Liberation (Speakeasy #165)

From the first labored breath, our days are numbered;

from the first hints of speech, our words are squandered.

I should’ve known the very instant your practiced, easy smile nailed

my heart that we- rather, I- was doomed; that misery was our fate before we

uttered ‘hello’.  Still, nothing could have stopped me from desiring your embrace,

or the thrill of your sweet lips searching mine, or the shivers from your hands trailing my

skin; unblemished, uncharted territory. I should have heeded the warnings of my crumbling

defenses. Foolish, to think I could absorb unbridled passion and keep some semblance of myself.

Silly, to think you wouldn’t yearn for another after I succumbed wholly to you (what’s the sport

in that, I suppose.) Naïve to believe the cruel myth of ‘happily ever after’ or the deception of

forever. Ha! The chink in my youthful armor destined to be a constant reminder of how

I should have paid attention to the tale of the moth devoured by the flame,

instead of thinking it would never happen to me. It can. And it did.

I got the first inkling of forever when I acknowledged, we

gave it everything we had, but it wasn’t enough.

A new dawn, a new day,

a new life, is what I need.

They say one ending is the opportunity for a new

beginning. “They” apparently never loved (and lost) you.

Last night, I dreamt of butterflies and peace. Then, this morning, I

knew what I had to do next. No way could I move on carrying the burden of

you. The sun had risen, keeping watch as I buried my figurative and literal skeletons.

The rays thawed frigid topsoil as I burrowed deep, preparing for a long-awaited ‘goodbye.’

You let me go long before I could bring my heart to do the same. How liberating to grasp the

freedom I’d lacked for some time.  You’d know how that feels, wouldn’t you dear?  The waiting.

So heavy was the affliction of love decomposed. Satisfaction fluttered in my soul with each

toss of earth. I delighted in the paradox of the emancipation by six feet under, give or

take (pre-dawn soil was difficult to penetrate, I found) but oh! The triumph when

your abnormally long toes were covered. I was exhilarated by the scent of

pine; the crunch of brittle needles as I walked away… one last time.

With your last labored breath, my days were numbered;

with your last words, my love for you was squandered.


This is my response to the Speakeasy weekly writing prompt, which is to write a piece in 750 words or less (I’m at 421) and (1) use the sentence “We gave it everything we had, but it wasn’t enough.” anywhere in the piece, AND (2) make some sort of reference to the media prompt, which is he song Feeling Good, performed by Muse.

This poem is supposed to be in the shape of an hourglass, but I’m not sure if it will come out right when I post it.  (Sometimes they do, sometimes not.)  I probably don’t have to clarify this, but it is fiction.  Although I  have lost loves, I have never, ever literally buried any of them (or murdered them, in case you were wondering) 😛

The prompt is open to anyone, so if you’re interested in joining the fun, click the badge below!

50 thoughts on “Liberation (Speakeasy #165)

  1. nrhatch June 9, 2014 / 7:24 PM

    Oh . . . dark, indeed!

    It looks just like an hourglass to me. And I’m glad to hear that you have NOT buried any of your lost loves. 😎

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 10:58 PM

      I’m glad the shape came through for you, Nancy. It is dark, but I think there’s something wrong with me because I found the burying a bit humorous 🙂

  2. Eric Alagan June 9, 2014 / 8:01 PM

    Beautiful and dark

    Once we reach the crest > We’re bathed in glorious sun light > Every step from there on
    Brings us down > Away from light > We can’t stand still > And we’re damned when we move forward.

    You’ve given us another creative rendition, Janna 🙂

    Thank you,

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 11:10 PM

      Thanks for reading, Eric! True observation about our relationship to light (beautifully stated.)

  3. thewizardsword June 10, 2014 / 2:43 AM

    Beautiful and insightful writing, Janna–as always. I really like where you took the ;prompt.

  4. Sean June 10, 2014 / 7:43 AM

    I like the hourglass. It could be the telling of time or a wish of who you are, as the theme song for Days of our Lives just jumped in my head. Yeah me. Today, there are so many meanings for the word Love that a lot of people will say it but mean it differently than how it is being perceived. It’s when love becomes more than a word that it becomes special. At that point it will hit the Agape, unconditional, unselfish, love and everything will be seen in a new set of eyes. This is the love that we should all strive to find and also become but most are in a hurry to fulfill the other definitions of love before they get to the Agape Love. I do believe that there are people that may know their Agape but may never be able to show it. On another side, although the smell of pine is invigorating, not sure if it would smell as pleasant from underground lol.

