When you first hit me, I should've left you
In that casket of a home you built
For me, for only me.
How I would've whistled
And tapped my feet to see you drown
In the dark—fear coiling around your ankles,
Numbing your knees,
Fastening your fist,
Girdling your groin; you couldn't kick,
Push, jolt or jeer.
Just you and your fear
All alone, with no one to interfere;
And the two of you snuggling, making love.
You'd know what it is to be me, to be
A story never read.
But I didn't leave you to believe you
And gave you another chance
That you crushed like the cake
I had once improvised.
I wound up in that litter box again,
The space we share every night,
Where I am wrong and you are right.
I did it for the picture of you and me,
For the flopping syllables
I uttered from earnest affection
While you coughed them out
Like they were ulcers pinching your tongue.
It's okay, I thought, we are lovers, black
And white pillows laundered in the same basket.
We can wring out colors and carve
Our own rainbows.
I turned the mirrors around
So I can't see the scars crisscrossing my face.
I let you lock your wrist against my neck
And chanted your name even as you choked me.
Remember our honeymoons in the coffin,
Our dates in the attic,
And the salt of romance that sizzled on my wounds.
And then one day you left the blinds
Open and I sniffed a world that had ceased to
Exist when we fell in love.
(No, I did, you bluffed).
A young woman beckoned
To me; free, free, free, she whispered.
The fricatives wafting towards me
Like a ball of feathers.
Her words so charming and alive,
Puffing with meaning
And melody; bobbing and
Beading around me; pouring
Their warmth into me, like clusters of dew
curling around a droplet freshly born.
She strummed my soul and set me free
And I knew she was my love for me.