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‘you are no phoenix’ and other poems by Linda M Crate

By: Linda M Crate

you are no phoenix

since you took things
from me
i can never have returned

there’s only way to settle this,
a life for a life;
because an eye for an eye

wouldn’t work
i am too observant and you
already are blind—

you killed me once
so now your life is mine,
and i will spare you

the mercies you gave me:
your blood will be mine

i am a monster’s daughter
he gave me claws and fangs,
and i will use them to my advantage;

sometimes in order to defeat the monster
you must become one yourself
i tried to heal you with my light now i will

obliterate you with my nightmares
unlike me you won’t be strong enough
to rise from the ashes; you are no phoenix.

i’m never ready for goodbye

maybe the negative things
in my mind are just illusions
perhaps i should tell you
that i miss you,
but i don’t know if that will make
a difference or if you’ll even care;
i don’t know if you ever considered me
something more than someone
who helped you pass the time once upon a time—
& i am not asking you to sacrifice
everything or every moment for me,
but i miss our friendship;
i miss hearing about your day or laughing
at a stupid joke or meme or talking about our characters
i miss the thought of creating something beautiful
through our friendship—
i understand if i let too much time pass,
but i was sitting here in my anxiety
too afraid to reach out
lest i annoy you;
so i may try one last time to say something
and if you cannot speak to me
i will finally understand
we are just people who used to share moments—
although i hope and i pray and i beg the universe
for this not to be the case,
i know sometimes goodbyes come even if we’re not ready;
and i never am.

someone who understands

please don’t go
i know i cannot make you stay,
but please understand
i never wanted things to be this way;
wanted to be something more
than someone you used to talk to
or someone you used to know—
i want you to be more than a ghost
haunting me,
and i want to share those moments as
we used to;
i mean what was the point of telling each other
the darkest parts of our souls if we weren’t
going to lift each other up
in the moments that require celebration?
yes, i know, some time has passed;
and maybe it was my fault, too,
words have not been spoken;
but maybe we can set this right?
i have lost too many friends over the years
to want to lose another
especially someone who understands my pain,
and doesn’t shy away.

star dust & moon fire

you wanted complete submission
a never ending tide of rage
washing over me,
but i wasn’t made of moon fire
just to be put out by your dark waters;
you fashioned your tongue a weapon
so i made my heart a garden of thorns
your name, your memory, and you cannot
survive there without getting destroyed—
i am not sorry for it,
you were a parasite drawn to my light;
fought too long hard for my voice to let it be
swallowed by anyone—
you thought you were the big bad wolf
devouring me,
but you only killed the girl i once was;
i rose again from the ashes
there are some things and people you cannot kill—
i am the phoenix,
daughter of the moon and sun,
made of star dust and moon fire;
you will never conquer me.

you only deserved the silence

you wanted me to be tame
a docile little pet
lock me behind a cage
so i could sing for you and you alone,
but my song is not yours to own;
my heart is a beast that refuses to be caged—
i am not someone you could ever ground,
for i am wild and fierce;
i’ll only stay if i am appreciated for who i am
but you never got to know the mythology of my bones—
you’d judge them, of course,
but you could’ve instead tried to understand;
i suppose you’re not so good at discernment
you mistook lust for love—
played me like a game,
but i am no one’s toy or conquest;
and so i have risen again on immortal wings
burning the bridges of the past
so that you can no longer stand here
because you never deserved to know the sweetness
of my compassion nor my outpouring of light—
you only deserved the silence
which i give you now.

all i did was burn the bridge

i am no princess kept behind a castle,
but a queen who fights her own battles;
never needed you but wanted you
yet you kept me at a distance—
every time i would try to break the ice
of your winter,
a new blizzard would come blowing in;
your harsh winds and snow
were cutting to the flesh—
so i tried to give you the distance you needed,
but that didn’t work, either;
you just forgot me—
they say to choose people who choose you,
but sometimes people choose you and then leave you behind
without reason or remorse;
and i don’t know how people leave with all those ghosts
in their wake
for i know that i would be haunted
by all the goodbyes never said—
i have never been good at cutting strings,
but you cut the chords for me
so all i did was burn the bridge.

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