BellaOnline Literary Review
Stairs by Albert Rollins



Lianna Trimble

See this necklace around my neck
These are pearls
Pearls of pain, and memories
Iridescent globes of irritants that brewed and grew under my skin
Defied reason
Became luminescent trophies to heartache
Scientists got it wrong when they said
Homo sapiens are most closely related to primates
Can they not see?
We swim in a salty briny sea of tears
Breathe through razor slits in wrists and necks
We bathe in sorrow, and turn beatings into beauty
We are mollusks
Not happy clams, but ornery oysters
Protected by thick shells of apathy and indifference
Rock hard walls built around soft emotions
So warm and vulnerable, our interiors
Flavored with the piquant taste of tears
Solitary creatures that drift through life
Rooting to one spot with cement tendrils
Burrowing in mud, silt, and salt
Sure, there are clusters of us everywhere
But we squeeze together out of fear
To make it harder for the bigger man to individualize us
Slam open our shells
And consume our bellies with lemon
We are mollusks, sifting food for thought out of our palpable sea
Tasting each other´s sorrow in the viscous liquid environment
And when those granules of War, and Genocide
Of Spousal Abuse and Rape get caught in our throats
We cover them with shiny opalescent ignorance
And present jewels where jaded hurt once was
Unlike other mollusks, however
We wear our anger and betrayal around our necks
On our face, in our hair, on our breasts
We show our pearls to each other
See who’s got the biggest ring to match the one around the eye
We are proud of our shimmering blood bracelets,
Shifting colors clouding the memories they hold
See these round rocks on my neck
I know you do, for I see the same ones on you
Maybe mine aren’t quite as nice
But I’ve got years of broken hearts, corrupt politics
And money troubles yet to come
These pearls have time to grow.

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Reader Feedback:
Wow, I really loved this poem. It´s dramatic, beautiful and I love the analogy of pearls being formed through grating hardship. Stunning.

Very vivid imagery and fresh metaphors.

Spring Equinox 2011 Table of Contents