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Love/Hate

Love/Hate

“How can you hate what I love?” she asked
draped over the sofa, ellipses stuck in her throat…

“Because I hate everything,” he answered
and deposited a lifetime of trust in an off-shore
account that the instantly forgot existed.

She thought about his words, and then she
thought about her relationship to the words,
so she took a powder and disappeared somewhere

up north, and he collected fall-out shelters
and moved among them like a wanted man.

Benefit for the Self-Obsessed

I absorbed the style of your night,
your courage like a good-sized cocker
spaniel, crouched and hackles raised,
ready to protect you at a moment’s notice.

But you don’t need protecting, do you,
with your prodigious smile and thick
intentions, hogging all the finger sandwiches
at the Banquet of Forlorn and Spurned Lovers?

My, how you haven’t grown, remarked
the 135-year old woman, frail and blue.
It was true enough, though you rejected
her words like you rejected me year ago.

You moved with the the speed of paper
cut, small but fast, redolent with outsized
pain while the rest of us redrew our maps,
marking off the places deemed too dangerous.

A Blue Affair

It was such a blue affair,
irrelevant, really…or

irrelephant, you said as
you traipsed off into the wild

green of the surrounding hills
and called to those mighty

bastions and memory and deep
sadness, keepers of burial

grounds which sprout stones
like pale, strong flowers, like tusks,

like the very bones of redemption…
or so you said, one unforgivable

morning when nothing was right
with the world but you still loved me.

Dinner Date

By the time your mother invited me over
and baked her famous blood casserole,
I had already invented the art of recycled
pain, jettisoning any hope that we would
have a normal love or even a normal day,

so it wasn’t weird when your mother–
a member of the Guilt of the Month Club,
standing there with oven-mitted hands,
offering us her family history baked into
savory strangeness, some relative of hers

gasping out culinary horror– spooned
giant heaps of the stuff onto our silvery plates,
and we ate dutifully, aware of the darkness
clotting our throats, making it hard to breath,
let alone swallow the years of agony in each bite.

At Last, Lunch With You

There is a teeny bit
of mayonaise left for
your intestine sandwich.
Holy crow, that’s some
good stuff, especially

from the bellies of stupid,
fat, and juicy people.
“Ewww!” you scream.
“That’s gross! What
the hell’s wrong with you?”

“The underside of naked
mole rats in heat,” I reply,
“is gross, as in the inside
of a mongoose’s eyeball.
It’s pasty and not at all fragrant.”

For that, you relegate me
to the Hinterlands of Ill-Omens
and I… I take the suicide less
contemplated, and that will
make none of the headlines.

Me and the Beard

“I’ll kill you in the moonlight
in front of the heavenly host,
you wretched thing,” I say.
Yes, go deeper, tell me more,
the beard tells me, so I do:

“I’ll sacrifice your face to the
wind and dice your soul until
the cows come home. Not
just ordinary cows, mind you.
Expensive, good looking ones.”

That will take a looong time.
“‘’sokay,” I reply, lighting a
match with my teeth. “I got time.”
And we sit across from each other,
man and beard, patiently toiling.

Need

Let me drain you of whispers
and replace them with silence,
my black flower, my midnight one.
Press your lips to the ground
and taste my imminent arrival.

When we meet, time will become
like a mother you once loved.
Let God hide in his skies and the
devil laugh in his restless, hot earth.
Cling to me and let all else die.

Terminal

There is no cure for this,
no anesthetic to mask
the pain of living without you,
cut off from the only source of
warmth in this black, cold world,
the stars having spent their last
burst of energy to illuminate
the broken landscape and give
me foolish and doomed hope.

Since Dying

Not sure about this one….

Since dying, I have hosted
several parties, and everyone
who is anyone comes and stays

until the sun struggles to rise
and my grief blossoms like a flower.
They can’t take that— I don’t

blame them as they whisper their
thanks and soft goodbyes, drifting
away, like galaxies in an expanding

universe, never to return as I shut
the doors and write thank-you cards
I read once before throwing away.

Visit

“You should never visit me,”
she says as the room turns upside down
and her cat blossoms into flowers.

I suspect she might be right if this
is the way of things—my hands suddenly
on fire, my hair rising in sympathy

with the moaning wind—but I’ve come now,
and I want her to hold her bright face
before it melts down and fades away again.