Mattel Daydreams, Coldness be Gentle, Mute, & Posession by Keshia McClantoc

Mattel Daydreams, Coldness be Gentle, Mute, & Posession by Keshia McClantoc

mattel daydreams

dappled light

caught shadows

between plastic fingers

dust soiled grains of hair

and the small, layered

clothing worn to dull shine

painted pastel

slaughtered smiles


here i found childhood

dissected pieces

of girls i couldn’t understand

bodies tight and lithe

hardened vanity shells

my skin is soft

rolling, hanging, sloppy seconds

yet harder to break open

Originally Published in F20

coldness be gentle

in winter, i’m told to breathe

in and out

monotonous living

forced frost patterns

decorating my lungs


i tell them

take the blood in my veins

too warm, too roving

weave this pulsing agony

into tender roots instead


i stand in awe

of those who so often

humbly shed their skin

slip into slow demise

awake, to be revived again


in winter, i say look up

to naked tendrils

reaching for the skies

barren yet beautiful

branches that seek no end


tell me not to breathe

begging away ragged breaths

instead teach me

how to die

i can learn to be alive again

Origenaly Published in Elevated Publishing


she didn’t know it would feel this way

like hot knives slipping down her throat

strings of her vocal chords

ripped out between red lips

wrapping themselves around her legs

cocooned in lost melodies

notes turned to shrieks

that clutched at agonies between her thighs

newly made supple skin, separated

by the blood of her lost moons

spilling red in salty water and foaming white shores


start with a lost polaroid, toothy crooked grin, high rosy complexion

cheeks a sturdy table under brimming eyes, water and light

spilling over fringed lashes, curtains of childhood madness


next see her beneath your feet, teeth wood stained and water swollen

cracked marble centerpieces capitalizing on raw flesh, eyes

sunken chasms, dripping faucets of lukewarm blood


we think it started first with the babe, wrapped in the claws of her ribs

sheltered embryo to baby boy, expelled from her belly

leaving behind the spirits of the lives she had yet to live


all evidence after tells of the haunting of shallow laid bones,

etched with brazen ghosts, they begged and borrowed

sachets of her skin for their hungry guts


how chem trails rushed them out of red marrow

pulling apart the blankets of her flesh to escape

casting shadows in the house, laying waste on her face


a child with habits of self mutilation grew into a woman, a mother

who picked her skin off, each ghastly string another exorcism

until it came time for them to feast on her carcass


Find Keshia on Twitter, Instagram, Keshia is also the editor of Popsplaining, a website that examines the intersections of pop-culture and society, through articles, reviews, and, essays. 

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