On Winning #poem #short prose #literature

Liliya Kulianionak; Shutterstock

The afternoon smelled of brick wall; the wall I used to scratch with the knees and the nails on my way to the sea.

My blood stained my socks and fed the roots of the orange tree mama planted one spring before my seventh birthday.  Soon after the tree grew blood oranges.

I used to dream I would reach the port before crickets would serenade the white cement between the bricks, and the evening wind would sew the wounds from the face of the wall.

I needed a God to lead me to the sea. In mama’s stories there were too many Gods leading souls to heaven. I did not want to go to heaven. I wanted to go to the sea.

I used to fail.  I did not understand what failure is. The next afternoon, little ducks embroidered on the rim of my light blue dress, I would start climbing the wall again.

One day I thought I would get to the port and run straight into the sea.

Little did I know that day came when I first looked into your eyes. The ghosts of your victories and those of your wounds flapped inside your retina like laundry left to dry on a wire. Long red poles floundered left and right like the wings of a moribund bird.  The body of a boat eroded by salt, and by the kisses of the women of your past agonized in green and blue.

The sea inside your eyes: on the right your love for me and on the left your hate for the world. 

Did I say your love for me? You see, over time I had to reconsider that formulation. Your feelings resemble more a never-ending animal magnetism than love.

Let me make one thing clear. No one person is sufficient to drive all demons from another one. You can think Goethe’s elective affinities if you wish. I cannot save you from you. You need to help me.

I can carry this conversation into the night and win.

Ah, winning! The day I understood I can win I stepped into hell.

That day was the day I lost my innocence and with that the paradise. Since then, my blood has never stained my socks anymore. The orange tree has never grown red fleshed oranges, and mama stop telling stories.

I beg forgiveness every night.

Every night the number of my wins, and that of my enemies grows.

I became you as much as you became me.

Yet I know no hate. You do.

What’s wrong with me?

*

My book Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings featured in San Francisco Book Review and Manhattan Book Review.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

170 thoughts on “On Winning #poem #short prose #literature

  1. I love this piece, Gabriela! β€˜ I did not want to go to heaven. I wanted to go to the sea.’ Oh yes πŸŒŠβ€οΈπŸ™ thank you for sharing your beautiful and profound writing 😊

    1. Aw… Ingrid. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful words. Sending you plenty of love. Sending love to everyone.
      xoxoxo

    1. Bo, you know how much your words mean to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
      How do you feel sweetheart?

      1. Welcome, dear.
        Ok today (water did me good), but it was very painful in the past 2 days. It got pretty cold, which is probably related. My knee, my food…all of it. I had to use crutches.

      2. Bo, I am so sorry to hear. Please hang in there. It’s going to take a bit longer. Thinking about you and hoping you get better soon.
        Love you Bo.

  2. Dearest Button, this poem is so many things expressed in one gorgeous piece. One that speaks to me and my youth.

    β€œI used to dream I would reach the port before crickets would serenade the white cement between the bricks, and the evening wind would sew the wounds from the face of the wall.”

    β€œBlood oranges”.

    Every sentence tells a story filled with pain, fleeing from that which is not understood, that agonizing urge to escape as you bloodied your little body and longed for the sea.

    The way you express your feelings stay with me. Your descriptive phrases are an emotional path we walk and climb along with you. This amazingly orchestrated piece of yours tells a lifetime of thoughts, memories and unknowns. BRAVO Button.

    Sending much love to you,
    Honeybun πŸ’•πŸ€—β€οΈπŸ˜˜πŸŒΉπŸŒΊπŸŒΌπŸ¦‹

  3. No one person is sufficient to drive all demons from another one.

    Utterly true.

    This was an amazingly powerful read just before Shabbat starts, Gabriela.

    Thank you,
    David

    1. Thank you so much for the praise and for agreeing with me πŸ™‚ I am grateful to you for reading my work David.
      Shabbat shalom, to you and everyone you love. I may turn all electronics off and light candles too. I need it.
      xoxoxo

    1. Eric, I am so humbled by your words. I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for your support. Thank you for being here for me. Perhaps I wasn’t a good friend all the time. I am sorry if I was not. But Eric, my respect, my admiration for your work, and me saying I am here for you, will never stop. I do not know what else to say.
      Thank you.
      Have a lovely weekend and stay safe.
      Yours
      G.

