Dana A

United States

Made In My Own Image

April 20, 2021

You humiliated me in your palace 
because I only have two arms, two hands, and eight and a half fingers
that bled when I laid your sage green glass tiles
and ached when I painted with brushes as stiff as your neck that strained to stalk me 
You berated me in your palace
because I am not some freak of nature or force of magical power
that could teleport from one room stabilized by pearl quartz pillars to another
or stretch across the room to fill all the cabinets at once with porcelain teacups that boast silver rims

My mind is as chaotic, complex, and churlish as anyone’s, especially yours
and even more so
since you hired me to be the sole architect and constructor of our palace

I am the molded mortar between the crimson bricks 
I am the guest bedroom that lies still, empty, and haunted 
I am the parapet of the balcony that keeps you from getting too close to the magnificent view of the west wing and death
I am the architect and the constructor of your palace.

Only my gentle hands could have cradled the crystal vases and coal black kettles as I placed them on marble surfaces 
Only my concave spine could have bent under the crawl spaces that I made as beautiful as any room
But only you could witness my feats
Perhaps I must revel in my own achievements
Since I am an internal and hidden foundation
like my floor tiles that you march on with Chelsea boots
my painted walls that you stab with nails to cover with self portraits
my pillars that stabilize all 880,000 square feet of grandiose 
my steel knives that prick your careless hands from time to time
I am the essence, the spirit, the beating heart, and steady breath of this building
I hold everything you hold dear

Hidden in the palace’s basement and through its window I watch the crystalline snow fall like ash from the smoky gray sky
and make husks of my grand turrets
They look like pearls on this neck of the woods
This is when I call my palace Ivory Town 
Population: twenty reindeer, a barren hedge, and a dozen snowy owls

Then it is the Abloom Borough
Home to you and me and the marguerite daisy
I sway to the delicate cries of songbirds
They are like a prayer to the now ocean-blue sky that engulfs the silver clouds
after the rain blesses the marguerite daisies, the creeks, the earthworms, and the now emerald green hedges

Then it is the Emerald Village
The blades of grass are cut from the jewel and are complemented by the twinkle of heat hazes
But the flower stems are sage green with envy towards the deep emerald leaves that are high up on the trees and glisten underneath the sun
But what can they do?
So nonetheless, all of the citizens of the Village live in peace 
and welcome the kiss of the cool air that creeps up months later

That is when it becomes the Mellow Metropolis
When the grass welcomes the leaves as they fall to the ground and become brittle from the Kiss, and some are painted crimson
The sun leaves us early but we are never at the mercy of the coal black sky because the moon cradles us in Her glow

My lonesome stationary ventures through the Town, the Borough, the Village, and the Metropolis have no end nor beginning
Remember, I am always hiding in the basement
Or perhaps you don’t remember 
After all, I was wonderfully ingenious when I shook your cold hand the day that I, The Architect and The Constructor, finalized every crevice of my palace to your satisfaction
How demonic was it that your hand was cold when we were in the Emerald Village that day
Then you shut my obsidian black door shut
and I crept past the grass, the flowers, and the trees, and moved with the waves of the heat haze
into my secret room in my basement that I have found peace in ever since that day
by imagining sweet sights through my window
Sometimes I can see my reflection in it
The reflection of a person in a place they made in their own image
So I stay here of my accord
Oh how I love my palace.

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1 Comment
  • aalawrites

    I love the imagery of this piece! It's so vivid. What a beautiful piece, well done!


    about 1 year ago