Second Thaw

The following featured entry was originally published by Jenn on her weblog, Breed 'Em and Weep. She writes like nobody's business.

I write. This is not you
or yours. Walk away. I
wish you goodness. The
blank screen is mine. The
canvas, yours.

Taxes. Children. Attorneys.
I clutch a crumpled paper towel
as we talk, a reluctant white
blossom between us.
I have been cleaning
the kitchen as I clean
my mind and let me say
the countertops are far
less stubborn.

It is over. You can look at me
now. All of you. It is over.

I can see that in his eyes,
right now, right here
in the dim hall.

I can see it in the eyes of the
mutual friends, in the bewildered,
pained eyes of those who
ride ahead of me, who cannot
believe I am still poking this dead
horse with one toe, calling it
to rise.

Ah, but I loved this horse.
It could carry a poor metaphor,
always could. It could bear
weight and wait.

Does that make me cruel,
to say that aloud?
I love. And here
I thought it human.

Disinclined to forgive? You?
And you too? So be it.
You have your reasons.
I still see the stubborn
slush in the yard, unwilling
to yield green. Well.

If the second thaw comes,
forgive me just this:
I loved, too long.
I will grant you the ‘d.’
Take it. Twelve years
and two daughters and
three dogs and two apartments
and one home, neatly
sealed now inside the
belly of that small
suffix.

There have been wineglasses
in my sink as well. It has
been a very long year,
tens of seasons
of loss and love and
the unspoken filling
of rooms, cars, canvasses,
journals, bathtubs.

Go, go. Yes. I understand
now and just now
that there are stories
that will go untold
forever and ever
amen.

I am a necessary fool.
The world does not turn
without its fools.
I will watch the hearts
around me, watch them
as they come and go and
come and go. Fools watch,
eyes wide and bright.
It is simply what we
must do. If only we
had the words for you.

He leaves and I carry
my paper towel blossom
to the sink. An unoffering.
I breathe my last fool’s breath
and go upstairs, where I take
lipstick to the bathroom
mirror once more.

‘Warrior x7′,
I write, the ‘7′ slashing
across my brow—
a red horizon taking
a turn for the worse,
burrowing far underground.

The color? A sparkling
cranberry, or a pomegranate.
Some fruit this fool
must practice
forgetting.

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