Thursday, October 22, 2015

land of hard places and stones

between a rock and a hard place
that's a special place to be
the certain comfort of the pressure
the roughness digging into your back
the air you gasped out of your lungs

maybe you, my love, maybe you were there
between a rock and a hard place
the knife at your throat and the crime in your hands

for blessings and curses,
this vision is mine
what is opened is not again closed

the rain was driving hard,
as it does, on our home island
land of hard places and stones
the water ran rivers on your coat
inadequate to the task
on your skin,
pooling through stubble like marsh

you could not do the task
your hand shook, holding that blade
you would not press it to the skin
would not cut

and failure seemed closer
than your lover's breath
than her beating heart

what did you see in that moment?
what drove your desperate words?

i do not know.

only what you spoke,
not what you saw
not what madness, blindless
lust for self destruction
took you when you turned that blade

i do not know.
i have cried out rivers for that madness,
but i do not know.

i only see with eyes
my heart is blind 

the grave was shallow.
it's the way of that place, that land
can't dig deep enough to plant a pot plant.
the grave was shallow,
but the spade wore blisters on your hands
already calloused though they were

and you paused, shovel cast aside
clattered to the cobbles
and turned your eyes to the endless sky
the endless grey of endless rain
like redemption came from there

Eli lamah azabtani?
whose help comes from the hills?

and no help came
none that any sane man would call help

the blade steadied in your hands
i could not see the handle
bone or steel, plastic even
that rough black military grade
i imagine it hard against the heat of blisters
but it did not shake
your hands did not shake
even as you turned the blade
with so much more conviction
the perfect certainty of one
who's made the wrong choice

a shallow grave
is plenty deep enough for a heart
yours lay beating as you kicked the dirt back down
strength not left to shovel
dirtying your boots

and after that,
the madness sinking like fever
to sit in your spine

after that, you had the conviction of your courage
an affinity for sharp stones
the insensitive wildness to grasp for me
and you did, then, the things
that were asked of you

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