Worlds Away

what the nomad brought home

Alright Now

I don’t reminisce about your breath on my neck,
Your weight upon my breasts,
Or your hands upon my body.
I don’t miss the nights I gripped you overcome with longing,
Or the way you used to kiss me,
Or how I was rendered helpless in your arms.

But sometimes, in the flicker of a memory,
I glimpse the place where I was branded by your longing,
And the embers re-ignite with a burn that I detest —

And my heart pounds, and my eyes drop, and my spirit fades,
And I’m brokenfailedworthless, and it’s all
Right now, and there’s no way out

From underneath

Save for these five turncoat senses
Which, by process of elimination,
Reassure that you were never there at all.





One late-summer afternoon, while I was listening to music in my room, a song I used to sing often during high school started to play. It brought back vivid memories of a person I had known back then, and I decided to try to pour the emotional reaction into a poem. When I began, I was feeling defiant, but my mood shifted quickly with the lines; first to vulnerable, then to panicked, then to foolish.

Should you be curious, the song that was my lament was “Ice” by Sarah McLachlan.

October 17, 2009 Posted by | Memories, Poetry, Woman | , , , , , | 3 Comments

This is Treason

 

Sometimes, war is silent.
And he advances in the night to hide his crimes.
His teenage consort — stoic, young, and good
At keeping secrets — is unwilling,
But adrenaline confounds before she can distinguish friend
From foe.
Surprise attacks disarm as he takes
Mountains first, then valley, and insists
Her pounding heart and quickened breath
Bespeak the thrill of conquest.
These are missions that he can’t complete alone.
Against her flesh, an unmistakable contour
Threatens as he orders her to come;
Only cowards walk away, she tells herself,
And tries to prove she’s strong enough
To hold the line unaided.  No one wants to be discovered
So exposed.

But then,
He draws his sword and stares her down.
His weapon at her throat, knees on her chest,
An unexpected standoff,
While screaming eyes beg why? for lips that wouldn’t dare
Pronounce their protest;
If she parted them, she’d gag.
I’m weak, he pleads,
Then binds her arms
And reprimands the prisoner:  you know we have to stop.
He charges south along the fertile warzone of
Her body, slides a hand into the quiver, and she arches
Like a bow about to snap.
Once more, she tries to swing a weak defense —
He grabs her wrist and laughs…
Too dazed to be convinced she ever really fought at all,
She shuts her eyes, demoralized by guilt, and time
Suspends

….for years.

A heavy hand is placed over her mouth to snuff resistance
  —  Shhhh!
Defiant legs are trembling as they strain to hold the distance —
Then muffled cries subside
As she goes numb.
She turns her head.
The war is lost.
And a smile
Surveys the spoils as betrayal burns her face.
He compensates her efforts with a devastating kiss.

We’re accomplices, he whispers.
See what you make me do?
Take our secret to the grave because

She’d kill you, if she knew.



Consider this my contribution for Women’s History Month.  But remember, men are violated every day as well.  The song I chose to accompany this piece, “El duelo” (“The Duel”), is a chilling acoustic duet between Chilean group La Ley (male vocals by Beto Cuevas) and Mexican singer Ely Guerra, about intimate violence, confusion, and pain.  It set the mood for my writing process this time but has actually been a favorite song since high school.

But on to an issue more important than music.  For you, I wish two things — first, that you find this poem completely unrelatable.  Truly, I would love for everyone to be able to read this and think, “I don’t get it.”  But if, instead, you hear yourself saying “Never again,” then I wish, by God, that you may be right.

Absolve yourself.  Peace.



Regrettably, I’m still on a work-induced hiatus from WordPress, but I felt that these were words that needed to be spoken, and spoken now. I look forward to returning in coming weeks and catching up on everyone’s inspiring writing.

March 9, 2009 Posted by | Poetry, Sex, Uncategorized, Woman | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments