Brutal Hearts

February 18th, 2013

maybe if you drive 300 miles away, the air will be easier to breathe. maybe the sun will burn away the bad and the water there will wash it away. maybe the liquor tastes better, maybe the anger gets lost on the road, blown out the window, sinking to the bottom of the everglades.

a little girl was splashing at my feet, maybe six years old and beautiful. “momma, is that a magic lady?” she asked when I walked by. I turned to her and it was written on my face, locked in my eyes, seeping though my skin, “I’m fucking magic, baby, don’t you worry.”


two thousand thirteen

January 3rd, 2013

if you promise to be everything I’ve needed,

I’ll promise to be your queen.

2013. tinsel falling to the floor. blankets laid on cold concrete. bright lights and paper lanterns. jameson in a neighbor’s cup, champagne corks popped with knives. fireworks and falling flares. stars blotted out in a haze of smoke. one house block party and the sweetest kiss. quiet now, the whole house is napping. empty bottles, popcorn in an ikat rug. face down in the grass. an unloved daughter. two year old tackles and baby kisses. bright red cheeks and grass against bare feet. lazy smoker sunday…and, oh, the way that cold sun burns.

of monsters and men

December 8th, 2012


Million stars up in the sky
Formed a tigers eye
That looked down on my face,
Out of time and out of place.

So hold on,
Hold on to what we are,
Hold on to your heart

you let it take your breath, stop your blood from flowing, heart from beating. you let it take you, right there where you stand and for a second there will be nothing. you will feel nothing, hear nothing, everything will go black. but when that lifeless second passes your heartbeats been replaced with a beating drum and your bloods pounding with it and your skin is seething with it and you can see it coming at you from every direction, winding through your wild arms, around your hips, through every strand of hair glowing blue in the stage lights. it will rise up through you from the ground, every reverberation will explode through your fingertips and trail behind you in the air. you’ll lay yourself down and let it have it’s way with you, for a while at least.

and michi, she’s there with you, and she’s showered in red and she’s breaking one rule while you break another, but it’s ok because you love her so.

and if you don’t let it kill you on the spot, resurrect you, and bring you back again…were you really ever alive to begin with?

six words.

November 27th, 2012

your voice

echoes in

my heart.


November 22nd, 2012

thankful for the chance, chosen from a sea of bottomless stars, to live.

but not just to live, but to feel and touch and hear and see. to feel the entire spectrum of emotion, even the raw ones, the unnamed ones. pleasure, love, and peace, and rage, and fear, unbridled excitement. to touch, to trace with my fingertips hearts that beat and things that hurt, soft things and sweet things, ancient things and growing things…the surface of a body of water, weightless fog. to hear the music that pours out from the souls of my mother and father, to hear the depths of my husbands heart, his mind, laid out before me. to see the stars, the sun, my piece of the world…see the endless cycle of life tumultuously playing out all around me, see it happening within me, even. growing, changing, aging, dying, and coming back again. to live.

and not just to live, but to create life, meaningfully shape and and shadow it, illuminate it, take responsibility for it. to harbor it, to wrap myself inside of it. to add two crucial pieces to the electric current, to the universal puzzle.

for everything that got me here. every word, every second, every person, every fight, every promise.

to feel something, anything, everything, so acutely.

to live.

very bad things.

November 22nd, 2012


It’s been 2 years and there are still so many nightmares. nightmares and anger and bruises. bruises like the purple stains on rotting fruit, languid flies descending on the sick sweetness. If this is the tangible edge of where my mind meets the open expanse of the universe, that crumbling cliff over the dark abyss, the center of the storm where the two collide…then this is where you’ll hear me. just know I never want to see a living soul be plunged into what Chelsea’s had to live through. know that Cori never let her go. know that mikaela’s fucking beautiful and for a while she still asked for you. know that you unleashed some unspeakably dark shit on the people who loved you. know that my hands ache to press your face between them and ask you why. know that you’re a catalyst for things that have nothing to even do with you, you just unlocked the door that held them back, let the monsters come out to play. thousands of times over I’ve been dragged into thinking of you, at every mention of your name, and all I can see is what I imagine was in your eyes the seconds leading up to it…and at the point of no return I always see a flash of regret. and the very real knots in my stomach always follow and the anxious panic to futilely fix your tragic mistake comes next. and then I push you away for as long as I can.

I’m still mad.

we’ll call it god

September 27th, 2012

I think it unwise to claim a sense of understanding in a thing called god, to believe blindly in the words of strange men long ago with neither proof or validation.

In the same breath, I think it’s perversely dangerous to reject the presence of a thing called god entirely.

I believe in energy.

In the raw, wild energy that makes up the unfathomable depths and facets of our souls…that connects our hearts to our minds to our bodies to our children…to our brothers, to our lovers…to every thing that has ever lived. an impenetrable web of energy connecting every sound to every word, every beat of every heart to every dying whisper, every thought to every action to every consequence. energy that grows from our deepest sacred places…tendrils searching for the light of some celestial body, spreading in a thousand different directions bearing fruit, bearing flowers, your lifeline evident in the delicate veins of translucent leaves. In magnetic energy, coded and locked inside the tiniest fragments of your being since the very beginning, drawing the things you desire near and repelling with the force of a thousand jupiters the things you’ll never dream of, the things that were never meant for you. An intricate dance, a throbbing, endless dance of inter-connected souls and piercing shards of light happening just outside the hazy edges where our sight begins to fail us, where our eyes have exhausted everything their seemingly endless depths could offer.

