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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

your face

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

bred bitterness.

We were together like that for 4 years.


I remember, sink into it 



somehow I stretch and pull 

scrabble up,

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

divide them,  

share them 

dump 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.

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