Monday, March 26, 2012

chemotherapy (poetry is fabrication)

chemotherapy (poetry is fabrication)

"Almost anything carried to its logical extreme becomes depressing, if not carcinogenic."
The Left Hand of Darkness, Introduction, Ursula K. Le Guin

So after, when he whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?”
I tell him, “Real.”
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins

i could say that i fell, if i were being logical,
because “tripping” includes something else

(and, of course, by “something,” i mean “someone,”
unspoken as well, like trying to say chemotherapy)

in either case i find myself taken to the extreme,
bruised and scraped, on the ground, metastasized

how did you let go, turn away, cut ties
and release, as if i were never there?

how did you shut the door and move on,
clear and fresh?—purified by water or fire?

i open my hands and spread my arms,
but nothing leaves and the weight remains

soft and real and natural, pressing outward,
expanding my rib cage and against my sternum

like an alien spawn always about to be birthed
through the center of me that wants only you

i discovered everything in this never letting go

all the clothes were tissue paper and glue
the furniture all veneer, too frail for sitting

i found the make up, hair dye and extensions
the artificial nails and bottles upon bottles of polish

yes, laminated like these words because poetry is fabrication:
every session nearly kills you while it alone gives you life

sister, brother, mother, daughter, father, son
these worlds inhabited and fixed, unlike lover

do i lie still or at least push myself up on all fours,
a resurrected crawler prone to find his way back to you?

memories and dreams are the holding on i cannot control
memories and dreams are the holding on i cling to like water

these words are trees falling in the woods you have fled,
and i can only imagine the sound you would hear if there

a black wrap, a pair of shoes with white cloth straps,
your unpainted finger nails, a knuckle scraped red

like the tiny veins across your nose when i was lucky,
close enough to see, to feel the warmth of you there

i don’t hide them in my pockets or in a shoe box in the closet,
but i will never let go, never release the times you held on

to me