The Silence of a Wood
Burned forest unraveling, One branch sparks and snaps, Nighttime thunderclouds tucked underneath The wings of crows, Cackling and cawing, Their blurry shadows contort into Monsters over the cornstalks. One by one, They dropped out of the sky Wings bent onto the frozen ground. Feathers snapped, bones decayed Bodies rot in heaps around me In an unburied mass grave of soared dreams. Dirt crusted fingernails, Bare feet slipping over wood, wet and heavy, Stumbling and shivering, tumbling Down into the frozen mud. Ice cuts into pale exposed skin, the wind Whispers, speaks, but she doesn’t understand. Coldness seeps under her skin and burrows into Her bones, and all that is left is Ice and dirt and loss and silence.
Tree Nymph Unraveling
A tree is just a tree until it isn’t, Until it is a girl With grief slipping off her Like a second skin decomposed, shredded away the dimness Of the daylight. Pine needles stick out From underneath her skin, Moss choked down her throat, Crawling towards sunlight She can never touch no matter How far she reaches. A tree is just a tree until it isn’t, Until it is a girl with Moonlight oozing through her veins, Clumping up around the stars Jutting out of her heart. A weak breeze trickles like blood Out of her nose, out of her ears As the branches scratch at her eyes. The forest is eating her alive, one Heartbeat at a time. A tree is just a tree waiting until it isn’t, Until a girl came along and Reimagined it into something else When her brothers told her To go play hide and seek. Another season, another year, another time, But no one remembers to dream under her bows And free the girl curled up inside.
guilt-gnawing crawl-creeping down into a Summarization of piped-up thoughts Spider-Skulking into my throat ink Scrawling groping Smattering my Spit with laced-up ankle weights ballooning around my neck Sloshing assimilating into a comfort of Self-hate as they marvel me Spider-Silking into my bones Sticky-Skeleton turning inside out Soft-Skin flaking and raw mauling Strip-Shriveling in the dark around the Shadow of my Sacrilege-clotted heart
a time for laughter and freshly burnt cider, apple bobbing— biting, rich caramel to eat. a time for hay bales, corn mazes and carved out faces behind skeletal masks while the actual skeletons dance in their graves as they suffocate screaming to be let out shout, shout ten feet underneath. dulled orange and smoldering red, a time for death running out the blessed, haunting something sweet children, please, no trespassing, leaves drifting to and fro, adults poisoned candy sweets, he-he, trick or treat, and all the kitties drop dead boo, too late to hide, the children locked in the morgue still alive in their crypts screaming oh, it’s halloween
You watch the woman weep Behind peeling strips of yellow Wallpaper, Curling, tearing, screaming— Plastered in, Tightening, suffocating, drowning in the Splattered pigments bleached by her putrefying skin. Creaking, scratching, she tries fruitlessly To get out, to breathe. You tuck your head with your Pillow, try to stifle her screams, Pleading, begging, raging, seething with Unquenched revenge. Her outline braces out of the walls But is quickly swept back in, Again and again. When everything dies back into silence, You hesitantly walk over to the paper, Reach out to touch the faded print. Too late, recognition is all she needs. She Free of her prison and writhes on the Floor. She whimpers, curls into a ball, Chest heaving, breathing, free. When you gently lift her face up To look into her eyes, Your own face Stares back at you.
Emma Deimling currently works as a writing tutor at the Ohio State University’s writing center. She has been published in numerous magazines, the most recent being in With Confetti. She lives in Columbus, Ohio. You can find her on Twitter @EmmaDeimling.