The rejections are rolling in, and I sigh and file them away. Every now and then, I look at the poems that weren’t a good fit for a particular magazine, and I wonder if I should change my writing style. Then I laugh to myself because I can no more change my writing style than I can change my eye color. I could pretend and mimic other styles as I did when I was cutting my teeth, so to speak, on poetry…but that would be artifice.
So I’ll keep writing the words that pass through me. Here’s one I’m fond of that was rejected.
Pretend Escape Plan
Get these damn spots off my hands! you demand,
meaning the blood, of course. Always the blood.
It’s not so simple, I say, and you try to disappear,
but you can’t pull off that magic trick anymore,
having used up to much of the Divine’s good will.
Stuck there in room with me and the cooling
body, you pace over to the window that looks
across the tangled courtyard and the hills beyond.
There’s peace out there somewhere for me, you say,
and while that’s true, I also know you’re never leaving.
I hold one of your killing hands. The blood doesn’t
bother me, never has. I hold you close and spin lies,
telling you it will be different this time, that we’ll
escape and live in the green hills, and you laugh
and you cry and, more importantly, you believe.