The Cycle

The water spills and maids have soaking knees.

You tie them up and let them bleed. So slow

do leaves come falling down. Is snow always

so harsh? Be killed or kill… I choose to die.

So hang me up and let me dry. So slow

the world can spin on pointed toes and crossed

fingers until they stop. No spinning, crossing,

pointing. Stopped. The maids are cleaning still,

you killers killing. She and he and I—

we hang, suspended bulbs for all to see.

So lift me up and let me breathe. So slow

do dying breaths go breaking through the fog.


Replaced with new and better maids. With new

and better killers, me’s, and you’s to hang.

-Lu Terlikowski


      1. It’s a terminal disease, I tells ya! Once I found out Unabridged Dictionary – and that meant never having to let an adult lie about what a word meant – the “gateway” drug had been found. I had to teach myself typing because I so gloried in gruesome hand-scratchings…the 1950s communist attempt to teach me penmanship became a crusade like hitting each and every rain-puddle en route from school; you know – sacred. I write because I am. Scared. Lonely. Happy, Brave. Sad. ‘Stonished (or sometimes just stoned). You know the drill. I am joyed-over to have found you and your talent. Have a theory: gifts come at the worst possible times and mostly wrapped in deity-damned mannerisms demanding wrathful ripping best used on marbles representing Hamilcar Barca’s son’s Italian campaigns in my side yard (and still pissed the busybody across the street thought I left them out for her to practice absconditry) when described by “cognoscentii” almost always come across magical and bestowed instead of fretted-, sweated- and dented-over and like good hootch take a long time imprisoned in moldy old barrels. Like Talent, Gifts require work and purpose. And too often I fear the word gift is gilt across some asshole’s envy-banner as if won at the County Fair in which none else entered and not a reason for an alone-moment’s fist-bump with the butthead in the mirror – the oneat which I still try successfully – one day, perhaps – to launch my best lies. Keep flingin’ words, Lu. I like catcher, though Holden still says he does better. Sorry so long: did not have typer handy so I could edit out the chaff.


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