrecy
the color of a dream that never takes flight


black is...
the color of a broken heart
the color of a demented mind
the color of an empty life
the color left behind 

black is...
the color I breathe
the color I see
the color I taste
the color that owns me

for black is...me

©2021 Kate Clark



Sunday, January 3, 2021

Gray Matter

 


Leroy knew he was dead, dead as a frickin’ sail-cat. Why, his busted up body lay right there with the whole top of his head caved in, blood and gray stuff smearing the trunk of a big old oak. No way a body could still be breathing after taking a hit like that.

But the peculiar thing was that he could see himself. And his black Thunderbird. She wasn’t the waxed and buffed beauty he’d slid into outside Dale’s Hideout; she now rested belly-up twixt him and the highway, as banged up as he was. His pride and joy. How long had it taken him and Betty to make her purr like a kitten and look as pretty as a shiny new dollar? Three years? Four?

If he’d had lips to do it with, Leroy would’ve smiled right then and there as he recalled the countless nights he and Betty had spent out in the old shed after they’d both gotten off work, him with his head under the hood and Betty handing him tools. Him telling her about the dumb shit the guys at work had done and laughing about it, and her smiling that funny little smile of hers.

But there hadn’t been any laughing going on earlier tonight. A damn fight, that’s what had been going on. And all because of his so-called best friend. Matt had told Betty about Leroy grabbing that waitress’ tit at The Main Street Diner when they’d had a bite of lunch between jobs last week. And Leroy knew why he’d tattled on him: his best bud wanted in his wife’s britches. No better way to get another man’s wife in bed than to piss her off at her husband.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

I Look Down

 



From my window
I look down, look down
At the iniquitous world spread out below me.
I look down, look down
I see the curst world, but it doesn’t see me.

From my room
I look down, look down
At the caliginous night steeped in midnight tea.
I look down, look down
I see the leaden darkness, but it doesn’t see me.

From my prison
I look down, look down
At a haunting of ghosts, ghouls, and monstrous afreets.
I look down, look down
I see all things vile and evil—and pray they don’t see me.

©2020 Kate Clark

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Last Dance

 


I stood out on the deck, staring up at the night sky into the face of the end of the world.

Inside, my family and a large group of their friends drank and laughed and danced to old songs, some I remembered, some I didn’t. Upstairs, my two little brothers and the younger kids of the partiers’ slept—with a little help from Benadryl—blissfully unaware of the fact they would never wake.

In the valley below, the town sparkled like the Fourth of July, now a month past. The sultry breeze carried the faint sounds of music and laughter up the steep hillside to my family’s summer home.

Was the whole world celebrating?

The president had announced a few months ago that Delaroche was on a collision course with Earth, but for no one to panic because all the countries with nuclear capabilities would launch their missiles at the comet when it was close enough and would either destroy or divert it from its course. That hadn’t happened. The firing of the entire world’s nuclear arsenal hadn’t altered its path.

There had been some minor rioting when the president had given his final speech informing the citizens of the United States of the failure to stop Delaroche, and advising us all to make our peace with God and spend the few remaining days with our loved ones. But no one had burned buildings, looted stores, or did all the other things people have done under extreme circumstances. Almost everyone, like the president, left their job and went home to be with family and friends. Televisions were turned off, the internet wasn’t accessed, cell phones were tossed down and forgotten. Now that it was too late, people realized what was important.

Delaroche would strike the earth around sunrise. And that would be it. I knew I should be scared, but I wasn’t. I was a little sad, though. I was fourteen years old. I would never go to a prom, never have a boyfriend, never fall in love, never get married, never have children.

A few years ago, I had decided I wouldn’t even consider a serious relationship until I had finished college, gotten a degree in neurosurgery—specialists like my dad made tons of money—and set up a practice. Now...well, now none of that mattered.

Behind me, the party noises increased in volume, then I heard the door snick to. Footsteps across the porch. Two hands settled onto the railing beside mine, one holding a bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, my father’s most expensive wine.

“Why’re you out here by yourself?”

I shrugged.

The bottle went up, and my eyes followed it to the face of my mother’s best friend’s son, Mathew. Though we were the same age and went to the same school, we had never exchanged a word. We moved in different social circles, he with the dorky geeks, me with the honors students and cheerleading squad. Why, I didn’t think I had ever really looked at him before, and if you got past the acne cooking on his cheeks and forehead, it was a nice face, friendly and open.

He lowered the bottle, saw me staring. “You wanna drink?”

“Sure.” I took the bottle from his hand and took a big swig—my first taste of alcohol. Wasn’t too bad. I tipped the bottle to my lips again, then passed it back.

“What’re you thinking about?” he asked.

Again, I shrugged. My eyes traveled back up to the sky. Delaroche had swallowed more stars, stolen more of the darkness. “I wonder if it’ll hurt...”

