Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,
Jacqui
jacqui

Here's a poem I wrote for my husband long ago
(he left a little over two years ago)

He drives flowers into my hands
as if they were nails
Big pink peonies and poppy
flowers
meant for someone else
My heart has this open gash
that's pulling apart at the edges
where we used to be happy
I remember my beloved cat Skinny
choking and gasping for air
his lungs filling with water
in reaction to the poison
that burned them
on our wedding day
I remember me
a mute bride
a howl of pain so great
it almost filled that space
where my mother lives
She was there
in volcanic form
indomitable and controlling
forcing us to pose
for faithless recreations
of moments that had already passed
Images they would later retouch
to make me look thinner
Repainting everything but my own memory
I remember
taffeta and lace
presents and flowers
an angry woman pelting me with rice
for marrying the brother of the man
who would never marry her
I remember
a small cove, the Italian Riviera
a honeymoon picnic on rocks
splashing waves and tiny sea crabs
a rowboat ride on Lago di Como
I remember
a sunset view of Switzerland through
our bedroom window
Bats circling at dusk over Venice
The ancient beauty of Rome
and my hands
drifting
in an ice cold fountain
I remember
so many things
but nothing will ever change the fact
that he never stroked my hair
he never told me I was beautiful
he never held my heart
with any kind of regard
No, nothing will change the fact
that we hardly ever made love
certainly not on our wedding day
or any significant romantic occasion thereafter
then hardly at all
then hardly
now not at all
but he presses flowers into my hands
that smell of spring and summer
that promise happiness and family
a soft window seat with a view
through warm crystal window panes
of a garden in England
with silky hens and geese
and the sounds of my children
playing like music below me
A friendly cat climbs the wisteria
to rest in my lap
and he will come up from behind
and wrap his strong arms around me
pressing flowers into my hands
that were never really meant for me
and though they feel like soft pink velvet to my lips
they nail me to this empty life
and promise so much pain
when I try to tear myself away
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