      1. Gabriela, I’ve never doubted you in any way, as a writer, as the professional that you are, and as the friend you’ve always been and will always be – you have no need to say anything, and it’s I who thank you. Take care, enjoy the weekend, all the best from England and that odd Englishman, Eric!

      2. Thank you!!!!
        “That odd Englishman, Eric!” No! It is: “My dear and fabulous Englishman, Eric!” This is who you are.
        Yours
        G.

    1. Thank you so much hon. It means a lot to me you think so 🌹🌹🌹🌹❀️❀️❀️❀️

      1. Sweetheart, it makes me happy to know you are well. Thank you for asking about my foot. I am doing well. I was 10 min on the treadmill today. Very slow speed but it’s a start.
        xoxoxoxo….

  4. “The sea inside your eyes: on the right your love for me and on the left your hate for the world” ….πŸ˜‰.. is amazing.

    Is not related with the above mentioned paragraph but I just wanted to ask you one thing, you don’t need to give me details… So, is not first time when you are describing very well the feelings of seamen or the feeling related with life on sea or close to sea. I observed that sometimes even the boats /vessels were described by you in details and this is something which can be done only by someone which was on the sea .
    Thank you!

    1. Cristian, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness.
      For years I used to live by the sea. I used to sail. One of the most significant events in my entire life happened on the sea. I love the sea.
      Now, if I may, I will say something: the picture that you have on your site is by the sea (Pontus Euxinus ?) It’s beautiful. I infer you live by the sea. You don’t need to answer if you don’t want to.

      Have a beautiful weekend and thank you again for your kindness.
      Gabriela

      1. Thank you Gabriela!
        You are right, is Pontus Euxinus – is amazing that you know about this ancient name of the Black Sea. The photo represent the casino in Constanta, Romania, which was built in 1909.
        Have a nice weekend!

  5. Wow, Gabriella. I really am taken by your poem and the beautiful metaphors you used in your poem. It is like a pause in my meditation and an interruption in thought and then the next moment drifting to your words sooooo perfectly penned to create a story, to question, to ask questions leaving me yearning to hear the author in her own words. Really lovely and profound G.
    Nice job as always! πŸ’–β€οΈπŸ’–β€οΈπŸ’–

    1. My dearest Cindy,
      You are a sweetheart. I am humbled by your words. I am so glad you liked the piece. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
      Wishing you a day filled with sunshine and joy. A happy weekend to you and to everyone you love.
      Huge hugs
      xoxoxoxoxo…

      1. You are most welcome Gabriella. It really is a gift for the senses!!!
        You are soooo welcome love and I appreciate that and to you as well! πŸ’–β€οΈπŸ’–β€οΈπŸ’–

      2. Oh, Cindy, you are really spreading love. Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️

      3. You warm my heart Cindy. Thank you πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸŒΉπŸŒΉπŸŒΉ

      4. and you mine.. thank you. πŸ’–πŸ™β€οΈπŸ™πŸ™
        🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷 I even dug up a rose for you today…lol.. On my computer they’re hard to find. ❀️

      5. Oh, thank you. Thank you. I got a dozen for you 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful comment Rene. So glad to hear from you. I hope you are ok, hon.
      Sending you love.
      xoxo

      1. Glad you are well. I am ok too. Enjoy your weekend πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

    1. Good evening Drew.
      You are so sweet. I do not know that I deserve anything. What I know is that I am happy you took the time to read and comment. For that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
      I hope your evening is magical; filled with roses and love.
      Stay safe. Take good care of yourself.
      xoxo

      1. Sorry, I was so late arriving. It am so tied up with the Youtube thing. I didn’t start blogging until this evening.
        You deserve mucho praise. Your writing and poetry is breathtaking and inspiring.
        Will spend the night cuddled up with my laptop blogging. That will be magical enough. The love part will arrive some day.
        Right now, I am grateful to be healthy and sharing a moment with one of my favorite poets.

        Please, take good care of yourself, find a reason to smile, and be well. xoxo

      2. Drew, you do not need to apologize. Please do not feel any pressures. Thank you again for your praise. I know the whole YouTube project is going to take a lot of your time. I hope you will find the time to post your magnificent poetry. I need to spend magical nights too.
        “the night cuddled up with my laptop blogging”. You are supposed to sleep Drew. You should rest. You want to stay healthy. I want you to stay healthy. Funny, it just occur to me that I don’t even know where you are now. Wherever you are know that lots of people love you and are happy to have you back. Including me.
        Que tengas dulces sueΓ±os.
        xoxo

      3. Laughing so hard. I at home in Orlando. As for sleep, I will be fast asleep in a couple of hours. No later than 11. Ah, G. I am afraid I have turned into a boring guy.

