Men Who Manipulate Language and Soft Tosses of Their Hair
Little mats of paper rest beneath her book
She smiles and winces with the melting-tumour confusion of a naked woman in the heat of an argument with a naked man.
Cataclysm knocked her to the ground today.
Did you know that the dust was only the heat of the air and the air was only the climate of the step-son serpent, he says, he says and he rolls his sleeves up
We are not snakes for no reason, he says
Or didn’t you think about it in that way that you never think about it, he says
Blinking she plays with the small pieces of nothing, watching her fingers and hurting herself by staying.
She says, I was walking through the sunshine, small cut beneath my eye stung for the sake of you and no one noticed that I couldn’t see and no one noticed that my leg had been cut in four places.
It wasn’t my fault, she says
I eloped. My partner was dead when I went to kiss him. The kiss should end the wedding. This still might be the wedding, then, her cut grows bigger, she swallows the queasy dew of a night awake and leans forward to protect her moving stomach.
He was dead and he was standing, she says. Well wishes were cast our way by the family watching. They weren’t our family. But, to some one they were. I created new hope in the moment. Can you remember the last time someone wanted to kiss you but they couldn’t, or has there ever been a time for that, she asks
He says nothing but stirs a cinnamon scented water with his cigarette lighter and navigates his feet further across the floor, towards her, he moves further towards her.
Her hunch deepens.
We were being wed at the top of a mountain and I fell running home, I cut my leg in four places, Rushes of red, Courage they call it, she says
And the blossoms of a hope I never had and the hope of a woman who had me, she wants, she says
He says, could you be any cuter
At a round table in a windowed corner, they sit with their backs to the rest of the room. He payed for her coffee.
Tattoos across her upper arm throb. Her hand mellows. She can only see ahead of her.
Pursing her lips, she tastes her drink.
I have three sons and no daughters, he says.
She moves her hair behind her ear and waits for entrances.
This is a scene somewhere in the city.
You can watch it if you want. You just have to watch it.
Do you hear the other occasions for hurting or are you just staring at my waist.
There are no real instigations of balance, there is only ever the chase between here and there, between mine and yours and in recognition of the words that rhyme with Yours (namely ‘whores’ and maybe even ‘wars’), a quick removal of the poetic justice that is apparently served when phrases are complete.
I knew a poet once
and he owned me
I no longer trust met who manipulate language