Toxic Territory

Week 5 of Write at the Merge gave a French phrase and a photograph:

La Douleur Exquise (French): The heart-wrenching pain of wanting someone you can’t have.

write at the merge, creative writing prompt, Bancroft Tower Worcester MA

Bancroft Tower, Worcester, MA, courtesy of Hillarie Jason via Esty.

At first I was uninspired, and I thought of princesses and the middle ages of which I had no interest in writing at this time, my second thought was of Lady Grey whom Queen Elizabeth the 1st locked up in the tower of London for marrying without the Queens Blessing, that is something I would like to explore, but the linky deadline is fast approaching so it’s a poem about not an unattainable love, but a heart-wrenching pain for a lost love gone wrong…


The red light blinks

I pick up the phone

“Good afternoon,” I say

With a dull resonance

I book a leg on a cruise

For a stranger

To sail the seas to

An exotic isle

In the sun

The red light blinks,

I pick up the phone again

I want to

Put the phone down,

stand up,

Walk out

Through the glass doors

To the elevator bank

Down to the lobby

Around the revolving doors

Out to the curb

Hail a cab

Drive to the airport

Take a plane

Across the sea

Into his arms.

Arms that hold me tight,

Touch me, Breathe against

My skin, sailing across

A sea of fancy.

I Want to


Across the sea

To fly with Daedalus‘ wings, Up

Up, up ever higher, with no end

To reach the sun

So radiant,

An erotic isle

In the sky

The red sunlight melts

Wax into my flesh

As I spiral down, down

Down into the sea, to

Shatter into a hundred billion stars

Who die a hundred billion deaths

Shimmer, burst and explode

And fizzle away like firecrackers

On a hot summer day,

Reason tells me to remain

The red light blinks,

Obediently, I pick up a line.

At 5 o’clock,

I will

Clock out

Go through the glass doors

To the elevator bank

Down to the lobby

Around the revolving doors

Out to the curb

Walk to the university

Sit at a desk

Take notes

Search for my potential


I will

Build a castle

Brick by brick



Without him

Without his arms to hold me tight

No touch nor breath against

My skin, sailing alone across

A sea of reality.

I want to

Put the bricks down,

Walk out

Run from here

Run to him

Across the sea

Into his arms

He told me he loved me

And that he did,

But he never told me

He wouldn’t harm me.

Self-exile from

Toxic territory

Return to a place of

Reason and rationality

Build a castle

Brick by brick

But to what good is it,

When one’s

Soul and desire

Are locked away in a

Cold, dark tower?

5 thoughts on “Toxic Territory

  1. I started to copy and paste particularily vivid lines and ended up realizing I was copying the whole poem. Great use of the prompt.

  2. I really love your take on the prompt, the hopeless feeling of having to go through the motions of life when your heart is adrift. Really beautifully done.

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