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You've held me for years now. I came to you in the dark, going into winter, and it's coming out of winter into the chinese new year, the one set during the first real feel of spring, that I'll leave you.

There were days in there where I thought we'd never leave but just go on wearing our comfortable habits each into each until we fit perfectly. I've never been the only person who gets to make that choice, though.

People come and go and come again and go, again. My moods, my goals, my desires: they shift and double down on themselves and fade like cream just poured into coffee, swirling and spinning and blending finally one into the other. You are distinct from those. You've been there when I've wanted you, protective and never startling, a shell to keep the storms and the bright sun off in equal measure when shelter was needed. You've been there when I would have rejected you. When I doubted my own sufficiency you challenged me and, when I met that challenge, gave me something at least I could do well enough in my life for someone or something.

I am never too much for you, nor too little. I never worry that I'll do or say something wrong in regards to you, because you are supremely mine in a way no person can be. We dress up together sometimes, or dress down and have a party, maybe with friends and waffles and cartoons or maybe just with tea and muffins as the rising sun crawls through the room.

I know your secrets, you see. I know how at certain times of year, when the sun is low and there is so much dark in the world, you let light all the way inside just for a few minutes every morning to dance across the furthest recesses of your kitchen. I know how during the summer you hunker down and barely let the high sun in at all, but shoot strong cool breezes at that one courtyard window that will chill down the whole house if I work with you. I know the knocking sound of your fireplace starting up and the ticking of gas feeding the flames and the way pools of warm and cool air collect, each in its own room.

I can walk through you at night with my eyes closed and never miss a step.

But: you have always been another's, and it is to that other you will return. My beer and bookshelves will vanish, replaced by her potpourri scents and framed photos. Your kitchen will fall silent. You will recede into memory, fading finally into part of the person who comes after me as you are part of me now. I in turn will go on and fit my skin into another space, will bless another set of walls with my music and my tears, will expand into another shell that will eventually hold me as you do now.

Thank you for everything. You have been very good to me. May it go as well for us both as it has so far, if not better.
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Oedipus on Mother's Day by Donald Illich

Hallmark sells no cards for our situation.
I scan the aisle looking for a bittersweet

spot between those for wife, those for
mother. Wife seems too affectionate,

while son feels kind of reserved. I should
kiss you on the cheek when I've seen you

naked, lots of times? Or sit on your lap?
But I'm a big boy now, as you know,

probably too much so. I did find one
for Dad, actually, an apology to you.

A baby on the front accidentally spills
his pudding. A rainbow word balloon

yells, “Oops!” Inside, a puppy licks up
the drops. The text: “Accidents happen.

I hope you can forgive me.” We'll try
to pretend they're not blood. Let's admit,

though, you're glad I'm back this day.
Once you winced at brunch specials

and mimosas, visited places mothers
wouldn't be: sci-fi conventions, cock

fights, rugby matches. We can go out
together on a date, act as if we have

a child at home, baby sat by shepherds,
never left alone, exposed to elements.

Indifference will never be a problem
for us. The only curse we have is love.


That was the poem this morning. I liked it; it suits me: the only curse I have is love.

I've been living on my own for three days. Tonight will be the first night I sleep alone. You might think those previous nights don't count, but already I've learned that if there's no one to protect from my grief by living with me I cry aloud and talk to myself.

The secret to surviving the world is not really ever quite believing in it. Believe around corners, believe at the edges, but never confront the full unflinching weight of it. Douglas Adams said "the one thing you can never afford to have in this world is a sense of proportion". How do we think of his books as comedy?

When I'm alone and crying in the interstice between work and school (I always watch the clock: it's 2:52 and I should be leaving, but can stretch it till 4:30 if I need to) I listen to the things I say: first, into my palms with my face in my hands, I say: okay. Okay. This is how I try to surrender resistance. If there's no resistance there's no pain, is there?

But this isn't about ego. That was crushed out of my quite some time ago.

Next I say, over and over: fuck. I try it louder: FUCK. More quietly, testing: oh fuck. I always wanted to learn to swear well and never did. I thought that colourful language might open me up, vent this pressure inside and release it. I never did learn, but right now suspect it wouldn't help.

I'm too old to pull the darkness all the way over my head and disappear into it. I'm too old to dissolve. All I can do is sit here, in pain, and tell myself that's the way life is. There's no one who would argue with me. We've all been here; we almost all will be here again.

