Sunday, June 13, 2010

Couplets

Since I graduated (oh p.s. I graduated) in May, I haven't really written anything. At all. I'd like to attribute that mostly to the hassle of moving out of New Brunswick, dealing with work, which has been extremely busy lately, and applying to jobs, publications and other things. Today I sat down and simply began to write, and I think that I found another culprit. It seems that I've had a backlog of emotion building up, which clearly tore itself out of me in one fell swoop tonight.

In any case, this is probably the most heart-wrenching thing I have ever written. I do not want to say that it is really complete, so I am also tagging it as a draft.

Here goes.


.
.

Cannot

It is something new every week,
Some new, terrifying ailment.

At the time, I laugh, smoothing
My mother's hair back from her face,

Hair which shone a melting gold,
Needing to be redyed so she could feel

As if the past thirteen years hadn't aged her so,
So she could feel new.

At the time I laugh, I soothe
Her furrowed brow with a delicate kiss.

But later, at night, when the crickets
Sing and I drown them out with a loud,

Clanging air conditioner, cat hair in my eyes,
In my mouth, settling over me like some

Blanket haphazardly sown--
I think and think and do not sleep,

And cry for her aches and pains.
My heart can only clutch at my throat,

Beating alongside fluttering eyelashes.
I cannot speak, cannot say what

It is my nightmares consist of, cannot
Hold on to any thread of borrowed sleep,

Must somehow hold to mattress springs
And wet pillow corners.

At night my fears hold tight to me:
Flashes of me living without the people

I cannot live without.

Justine Bienkowski