Spiky and Smooth
Let’s divide these hurts and regrets
I’ll take the ones that are ugly from cruelty and
you take the ones that are thoughtless, wounding snipes.
Let’s divide this – but you get more,
I pitch it into your lap
pile it precariously till
vanishes behind that tower.
Let’s speak and not speak of the hurts and regrets.
I say our love was profound and
you say you’ll never regret it,
never regret us,
but when I am alone in the dark
counting the years with you on my fingers
I regret it, I regret us,
too many fingers, one hand is completely gone.
You squeezed time for me from your life,
wrung it from your children,
from their mother’s all-consuming needs.
The time that belonged to you
that you claimed and defended as your own
had been lessened, limited,
diminished year by year till
you cooked every night
and you pulled the window shades down
and pulled them up again in the morning and
you commuted and mowed the grass and vacuumed
while most of her time was spent
horizontal on the couch
it was easier that way.
that's what you told me.
The hurts - the weekly, monthly years-long hurts
The fact of the hurts was I told myself you had made a choice
for me, for us but
I wasn’t at the top of your list
not even close
and we lived like that for four years.
The hurts and regrets
the grievances and resentments,
bred acrimony, antagonism
We were together like that for 4 years.
I remember, sink into it
somehow I stretch and pull
snap myself back
a rubber band stretched as tight as it will go.
I fly through the air
hurts and regrets of many different colors
spikey and smooth,
nasty and nominal
drift in my wake
some fly with me,
some fall to earth.
Perhaps I don’t need to count them
pile them high enough to block out your face.
I will scrape any that remain
along my skin, out onto my fingertips,
flick them away
hurts and regrets stream out behind me
a coat of many colors
spikey and smooth
nasty and nominal
as I float
as I fly.