THE FIRST TIME SHE KNOWS

 

As she is falling asleep, she is hit by her body

being too big, like a child's

bed being overtaken by the body of an adult.

A pitiful and demented sight!

In the night of this new place, sounds rush

like water into the bedroom, drenching her

with the noise of men in urinal stalls, blue ones

making love to their lovers, people debating

the precise moment a girl is a girl no longer.

She is too big for this bed, she is no longer a child

to believe that wishes are promises are words

or words mean anything whether spoken or not.

She is no longer a child to believe that as she lies

there not sleeping, too big in her bed,

that others are not sleeping because of thoughts of her.

So sad as a child the first time she knows.

 

 

 

 

 

A HEART MADE OF STRING

 

Before dissection, the specimen appears

to be a heart made of string. A knot of hemp, perhaps,

 

tangled, heart-shaped. But once cut open, itŐs clear

that it is a heart all right, with blood and blood

which spills

near your hands. You can see now that the string had

only been

wrapped round and round, binding, bound

like a marriage vow. String pulled through and over,

tight and tighter -- if a heart could breathe, this one

would not have been able to. You find the end

of the rope, hold and pull it. It comes out in one

long piece

and the heart lies, open, quiet, hers, resting.

In pieces, in peace for once and for all.

 

_____

 

 

 

LIKE BABIES

 

A moment ago I couldn't shut

my  mouth any more than you

could stop your hands.

My voice chased you into corners,

you thought. You thought. You thought.

I never said what was in that open mouth.

I never said; I couldn't shut up.

 

Now it's darker and somehow you've resolved

what you thought. You've shut off the light,

ready to be rid of words for some hours.

But I'm at the edge of the bed,

awake with what you didn't hear.

 

One of us is rocking.

You are falling asleep.

 

_____

 

 

 

TRICKERY OF THUMBS

 

Oh the technology that lies within an adultererŐs arsenal!

The ability to hold your mouth, the words out of your mouth,

your fingers, the buttons your fingers push, against my body --

to have those sounds and meanings on my person at all times,

everywhere and anywhere, a wealth of betrayal and wonder.

But as things become more complicated, there are of course

more complications and more opportunities for sadness, for guilt,

for capture as my body vibrates from our abbreviated contact.

I suppose sometimes simpler is better -- glances and alleys

have worked for years and were my first weapons of choice.

But you are younger and you understand these things differently.

I canŐt always move fast enough to explain how I feel about

wanting two, wanting sea, wanting you.

 

       © Christine Brandel 2006