I must simply imagine your hands, which,
Are lifting your sweet nephew through the air
Are shaving your sweet stubbled face
Are turning the key in the lock
Are plucking the tightly wound heartstrings
of your banjo.
But it isn’t a good idea,
this imagining. Had I any sense
I’d stuff your strong hands
down alongside that rare smile—sun through the clouds—
that melts me, and that sweaty post-run rush through the door,
and that irrepressible love of books and bluegrass
and wild jazz which drove me so sweetly crazy—
deep down into a steep bowl, tamp them down
hard, and set them on fire. I might,
if I had any sense. But tonight I am filling my lungs again
with the blue-black sticky smoke of your absence.
It's okay, you can egg my house if you want--I'd understand. I might even join you. Feel free to slap me across the face and yell "snap out of it!" like people evidently do in Hollywood. It seems to work for them, right?
Sometimes I disgust* myself. Excuse me while I go vomit**.
*This is less legit self-hatred and more "Seriously? Are you seriously whining about this again?" It doesn't seem so bad in my head. Then I write it down.
**No, I am not bulimic.
***If I actually hit "publish" in a moment rather than "exit," does anyone (I am particularly looking at you, Sara) have any constructive comments in terms of writing? I guess I could understand the motivation behind something like "just go cut yourself already," but that doesn't give me much feedback on the construction of the poem.