I live in the future, in expectation and in dreams and desire. This hauls me forward along with whatever weights I choose to drag with me along whatever paths I choose to beat through the unknowns of my life. This is why my fingers seek the keyboard so urgently now, why words explode and then falter in a counterpoint to the sobs I have no reason to stifle.

You aren't in my future. I'm not in yours. We've agreed on that time and time again. And I've tried to be open to you despite that, to not fear severance and the pain that will come with it.

Here it is, a moment of pain in a long life. In a month or a year it'll be just that, a moment, and return with less urgency each time I see it. I know that. I've been here before.

And I know too that maybe the point where your life diverges is not this week but later, weeks or months or even years down the road. Who knew this would go on so long, after all, haphazard and circumstantial as it is? And so in this writing I come out of the future where we have already had our last kiss and into the present where neither of us know. I suppose that's always the present: assumptions, but no knowledge of what comes next.

The pain is fading in my ribcage, leaving bruises where it forced itself huge against the bone, and leaving an afterimage.

If I look at the clock (3:14) I don't even have to see it.

I'll sit here looking at the clock for a few more minutes before I leave for school.
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Michael, the second one is the one I spoke of quite some time ago.

Trying to Raise the Dead

Look at me. I'm standing on a deck
in the middle of Oregon. There are
friends inside the house. It's not my

house, you don't know them.
They're drinking and singing
and playing guitars.Read more... )
A direction. An object. My love, it needs
a place to rest. Say anything. I'm listening.
I'm ready to believe. Even lies, I don't care.

Say burning bush. Say stone. They've
stopped singing now and I really should go.
So tell me, quickly. It's April. I'm

on Spring Street. That's my gray car
in the driveway. They're laughing
and dancing. Someone's bound

to show up soon. I'm waving.
Give me a sign if you can see me.
I'm the only one here on my knees.

Dorianne Laux

Married

I came back from the funeral and crawled
around the apartment, crying hard,
searching for my wife's hair.
For two months got them from the drain,
from the vacuum cleaner, under the refrigerator,
and off the clothes in the closet.
But after other Japanese women came,
there was no way to be sure which were
hers, and I stopped. A year later,
repotting Michiko's avocado, I find
a long black hair tangled in the dirt.

Jack Gilbert

Miniature Bridges, Your Mouth

Read more... )this should be easy. a two-step to cowboys. you're beautiful
but that's not the point.

x

I know my way back perfectly well. like the back
of my hand, as it were. but look, the labyrinth walls
are high hedge and green. this also could be joy.

xx

I literally don't know your middle name. does that
matter? what systems we arrange for intimacy, small
disclosures like miniature bridges, your mouth. not
what I'd anticipated. softer. to begin with,
I should tell the truth more. I could miss you,
and that's a liability.

xxx

I am not often off-kilter. but you're so silent,Read more... )

Marty McConnell

My Husband Discovers Poetry

Because my husband would not read my poems,
I wrote one about how I did not love him.
In lines of strict iambic pentameter,
I detailed his coldness, his lack of humor.
It felt good to do this.

Stanza by stanza, I grew bolder and bolder.
Towards the end, struck by inspiration,
I wrote about my old boyfriend,
Read more... )
You know how this story ends,
how my husband one day loses something,
goes into the basement,
and rummages through the old trunk,
and he uncovers the hidden poem
and sits down to read it.

But do you hear the strange sounds
that floated up the stairs that day,
the sounds of an animal, its paw caught
in one of those traps with teeth of steel?
Do you see the wounded creature
at the bottom of the stairs,
his shoulders hunched over and shaking,
fist in his mouth and choking back sobs?
It was my husband paying tribute to my art.

Diane Lockward

We were driving to your funeral
& our father was not crying
because he has a way
of tying ribbons around grief.
Read more... )
If there were an antonym for suicide
we could all choose when to be born.
I would have been born after that day
so I could not remember you.
So my fingers would stop pointing
at all the things that aren’t there.

Kevin A. González

Disorder

Apr. 30th, 2010 09:06 am
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Twenty five and a half hours to the hook pull. Famous Blue Raincoat as done by Tori Amos on repeat. Late to work.

Ominous? Perhaps.

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