Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ineffable Magnetism

In remembrance of things left
unsaid, I sing in an unsteady
voice all the virtues I saw,
every shining quadrant of
you, and this song is eaten
up, devoured entire by the
looming nothing you left
in your wake.

In remembrance of mornings
waking up, cold bare backside
to the wall, covers relinquished
in the struggle, and still happy
through the aching in the bones,
I huddle in this bigger bed, this
comfort place where there is
space enough for two, though
only one ever lies down anymore.

In remembrance of the nervous,
indrawn breath, the stealing of
advantage anywhere—steamy
car windows, girl’s bathrooms in
the still silence of Saturday mornings,
the old and trusty wood beyond the
edges of town, I walk places barred
to me, holding my palm against some
tactile surface far inferior to the soft
warmth of that skin below your
ribcage.

Of course you were not of this place,
not destined to stay long with someone
like me, but to slip away on the morning
dew like some airship whose tide wouldn’t
wait, whose feet could not cling long
to the ground, even at such high altitudes
as those we faced together.

Of course I knew, looking at the crowded
ashtray you stabbed a thousand times,
its scent now stale and consisting only
of char and ash, the dying place for
those nails you loved driving deep into
the coffin’s wooden sides—I knew
that the ache would be a long time
in going, and that there would be no
magic in the world after your departure.

Struggling between words and dumbness,
swaying on my feet as one who has been
bedridden and shaken with chill for a
hundred days, I stagger toward the
light at the window and sit in the
musty chair, watching in that shattered
hope of the fallen for you to appear on
the sidewalk, that mysterious smile
drawing everyone like iron filings to
your ineffable magnetism.

3 comments:

erin said...

This is a very moving piece. It reads softer, but is no less powerful and I can see you clearly in what you've written.. That's a gift.

Mushster said...

A gift indeed. Sadly beautiful.

Firehawk said...

Thanks a lot, Erin and Mushster. Your comments renew my energy and enthusiasm.

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