“It’s a fucking monster, and we’re at ground zero.” He took another drink, passed the bottle back to me. “It’ll be over like that.” He snapped his fingers. “No time to hurt.”

I downed what was left, then set the empty bottle on the railing. I turned toward him. “Will you kiss me?”

He looked surprised. Stunned actually. “Well...uh...Megan, I’ve never kissed a girl before.”

“And I’ve never kissed a boy before.” At that moment, I wanted nothing more on this earth than to be kissed. I turned to him, circled my arms around his neck.

Our eyes locked. I felt the click of a connection in my stomach. I closed my eyes...then...then felt his mouth, soft and warm upon mine. I tasted wine; I tasted him. It was the best kiss ever.

Slowly, our lips drew apart. I opened my eyes. He was smiling. I smiled back.

“Wanna dance?” he asked.

I nodded my head.

Inside the house, I heard the familiar beat of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark,” my mom’s favorite song. Mathew crossed his arms over my back while mine stayed locked around his neck. We danced. And we danced. For a long time. Slow. Our bodies tight together.

And over his shoulder, I watched night turn into day. A bright, hot day that held no sun.

I closed my eyes, turned my face into the crook of his neck. And we danced.

©2020 Kate Clark


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Rivers



In her life, she has crossed many rivers.

Some she swam with sure, steady strokes;

Some she walked over on burning bridges;

Some were so shallow, she easily waded.

But fording the last one, she almost drowned,

Failed to reach the other side.


The swift, black waters dragged her down,

Filled her lungs with life’s heartaches,

Then cast her battered body back to shore;

Left her choking, gasping, gagging,

Down but not defeated.

Never defeated.


Older and wiser, she bided her time,

Waited at the river for the dire wolves to come drink,

And built a raft from their strong bones,

Made a cape from their warm, gray fur,

Then floated across upon the cold choppy surface

And stepped off safe and warm on the other side.


She fashioned a home from the raft bones,

Made a bed from the sleek fur cape,

And she abided there in the high desert

Content and happy as she grew old

Until the time came for her to leave.

For there was one more river yet to cross.

©2020 Kate Clark



Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Vacation


“So, you want to go back to the beach this fall,” Michael said, his eyes on the bright brochures spread across the breakfast table between him and Elise. “Did you even give any thought to the mountains?”

“Well, a little,” Elise answered, her hands clenching into fists in her lap. “But you know what the cold does to my arthritis, and I thought...”

Michael’s icy, blue eyes lifted, bored into hers. “You thought what?”

Now it was Elise’s eyes that dropped. “I thought you’d want...er...me to be...” She swallowed the growing lump in her throat. “Comfortable. And I can’t...” Tears filmed her eyes. “I can’t be when all my joints ache.”

Michael stood, swept the brochures, and his half-full cup of black coffee from the table. “You know what’s wrong with you, Elise?” he asked, a sneer twisting his lips. “All you think about is yourself.” He stalked to the door leading into the garage, yanked it open, and said over his shoulder, “Take an aspirin, you’ll be fine.”

When Elise heard the garage door closing, she rose unsteadily to her feet. “I can’t go on like this,” she muttered under her breath. “I just can’t.”

Pixie slunk into the kitchen, her grizzled head hanging low. Whining, the old spaniel looked up at Elise.

“I just can’t,” she repeated to the dog.

Elise squatted and began picking up the cup shards, her hands now steady and her fear gone. “I guess I’ll just have to kill the son-of-a bitch.”

Pixie yipped her agreement.

“Now, where did I put that book on poisons...”

©2020 Kate Clark

Monday, October 19, 2020

Red

 


 

Dark woods, deep woods, deathly woods,

Through them I rush-race-run.

Moon glows, moon shows, moon knows,

Soon I will be done.

 

Bog sucks, bog slurps, bog swallows,

Stealing the boots from my feet.

Briars snatch, briars catch, briars latch,

Determined we shall meet.

 

Water utters, water mutters, water blubbers,

Through rimed wetness I sloggishly go.

Rocks thrash, rocks slash, rocks gash,

Riving cracks into my soul.

 

Solid dirt, cold dirt, stinging dirt,

Toes digging in, I stagger up a knoll.

Trees shadow, trees shelter, trees shield—

Or so I have been told.

 

Wolves prowl, wolves howl, wolves growl,

Form a menacing circle round me.

Darkling eyes, devil eyes, demon eyes,

But only one will claim me.

 

Teeth show, teeth smile, teeth sink

Dagger fangs above my breast.

My master’s kiss, my lover’s kiss, my mate's kiss

Weeps river-red upon my chest.


Dark woods, deep woods, deathly woods,

Through them I rush-race-run.

Moon glows, moon shows, moon knows,

My life has just begun.

 

©️2020 Kate

Red

    Dark woods, deep woods, deathly woods, Through them I rush-race-run. Moon glows, moon shows, moon knows, Soon I will be done.   Bog suck...