Tuesday, May 29, 2007

From the Archives: After Hours

I am being flooded with the anger of my relationship with my first boyfriend. Anger that has gone very unprocessed over the years. I barely have words for what I'm feeling. I wrote a poem about it one day back in '99, six years after the relationship had ended. It's still my best attempt to express what happened to me.

After Hours

Ten o’clock-
The dark cloud
Looms overhead
Like some foreboding canopy.
It drifts in
Slowly, subtly.
Then hangs right above me.
And rains
My own personal shower
My own personal storm.
All for me
All to me.
The rage surfaces first
The words you said
Like daggers
Piercing my soul.
The conversations play again and again
Like some twisted chorus.
You hate me, hate me, hate me
Hate mother, father, sisters
You wish you were dead.
Your world so unlike mine.
I must be strong.
Must love you
Won’t betray you like the others.
Conversation always ends the same
You’re sorry and
You love me, love me, love me.
Job done for another day.

Next rolls in the pain
The pain of love with hate
Hate with love.
Cannot show you pain
You’ve seen enough,
Must be strong.
But now, at day’s end
It all rushes in—
The words you said.
The hug followed by the insult.
The caress followed by
The stinging stab of your unbridled tongue.
But can’t show my hurt
Until I’m alone.
Not until the clouds come
To shadow my tears.
Now, now it’s safe to
Break down.
To split apart.
The shattered soul erupts
From the faultless façade.
Pain, pain, pain.
No consolation.
The friend to all
Is friendless.
She takes to paper
The words no one will hear.

Thunder rolls
And ushers in the desolation.
No where to turn
No one to turn to.
Who will listen?
I talked you out of suicide today.
Now who will do the same for me?
No one knows
The after hours persona.
The other side
Which lurks
Until the sun sets.
Until the day is done
And all is saved.
Now, who saves me?
Planning the escape—
Those pills look really good.
To sleep, sleep, sleep.
So very tired.
No consolation.
So alone.
The tears long gone now,
Just a gaping hole
In my chest
Where my heart used to be.
You ripped it out long ago.
That day—do you remember?
You ripped the chain from my neck
Said it was an accident.
The anger in your clenched fist
Said differently.
I actually wished you
To strike me.
Perhaps then I would’ve left.
Instead, later, “I’m sorry.
I love you, love you, love you.”
And I loved you too.
I even created two of me
So you could love the best
And I could keep the worst
For survival
For sanity.
The pain you caused
You never saw.
Those late hours
The clouds,
The rain,
The thunder.
All for me
All to me.

Midnight, maybe later.
The clouds weigh down,
So heavy.
No energy left
Not for pain
Not for healing.
And so I sleep.
My last waking thought—
The sun will rise
And I will awake
With a smile.
Have to be strong.
Have to love you, love you, love you.
And have you
Love me.

tall penguin

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