by Laura Summerville Reed
Did he mean so much to you?
And what about all the rest?
Why do you keep them?
You wave an edge-worn, sprial bound notebook
in my face, and with an accusing finger
you pound the side of a small,
move-weary, taped and re-taped cardboard box.
Your jealousy comes round to visit this place often
stirring up dust, sometimes a storm, a flash-flood,
choking my nostrils and throat with the mud of it
until I scream to take a breath
You’re insecurities blister you
when I’ve been too long in the warmth of the sun.
"How could you, how could you
make love to him in a tree?", you say.
I was young, I was quite nimble then,
and I confess, there was a ledge
placed there by a hunter I suppose,
but a tree nonetheless.
Oh! How I love to draw your glare
when you’ve pressed the mud deep
into the darkened grooves of my brain.
Still I weep for your weeping, blistered love.
"We hadn’t even met then", I say
There was a life before you,
a history with no baggage in-tow,
only a small, move-worn cardboard box.
And It’s not yours to drag along.
A better person might not have made
effigies into icons
and flown her memories forward
on paper airplanes.
I am not that better person.
I write things down.
"Why do you keep them?"
Slumped, dejected, your tempest spent,
or only the eye of the storm.
"I intend to be published one day", I say.
"What will people think, what will people say
If they read this?" you ask.
They’ll say, it’s damn fine writing or
they will toss it aside and pay it little heed.
I think there are very few amphibians
reading prosaic poetry. Now do you have
A tree in mind? I need a breath of air and sunshine
I can’t hold my breath underwater any longer.