There came the time
to retrieve my eyes from your eyes,
to check my tongue out of your throat,
untwine my fingers from your own
that fist-like fought the withdrawal
without breaking the nails, without breaking
a bone, without
– even –
slicing a nerve.
no longer owe me the destination
of your steps, the location of your
absence, the timetables of your thinking.
no longer awe you.
I cashed out my life from the bank of you
for no reason other than life,
it is long and it must be stood. I stand it
in my mini-might, I fight
it with my dwindled strength, my bare knuckles
and my patience, and I
– maybe? – just fine,
every other time.
I had some nerve and felt the nerves
of one who skipped the rehearsals, who
stumbled on stage bound and blind, mumbled
dark spells from a sad script
fished out of the slush pile.
I bore the brunt
of one who hates the plays she plays, who wants to hell
with theatre. The only way was to duck out, hang up my
wig on the top shelf, shed off my second
and third skins, make a new dress with the curtains. But I
in the longest period drama.
You no longer
tickle me out of my last breath,
summon the laughter out of me.
I no longer
coax out the cravings of your mind.
My god, I lie: I stand it half or nought,
most every other time, I under-
stand this life too right
for the good
of our kind, with-
stand it with the pieced-up remains of my corrupt mind,
my punctured blow-up heart, and my brain that I now
I subtracted my shares of our futures
for no reason other than death,
it is harsh and potent in me. I tackle it
with my left kick, my mistakes on automatic, I handle it
with feeble defence on repeat, and haggle
with it for mercy.
There came the time to cut
the heartstrings shooting in-between.
I severed them with a rough knife,
one at a time, one at a time – sometimes
tying them back, until you begged for the butcher,
who doesn’t go round roundabouts, what with the
pigs the geese the cows
waiting their turn in the chamber.
Two years later I piece us back.
This is our hope and our collage.