As I wrote to friends to whom I sent this poem this morning, if one is constantly vocal and expressive of one’s great misery over someone, chances are that one is mostly healed already, as the severely injured don’t usually mourn aloud. Anyway, here’s my latest mournful love poem:
Me in my little, tight, hurting world
And you, somewhere in the great world
Are both objects
Of the same grammarless sentence,
A sentence passed by what passes for fate,
A cruel joke made by a sentinel over people’s
A cunning lout with hair sprouting from his ears
A subordinate who need not fear the distant
authority he represents,
His particular jest those people who try
To maintain some dignity in the face of
what confounds them
And makes them look silly or confused.
My partiality for you,
Your need to withdraw
He sneers at, picks that monstrous organ
In the middle of his face
And wipes the proceeds on his trouser bottom,
Not even having the grace to envy us
What is drama to him?
What irony? what compositional strategies?
He just guffaws at all these as words,
And says, “Not worth my time.”
Our tale doesn’t need to compose nicely
To suit him,
He’s the sort to watch a bug, fascinated,
For a minute or two,
Then, when it is trying loop-de-loops
Just in reach of his hand,
Performing, writing its name across the stars
As a miracle of nature,
He lifts his big, fat thumb
And squashes it flat
Against the table in front of him,
Indifferent to artistry.
But back to us, and our responsibilities:
I loved you, and it was all I could do,
For you were so worthy to be loved.
You could not love me the same,
And so gave it up as a bad job,
A trick with smoke and mirrors,
Something I had imagined
Or cooked up to fool the fates.
Enter our surly lieutenant,
And here I am back to him,
As if we had had no hand
In it at all.
Could it be, is he devious enough
To have brought us together in the first place?
Is he even sufficiently attentive
To the jokes he plays
To extend his feeble concentration
To the experiment
Of placing us together?
Whatever the case,
I still think of you, and wonder
Whether you are looping-the-loop
Daring to face him down
Perhaps by flying out of his range,
Your wings lighter
For having lost the burden of me.
I sit, quiet and still,
Or all wound up in knots,
Escaping attention for the moment
By my lack of motion.
He is evidently confident
That I am already dead,
And so all I have
Is my little, tight, hurting world,
And you in my thoughts,
Somewhere in the great world out there.
©by Victoria L. Bennett, 8/14/18