He took his meals
at the head of your table.
No more talk,
and not one word,
forgetting how a body'll
harbor its own clean sounds:
breath sibilant like cold water
rushing pinked skin, lungs rattling
sleep out of darkness
soon as the coughing starts
its second round, your heart stuck
like a needle on a broken record,
its groove plied deep. You want
to forget how he applies his poultice
of blacked and blued love, the sensation
of fears climbing the column of your welted
back, ridge after raised ridge mapping
his good aim and your poor timing,
a surfeit of flesh given up
to rawed knuckles, wide eyes traveling the room
like pinwheels. It's all you can do
to measure the distance the seed falls,
takes root, gives ground.
© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas
I wrote this poem for Carry on Tuesday, which each week provides a prompt that participants are to use wholly or partly in an original poem or prose piece.
The prompt for Tuesday, January 4, consists of the opening line of the duet "All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera (read the lyrics and listen to the recording here): No more talk of darkness, forget these wide-eyed fears.
To read other Carry on Tuesday contributors' poems or prose for Prompt #86 or to add the link to your own piece, go here.
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I also offer this poem for One Stop Poetry's weekly "One Shot Wednesday" event. Be sure to visit the site late Tuesday afternoon and every Wednesday for links to the many contributors' poems.