I believe in the energy that all life springs forth from…sexual, consuming energy that turns people into animals, surviving only on lust and instinct. Driven by primal urges, acting on thoughts created by sparks and the kerosene that flows freely from the core of your being. A bitten lip, a bated breath. An arched back, a drop of sweat…and in that second, you’ve created life.

I believe in an energy that never dies, never dulls, never disappears…not even when our bodies are burned or buried. Energy that is dispersed back into the universe over and over and over again, endlessly filling blank, empty space…surging up into the things that need it most, be it bird, beast, or molting star. Or maybe when the energy that created our bodies finds itself alone again and without constraint, it goes to those we leave behind…the energy that engulfs in warmth and peace, the energy that quiets a child’s crying in the dark, that makes the tiny hairs that grow from the back of your neck stand up and quiver. Energy that fills up every void and crack and crevice… a bottomless, seething ocean waiting to be poured into its next form.

and in that way, I’d like to think we live forever.

but with good comes bad, and there will always be dark energy that blinds and deceives, a malevolent force so strong that entire catacombs of dead feeling and twisted, grotesque mutilations of violent intention exist just below our level of perception, pulling bodies in and holding them down. and for both energies, the good and the bad, since before the written word was first conceived, for every group of people that ever lived together, they have tried to humanize them…personify them, give them characteristics, faces, feelings that as a race of people we could understand, could comprehend. to create order and rhythm and law. “we’ll call it god,” they said.

and so it was.


September 12th, 2012

the creatrix and her creatures.

creatrix of hummingbird heart beats and two tiny souls that split all the throbbing energy of the world between them. of softly falling chests and eyelashes pulled from the wings of moths. of arms that pull, arms that cling, arms that plead…arms that hold all the secrets, safe and tight and writhing. of eyes that burn the most fragile threads of fire straight into my center of gravity.

nothing more and nothing less.

I gave you life.

rusted wheel, planted still.

September 5th, 2012

there was a water slide in my aunt’s front yard for my cousin’s 27th birthday, on the same patch of grass we used to have brutal water balloon fights, midnight bottle rocket wars. where we used to play man hunt in the dead of night, and football until I collapsed onto the driveway with a bloody foot and Chris carried me inside. where we found easter eggs on uneasy legs. where I was duct taped to a basketball hoop in a lightning storm. where we made parachutes in hurricanes. where we played in the ditch until our toes were black and the water boiled. where we rode 4wheelers hour after hour, my arms wrapped tight around Kent’s shoulders. where my pet chicken died. where we made home movies with plots so embarrassing, I’ve forgotten the details. where we once tested paint ball armor, wrapped up in a plastic mat, standing in the pine trees. it didn’t work. I screamed in pain. where we rode lawnmowers down the street, barefoot with sun burnt shoulders. where we grieved. where my very first memory of Alex began.

that water slide was our childhood resurrected.

all these things

August 12th, 2012


I didn’t expect to hurt this way. I knew I’d miss you, and I knew there would be tears…but there is this horrible hurt that’s just twisted up inside of everything. this cavernous abyss opened up beneath my feet and I just keep throwing all these thoughts and memories and tears at it, but it never fills up…so I chase the shadows out and try to go about my day but I’m always thinking of you. it’s like you took a pillar down with you when you left…and without it, little by little the sky is falling.

it’s adjusting to life without your validation and not realizing how much I needed it.

it’s feeling less significant because it’s been 7 months without you saying you’re proud of me.

it’s alex walking in on me crying in the middle of our bedroom easter morning because I’ve never known an easter without you.

it’s reaching for the phone to call you with my head thrown back in silent, cynical laughter because you shared my sense of humor…but never making the call.

it’s constantly seeing your name in my contact list, childishly scared to delete it.

it’s the jolt of opening a baby album I’ve never seen before to find a picture of you holding me on the day I was born with tears in your eyes on the very first page.

it’s the cries that came on the day Rex was born, knowing you would never see him, never hold him, never know him.

it’s watching Brigsby sit on top of that cement dog every afternoon, stroking it’s ears and hiding his treasures in the crook of it’s neck.

it’s that tiny jump inside my chest when I pass the trees and see your car at the end of her driveway…and the flatline when the feeling passes.

it’s finding your oil pastels from a time long before me and wondering why you never told me you used to paint, why you never even showed me.

it’s finding your grocery list in the center of a book; cheese, cottage cheese, fruit, beans with cornbread.

it’s all these thoughts of you crashing around inside my head, crashing loud and crashing hard, deafening and consuming and wild.

it’s the way I feel you, but just can’t reach you…as if there were a glass door between us. If you held your hand to mine, I’d be able to feel the heat from your palm but never be able to wind my fingers in between yours the way I want to…or if we pressed our foreheads to the glass, I could feel the warmth wash down over me but never be able to collapse into you the way I used to…and I want to so badly.

and all these days later, that’s what’s eating me up, still…the feeling that I’m grasping for you in the dark, reaching blindly and knowing you’re there but never finding you.

I can still feel that connection to you…a different frequency maybe, a little static, a lower volume, but it’s there…pulling me from the inside out.

    Easily Dunn