(broken skin) human origami

by Richard Paez

littera scripta manet

now we can pretend
that everything is as it should be
now we can descend
along the path of routine pleasantries
all of yours you hold with you
and all of mine i hold with me

i watch transfixed as you fold in on yourself
becoming trapped in the seams of a human origami
i can see reflected in your glossy paper eyes
i too am factored by Moloch’s geometry

we aren’t people by any definition now
we are constructs formed of tissue
the razor’s edge of Moloch’s irony
is that folded right beside you, i still miss you

of all we could have been and once were
remains now only two bent thirds

your angles suggest the sparrow
yet your folds cannot support you
my intersections form the flower
i feel your sun, but i cannot bloom

these eyes won’t cry when i remember
those days when we had skies instead of ceilings
those days when your touch was soft skin
not this paper, parched and peeling

lying on this bed of dream beside you
i can see but not oblige you

and the perfect teeth of Moloch’s grin
is the whiteness of our paper skin
and the lips he licks with his black tongue
is the shelf he keeps us displayed on
and the reeking breath from his gorgeous mouth
is the dream that keeps us folded up,
that forever locks us out


Author's Note: littera scripta manet - Latin, "the written word remains."

This is one of the four poems published in Tallahassee Community College's Literary Magazine The Eerie in 2001. The staff of The Eerie over-honored me for the two years I submitted poems as a student at TCC. I send them all my love and respect.

Posted on 09/19/2002
Copyright © 2020 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Bethany Lee on 10/20/02 at 02:35 PM

so real poetry flows through your fingertips onto the screen, and i am overwhelmed by your precious words...my oh my...you surf the poetry titlewaves and fall across something that simply utters everything you are thinking of at the moment...this is a piece to add to my collection of poems that truly effected me...thankyou...truly...-v

Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 10/13/03 at 05:12 AM

the imagery from this poem lit my senses and made my heart weep for the sad darkness... excellent verse and thank you for the author's note, it was very enlightening... blessings...

Posted by Joseff Marat on 11/20/05 at 08:49 AM

This is a guaranteed fave! Really great word usage and grouping. It's really interesting to read this - this was today's spotlight poem and was published as just one sentence after another - no paragraphs. It was really interesting to read that way, I won't lie. But, just great stuff man. I'm compelled to read the others.

Posted by Laura Doom on 11/20/05 at 05:55 PM

Intense dream-like retrospective - having read the author's note, I was tempted to deconstruct with a view to identifying a Fibonacci sequence embedded within :>

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