    • jannatwrites June 10, 2014 / 10:36 PM

      Argh! Now I have the intro to that soap opera in my head. Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives….

      You’ve gone into quite the analysis of love here, Sean. The deeper levels of love are often hidden by selfish desires, I think. (Can’t think of others if we’re wrapped up in our own wants.) I’d think that the smell of pine wouldn’t be so nice from the underside. I’d not want to personally confirm that, though.

  5. Jennifer G. Knoblock June 10, 2014 / 12:13 PM

    Darkly funny, and I love the shape of it.

  6. Debbie June 10, 2014 / 12:57 PM

    It DID come out shaped like an hourglass — well done! I was wondering where you were going with this one, Janna. Something in the bottom half intimated that these weren’t humans at all, but perhaps butterflies going into cocoon phase. Isn’t that the way with poetry, that interpretation varies from person to person?!

    • jannatwrites June 10, 2014 / 10:39 PM

      I’m glad it came through, Debbie. I did get a little obsessive trying line things up 🙂 It’s true that poetry often lends itself to multiple interpretations. I hadn’t thought of it about anything other than humans, but that certainly doesn’t mean it can’t be that way!

  7. imab00kworm June 10, 2014 / 1:10 PM

    You had me seriously intruiged at “literal skeletons” and I did not expect what was coming! I loved the hourglass form though now on my phone I can’t see it (but I saw it on a computer) 🙂
    I noticed you didn’t submit an entry last time and I was wondering why? If you don’t want to tell I don’t mind, I have no particular reason for asking other than curiosity and the fact that I noticed your absence. I hope it wasn’t bad :/

    • jannatwrites June 10, 2014 / 10:44 PM

      I only saw the hourglass shape when I turned my phone sideways, Imab00kworm. I thought about shortening the lines but decided against it. (Too lazy, I guess!)

      I had too much ‘stuff’ going on last week and couldn’t make the time commitment to read responses so I took a break. There’s still stuff hanging out there, but I didn’t want to be lazy two weeks in a row 🙂 Thank you for noticing my absence.

      • imab00kworm June 10, 2014 / 11:32 PM

        Ah turning my phone is a good idea, I’ll think about it if I ever see any weirdly shaped lines again 😉
        Well at least you have priorities, I have an exam next week (and a more important one the week after) but here I am…

        • jannatwrites June 10, 2014 / 11:33 PM

          Haha, well my priorities are slightly skewed… I have to get ready for work in five hours… but I’m on the computer instead!

  8. Carol Ann Hoel June 10, 2014 / 5:12 PM

    You know how to write sinister with a capital S. You did the hour glass very well! Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites June 10, 2014 / 10:48 PM

      Haha, it is a bit twisted, Carol Ann 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!

  9. Kathy Combs (@Kathy29156) June 10, 2014 / 8:27 PM

    Loved how you shaped your story in the shape of an hourglass and how love is eternal. Brilliant job. ♥

    • jannatwrites June 10, 2014 / 10:57 PM

      Thanks for reading, Kathy! The main character found a way to make it an eternal bond, hehe 🙂

  10. Robert Gregory June 11, 2014 / 6:23 AM

    Yeah, I didn’t notice at first the hourglass design but reading on, I see it. And I like the transition of the “A new dawn, a new day, a new life, is what I need.” there at the hourglass middle. Like those two lines. And the line “Naïve to believe the cruel myth of ‘happily ever after’ or the deception of forever” …really cool, “…cruel myth..” specifically. Awesome!

    • jannatwrites June 12, 2014 / 12:15 AM

      Thanks so much for reading and taking time to point out lines that stood out for you, Robert!

      • Robert Gregory June 12, 2014 / 11:37 AM

        No problem! 🙂 …And I gotta say about the “abnormally long toes” lol…love that detail and how it’s spoken as if that’s some kind of vindication lol… Pretty cool and humorous!

