Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Don't Know Anything About Relationships


Did you hear what I said?
You look…unruffled,
like you might even smile.

Maybe I spoke too softly.
(I do that, I know.)
Let me repeat myself more forcefully.

"Our careful lies are killing us."

So, there it is. I'm finished.
Did you hear what I said? Did you?
Put the cat down and listen to me.


How awful it is to dissect a marriage!
It lays naked on the therapist’s steely table.
He makes his first incision
into the bloated stomach
of our malnourished union.
He polishes his glasses and peers,
cuts the thin taut skin of our collusion.

We're paying him to do this!
Dr. Stahler hums, probes, frowns 
as he examines the damage done
by our withholding of nutrients.

“But we took our marriage to England! to Ireland! To the Alps!
It was fine and plump!
We have neglected feedings of late,
but we were busy, pushed and pulled hither and yon!
What will you do, Doctor?
Will you prescribe an elixir, painkillers,
a weekend out of town?”

"My dear fools,  there is no heartbeat!
Here, lying on my table, is an emaciated 
corpse. Take the remains away and cope 
with them quickly before rot sets in and settles 
irrevocably into your poor, careless souls."

Bereft Light

I'm sure I loved him. Almost sure.
His wide smile, straight teeth.
I liked his back. Liked spotting him
in a crowd. Especially at airports.

Unlike me, he could carry a tune, 
remembered lyrics, knew the band.
He was a good driver. Kept his cool.
Even on the Beltway. 

And jokes! He had a million.
Got them right. No start overs.
He invented puns. And they were good!
I liked that he was proud of them.
His clever puns.

He was a great Scrabble partner!
Everything I know about Scrabble
came from him. Seven letter words?
No problema. Even stoned.

So, yeah. I miss stuff.
But the illusions?
Playing the fool? 
Nosireebob! Not me.
Not those. Who would?



Anonymous said...

Wonderful, moving. These poems know the struggles of relationships.


Karen said...

... I've always wondered, because it seemed so healthy and full of the good life.

Beautiful writing, once again...