Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Alene Terzian: Not a Love Poem #8

I never liked the way your hair
parted at a right angle, the glossy sheen
of your night light, or those earmarked books

pressed between white snow globes
on your dresser; they faced east where you
nervously paced and recited all twelve cranial nerves,

beginning with the hypoglossal until I was ready
to throw out your endless supply of 3 X 5s.
I was going to do it tomorrow.

But tomorrow was our anniversary, six years
of dirty dishes, iron-on t-shirts, Virgin Mary
postcards, thrift store statues, and that insufferable

velvet Elvis painting in the guest room. I should have
done it then before tomorrow demanded festivity,
and we exchanged cards with emotions we didn’t feel.

Instead, I waited for you to betray me.

It wasn’t long before I caught you in late night whispers
about arterial bleeds or mad cow disease,
contributing to a spike in selected, vegan living.

It wasn’t long until I heard you say, “Tomorrow,
after champagne toast, after friends leave, after clean up,
I will tell her.” And that night, you were propaganda,

fraudulent and intoxicated, an errant dream, a celebration
of future, miles gone, and me, curled against door,
strained to hear each word like an insistent,

uncompromising prayer; the cooed goodbye,
the packed boxes, rehearsed speech. I filmed it all:
the story of lovers leaving doorways exposed.


Copyright Alene Terzian. Used here by kind permission of the author.

2 comments:

William said...

Madly wonderful, wonderfully mad — visual, strengthened from within by rhythm and sound. Like standing in front of a broken mirror, while Beethoven's Ninth Symphony plays in the background.

George S said...

Interesting post... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your blog. I'm sure I'd visit here more often. George from love poem.