        • jannatwrites June 13, 2014 / 9:54 PM

          Thanks, Robert! I found it funny, too.. in a twisted sort of way 🙂

  11. Suzanne June 11, 2014 / 9:41 AM

    Nicely done, Janna! I love how this went from a “loved and lost” story to one involving literal skeletons. 😀 And your hourglass shape is clear to me – I love how balanced the text is, right down to the symmetry in the opening and closing lines.

    • jannatwrites June 12, 2014 / 12:25 AM

      Thanks, Suzanne! I’m glad you noticed the beginning and ending – I wanted them to compliment one another 🙂

  12. Patricia Rivera June 11, 2014 / 10:43 AM

    The words and the visuals were artistic and intriguing.

    • jannatwrites June 12, 2014 / 12:25 AM

      Thanks for stopping by to read it, Patricia!

  13. DragonSpark June 11, 2014 / 12:13 PM

    I’m rubbish at poetry, so I can’t apreciate your peice to it’s truevalue, but It look cool and reads well. XD
    French lit. exams next week and I’m still incapable of apreciating poetry…
    Anyhow, sweet take on the prompt!

    • jannatwrites June 12, 2014 / 12:30 AM

      Haha, I’m not an expert poet myself, so if it looks cool, that’s a-okay with me 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, DragonSpark!

  14. Meg June 11, 2014 / 6:55 PM

    Wow, Janna. So many great phrases in this. Funny — the first three pieces I’ve read (including my own) for this Speakeasy have had something to do with dirt. What does that mean??? 😉

    • jannatwrites June 12, 2014 / 12:37 AM

      The ‘dirt’ connection is strange. There isn’t anything about the prompts that screams ‘dirt’. Maybe it means we’re all twisted? Or maybe it’s just me…

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Meg!

    • jannatwrites June 12, 2014 / 12:38 AM

      Yeah, all reason is tossed out the window, Karen 🙂

  15. Silverleaf June 12, 2014 / 5:55 AM

    Ah, love the idea that the toes must have been sticking out until the end! That made me laugh in a dark and twisted way 🙂 Nice to see you back here.

    • jannatwrites June 12, 2014 / 9:00 AM

      That made me chuckle too, Silverleaf. I felt kind of sick in the head for writing it 🙂 Glad to be back… last week was a crazy one!

  16. Mike June 12, 2014 / 9:07 AM

    Beautifully written and the presentation worked for me as well.

  17. mbarkersimpson June 12, 2014 / 9:58 AM

    Superb! I loved it. The build up, the sadness which dripped from every word, the release, acceptance and then the huge twist that made me smile. I didn’t feel sorry for him in the least and it was the perfect ending for the piece. I never know what to expect when I read your work, only that you’ll get me every time 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2014 / 9:50 PM

      I’m glad you like the ‘twisted’ ended, Melissa. I didn’t have that in mind when I started the story, so in a way, it was a surprise to me, too 🙂

  18. Splendid Empress June 12, 2014 / 9:09 PM

    Love how the shape of the piece complimented the story construction. Well done!

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2014 / 9:58 PM

      Thanks, SE – I appreciate you taking time to read and share your thoughts!

  19. M_Elizabeth June 14, 2014 / 5:09 AM

    Beautifully written. I really enjoyed it Janna. I found my eyes moving quickly from one line to the next anxious to see what happened next but also to take in more of your writing. So well done!

    • jannatwrites June 14, 2014 / 8:49 PM

      Thanks for reading, M.! I appreciate you stopping by 🙂

  20. Sarah Ann August 14, 2014 / 11:35 AM

    Somehow I’ve lost a couple of your posts in my inbox – sorry. I read this as a woman in pain, dumped by her lover, so was surprised and surprisingly uplifted by the ending. I love the way you wove in the moth and the butterfly and the way you reversed the quotes at the end. A joy to read (eventually).

    • jannatwrites August 14, 2014 / 10:36 PM

      Thanks for reading, Sarah Ann! I can relate to having trouble keeping with emails. I’m closer to caught up than I’ve been in a while, but I know I’ll lose ground again over the weekend 🙂

      • Sarah Ann August 18, 2014 / 10:16 AM

        I was getting close to catching up then went to see a friend for the weekend ….

        • jannatwrites August 19, 2014 / 4:46 PM

          I know that feeling… the next couple weekends will be busy for me so I will be in the same boat, Sarah Ann.

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