        Your reply fills me with warmth and happiness. It feels good to not be forgotten.

        Poetry will be part of my Youtube posts, but they will continue to post here as well.

        Deseandote paz y amor. Espero que sueΓ±as con ese hermoso lugar donde nace tu poesΓ­a. xoxo

      4. Glad to know you are home.
        “I am afraid I have turned into a boring guy.” Drew, remember me? It’s me. You are talking to me. I know you will never be a boring guy.

        I am going to listen to you on YouTube. I can’t wait.

        Ay…. tus palabras son mΓ‘gicas.
        How can you be boring?

      1. Thank you for your beautiful comments Timothy. I will take the “excellent” and “dear” and be always thankful to you. I don’t know about deserving πŸ™‚
        I hope everyone is fine. Maya and Mr. Churchill send hugs and kisses. And so do I.

  6. That day was the day I lost my innocence and with that the paradise. Since then, my blood has never stained my socks anymore. The orange tree has never grown red fleshed oranges, and mama stop telling stories..
    Wonderful writing..Have a great weekend..πŸ˜ŠπŸ’

    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words. I am glad you enjoited the piece.
      May your weekend be fabulous.
      xoxo…

    1. Thank you so much my dear πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸŒΉπŸŒΉπŸŒΉπŸŒΉ

    1. Oh, Diana, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the praise and for your support. I am happy and lucky to have you reading my work. I really am.
      ❀️❀️❀️❀️

    1. Oh, you are so good to me sweetheart. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sending big hugs.
      xoxo

      1. So do you and thank you πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

  7. Fathomless depth Gabriella πŸ’•
    I’d like to quote like half the statements in this, but this one hooked me a bit too well;
    “No one person is sufficient to drive all demons from another”

    1. Thank you so much Jude. I am glad you liked that one. I hope everything is ok with
      you πŸŒΈπŸ€—

  8. Let me add my comment to so many, Gabriela…this is sheer delight to read.So many wonderful phrases, that I won’t repeat here, but roll over in my mind, while I savor each. Your description, honesty, innocence and worldly finesse, help polish this little gem..with it’s blood oranges and loss of innocence and dreams . I truly love it..!

    1. Thank you so much Karima. Your comment is breathtaking. You made my day. Sending you plenty of love and hugs.
      xoxoxo

    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am so glad you liked the piece. Sending love. Have a beautiful weekend ❀️🌹

  9. Wow! I could feel anticipation rise with each stanza. There is something so beautifully twisted about loosing our golden ball in the well of the sea, or in this case, another’s eyes. You have a beautiful way with words, and I truly want to thank you.

    1. Breathtaking comment. I am humbled by your beautiful words. My morning become brighter. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
      Gabriela

    1. My dearest greatvince thank you from the bottom of my heart. Enjoy the rest of your weekend,
      Gabriela

  10. ‘Did I say your love for me? You see, over time I had to reconsider that formulation. Your feelings resemble more a never-ending animal magnetism than love.’
    Wow I have still not understood the depth of the words in this but these lines are fabulous.

    1. Aw.. thank you from the bottom of my heart sweetheart. Please know that you are fabulous too.
      xoxoxoxo…

      1. It’s my pleasure to read yours too ❀️🌹❀️🌹πŸ₯°πŸŒΉ

  11. It took me a month to write something about the world, a parallel world based on what we see now. It was so difficult to write a short story. But prose, is art. I love the way you flow metaphors. Really brilliant. Thanks.

    1. Aw… I am humbled by your beautiful comment. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You brighten my day.
      Enjoy the rest of your Sunday
      Gabriela

    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your praise. You humbled me beyond words 🌹❀️

  12. My God. Crying….looking at the rain outside….wrapped up in this and taken to pieces by it. This is insanely beautiful, Gabriela. It’s a full course meal and everyone’s desserts. Thank You more than I can say. Walking away stunned and left…..somewhere. So much Love to You!!! ❀️❀️❀️

    1. My wonderful Katy, you are showring me with compliments this morning. You make the clouds go away and you make the sun shine. Your comment is breathtaking. You are the Queen of Romance. You are the Queen of Hearts too. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
      Love to you now and forever.
      xoxo

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