Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Unrequited Newlywed

Here's a poem I was writing before I found the needles. I knew something was wrong because we weren't "doing it." I thought there was another woman, depression, some illness, some penis problem...anything but drugs. The poem is so full of all these spectres that I thought it was interesting when I went back to reread it. I'd thought of working on it, but now that all those demons are dead, I've lost my momentum. I like the first part, though, on its own.


Your face is a mask
and behind it, meaninglessness.
Behind it, a dustcloud,
inhuman and unmoving.
Behind it, a woman with another name
is chattering her secrets.
From each eye socket emerges
a tiny gun,
the sights trained on our lives.
We no longer eat.
We no longer sleep.
We do as we are told.
We feel what we are told.
There are no bones burning,
anxious, inside our chests.
We do not breathe shallow.
We do not fear death.
These feelings are unfortunate, inconvenient,
unwelcome here,
and day and night we wait
and pay dearly for the waiting.
In return, a bowl of dust,
and hours unfolding like leaves,
charmless and gray.


And then, after the lying began,
(and not the lying all day abed,
not the lying in a lover’s arms,
not that warm, midwinter lying
between blankets)
after the lying began to be a thing of lips
and air,
and after the feeling began
unfolding its gray wings,
after the dark skull head
began pushing against the throat’s inner walls,
and after the body split its coil, that bloody cocoon,
and let the moth to air,
then, and only then,
do we recognize marriage.
Marriage is not a home for lovers.
Marriage is an unkind zoo, its walls and chains
unflattering to a lion.
Marriage is the death we all embrace.
Each marriage is a murder,
a brutality against our best thing,
an exchange in kind of love
for a blender.


The untouched feeling of skin
once worn red, the belly
wide and unprovoked,
desolate and unmoved.


Frozen, and underneath
a waterfall


Surrounded by those we love
and the animal warmth
and the final, firm feeling
that all is false and insufficient.
There are a thousand bodies in the world.
We might cram a thousand bodies in this room.
They might be lively, loving bodies,
beautiful and laughing.
They might be luxurious,
painterly and brilliant,
and all ten thousand fingers might caress me,
and all the thousand wits might engage me,
and all the thousand mouths might press upon me,
but if among those two thousand eyes,
mine do not meet yours,
it will not be enough.
I will keep waiting.

1 comment:

Helen said...

It's really beautiful just the way it is. And working on it, changing it, would undo the past. It is was is it and it was what it was. It is perfect in it's imperfection because it is real.