My face was an impressionist canvas
vile shades of green and violet
and blue flowers around my eyes.
I had not struck there but somehow
they too are swollen
the shade of summer sky.
My knuckles, the callous artists
that painted me
twitching and trembling and bruised.
My mother’s tremulous finger
traced the thousands of violent strokes
My heart stuttered and I wished
I could remember to inhale.
“Why?” she whimpered
And I tried, but couldn’t explain
the way the memories escaped
came to ravish me bleeding
jeered into my ear
till I could have sworn he was there
again, heaving upon me
and giving my knuckles their pulse.
I hold the silver circlet in my palm and feel its ruinous vacancy. True Love Waits. Why didn’t you wait for me?
I am face down in the sheets and overcome. Maybe you like it this way because you know the difference between agony and ecstasy, and you know that I am neither.
You and me in the forest, the December world cracking under our feet. The ominous grey labyrinth leading somewhere I don’t want to go.
Some things are best left unremembered, but unsaid is the next best thing.
So she sat in the driver’s seat, fingertips stained
by the rotten shade of my face, and cried.
And I would have wept too
but all the wrong parts of me were swollen shut.