15 December 2010

Fighting Fish

When babies aren’t born,

his wrinkled, calloused hands wrestle each other,

it hurts the daddy too.

He sits in the lobby of the assisted care home, staring at the aquarium.

Not the same as the mother, but when a baby is stillborn—where the hell did they get the name anyway?Because the baby is still? There is nothing still afterwards.
We lost—she lost—three.The weirdest thing is for someone to be born dead. Born and dead at the same time.

The water plants sway in the filtered water.

I think the thing that hurt most was packing up the crib and buying the little coffin, so small it looked like a stage prop. Everything must have its place to end. Everything finds its place.

Water puddles on his lower eyelid.

Sometimes I wonder what if. I guess there is no reason to think of these fill in the blanks as much as I do. 

The setting sun bleeds pink through the window. I will have to leave soon.

She left me soon after we buried the last one. We stayed married in the same house, but she was never really there--not inside.

He chuckles. I follow his stare to two pink fish in the tank, repeatedly kissing and backing away flirtatiously.

Ever see pink gouramis? the fish? It looks like they’re kissing. They’re beautiful, but they’re actually

The gnarled knuckles of each hand hit.

doing battle. They’re trying to suck the life out of each other. That’s what we were.

There is a ringing of our own silence that makes me shift my view.

Nothing causes everything to die inside--where they can’t be repaired or replaced--like a child’s death. ‘Specially one you never knew.

12 December 2010

Prayer, Second Version

Mostly is not all
as evidenced forever,
a fate so apropos
no jury would deny.
Midnight died for lack of prayer,
and yet I beat my fists against your father chest.
"You are no father to me," I shout without remorse.

The runes of blood tattooed
across your skin remind me
there is nothing more frightening than
God damning, nothing more deserved.
Now your holy fingers
slip into the sinew of my thigh, and
I fight no more.

You were my great whiting out,
painted over heart textures,
relief and ravine of soul,
onion paper over bone stretched.

Be thou my cancer --
the eating of my core,
the tendrils inseparably spiraling around my hopes--
the vegetable spine that wills against desire.

Take the colors from me,
the hazing demanding verdict,
the deadline long since passed,
the message clearly given:

Abuse is not grace.
Release is not grace.
Forget is not grace.
Cost is grace.

Blog Archive