Gutting the Beast: A Collection of Short Poems

A collection of short poems about anger, solemnity, and frustration.

Written by Sara Diaz

Edited by Yoko Zhu



Strawberry Switchblade

The Strawberry Switchblade magnifies the lie.


The innocent who have become corrupted over time plant their thousands of seeds into the mind’s eye.


Their ideas spread like veins.

Their root is rotten,

suffocating from rain’s tears.


The thorns of the strawberry switchblade cut deeper than a butcher’s knife.


It attracts creatures with its self-preserving and sweet spell,

only for it to cut whoever dares to take its nectar.



Shhh

Stay still as the wood continues to speak and croak with each step you make,

You will meet your demise.

Be quiet when you crawl into your walls to hide.

Be quiet when you laugh.

Be quiet with your smile.

Be quiet when they take your hand.

Be quiet when you look in the mirror,

But listen and look very closely…

You wouldn’t want your reflection to hear you

when it turns its back on you.


Bullet with Butterfly Wings

Memories ricochet off the walls of my brain.

A memory that serves a palace.

A memory that perseveres.

A memory that dances on the bullet with the butterfly wings.

The ballet dancer struggles to maintain her balance on that bullet.

She hopes she won’t fall,

but she can’t stop dancing on the tips of her nailed toes.

She must constantly replay.

She’s a video frozen in time.

Trapped in a fantasy.


It’s the memory I can’t recall, but I know is there.

Like film waiting to develop.

Like a butterfly that’s aware that it is still trapped in a cocoon.

The memory tries to stretch its wings and fly,

but it’s trapped in quicksand and webs of neural networks.


Perhaps that memory will travel behind the eyes of the beholder,

where color can fill the skeleton it left behind.


The Mischievous Fool

He taunts the woman while she weeps.

He dances around the whisper of a sharp knife.

The mystery of a scoundrel is in the delight he takes from the essence of another life.


He smiles in the face of a prickling pain,

One that dances on a mountain of needles.

His insatiable hunger for power is one that he mistakes for a meaningful life.


But, what he doesn’t want people to know is that he weeps at night,

yearning for some sort of love in his life.


Yearning for a place to call home.

Yearning for an end to all of his plight.




Tomorrow Laughs

Here I am, the solo adventurer.

The last person on earth.


The fog lets out a grungy cry as it’s pulled apart and across the sky.

The mountain looks over the world as an ancient observer,

stoic as it recalls the kingdoms that fell under its watch.


In all of its times of eruption, the mountain hoped to share its beauty,

but it only ended in destruction.

The sun, with its naïve optimism, tries to color in the grey,

but its rays aren’t as magnificent as it once was.

The sun was punished when it melted the world it left behind.


Yesterday cried,

but Tomorrow laughs.



I See You Now.

I see you for what you are.

Your pointed glances.

Your lively smile with the eyes of the dead.


I see your dead eyes.

I see your lies.

I see your pain.

Cursed by the Willow,

Woe is me.


A fluorescent scorpion

With claws that sink deep.


I see you now.

I see you now.

I see you now.


Try to take my light

And you will flicker.


I’m better than your perception of me.

Granted, so let me speak.

Your thick walls are built on thin foundations

And they creak.


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