If there is a different life it is ambiguous
marked with crumbs of self-denial -loathing,
broken little bits of the constant changing world
around your cage. You look to see if you can
find reflection. If there is a different reflection
it must be in the mirror of glistening waters
called Misery Bay. The mirror in the medicine
cabinet lies with all that artificial lighting making
illusions in the dark: the lines
and streaks on your face. You long for embrace,
the tender kiss. If there is a caring lover
he’s not the one in your bed filling it so much
so it ushers your scent to a couch which isn’t even yours.
I can’t remember the last time I felt
truly loved by you. It seems I am no more
than a burden that has to be ignored. Pushed into
isolation because of your need for isolation.
My body has been mutilated, desexed,
deserted making this animal I’m tied to desolate,
desperate to find something that makes it feel
alive. It’s so lonely being here in need. No
understanding comfort of embrace. When you look
at me with that steely indifferent stare, I die
a little more each time. Reaching out
is futile. It simply demonstrates I am never more
dead in this world than with you.
You see. There gets to be an emptiness,
a hollowness in the place
where my uterus once was. That place that brought life
into the world now feels the void of nothing
there, only the numbness of my sex ongoing.
He is the bearer of bones, sometimes dragging
himself with the precision of needle
point, on a confused track along
the injectable parts of the circulatory
system, which only promises the disease
of blood, where he’ll most likely forget
the work of breathing.
He said, I hope
you and yours are well. She couldn’t
tell him anything. She never responded with
a word. How could he know that she is
that woman who exists in filth? The garage
soaks into her skin, so she so often smells
motor oil. The arthritic hands of hers are always
outlined in dirt. Fingernails that never come clean,
see she’s always scratching at something.
It is something
under her skin: a seething infected slither. Everyone
overlooks that she is just a small
woman with fine sensibilities working
like a man, so her fit, fay, frame
falters for being forgotten.
for Peggy Honeydew
That’s not his name. At the time,
it didn’t matter much what his name
was. He was being
incarcerated, because his existence was
an insult to those compliantly comfortable
Caucasians in Richland. His cardboard
shanty, garbage can fires, tree grown
cookware, his fingerless
gloves, holes in his shoes
during the very cold winter was
all too offensive. No one wanted to see him
and learn his name was the same
as theirs. So they threw his ass in prison.
The fibers from the ropes are needles
pricking my neck. You tighten
your finely crafted knot. I
try to swallow my fear, but the noose has
made rub burns all around my neck. It hurts
to think of any movement. You say
to me, You asked for this.