Archive for loss

I’ll Only Keep the Cat

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , on February 23, 2010 by bodhitsattva

Beneath a moonless sky, while
trucks pollute the highway, I’ll skin
the sheets from the mattress we shared.
We divided the animals like children
of divorce: I get the gray cat;
you keep the pit bull.

My summer will be spent
cleaning you from the corners
of my drawers, filling the space on
the half-emptied book shelf.
The grey tabby will still sleep
in my bed until the deep blue dawn
when his paw taps my forehead, he licks
my nose’s tip, and wakes me with your
green eyes in his head, purring like you
would when we made love in the morning.

I Think of Loss

Posted in Poetry with tags , , on February 23, 2010 by bodhitsattva

Muck gets stuck in his pores. In mine too. I pop all the pimples on his arms and back. Even those unseen under the skin. He flinches, calls me names, laughs. I’ve been a professional pimple popper since puberty: Can you feel them explode? His freckled skin is a Jackson Pollock: Maybe that’s why I’m letting you do it.

This is what I do without him: I wear his socks to warm my cold feet. I’ve always liked lovers who wear black socks. I try on the sandy shorts he draped over the tub to dry, thinking: maybe if I fill the pockets with shed skin he’ll always feel my presence. Perfect fit, except the waist band doesn’t bend to a woman’s body.

When we shower together, I should scrub his back; he should scrub mine. We’d rather roll along the shoreline to exfoliate. As I stand in the shower with my back to him, blood rushes from his hands to his thighs as he follows the curve of my ass. I bend forward, my pussy rosy. Water flows from either side of my rib cliffs. We kiss after we towel dry. I’m glad he stays shirtless.

I think of loss. He lays me down, listens and lets me cry. I explain it to his blue eyes: how I’m nothing but fragments, the shells we found and made pendants of; how every person is a piece of me, especially my lovers; how they live with me, loudly or quietly, in the Victorian house I own in my dreams; how I can see a person’s energy, its color and movement; how his is gold: a sun, the medallion on the chariot of Capricorn; how he does not hold me like my father, but like my mother: the heat of Leo, lion heart, the passion of a million revolutionaries; how, as a child, I cried when my mother sang. She thought I didn’t like her voice, but it was like church bells; how my mother’s singing made me fear her death, but I can only lose myself; how, if I lost him, I’d be a moonless Earth.

He plays a game, won’t let me kiss him until I can smile. As his head hangs over me, his dreads are dune grass blowing across my landscape. I am a planet he inhabits