Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Letter Opener

Somewhere in Iowa, I drank a lot of cough syrup and wrote this.

He stands unsteady, his eyes in his hands
the letter-opener still protruding
from his massacred left socket
"I'll cut my fingers off next" he mutters
"and then go to work on my tongue with gardening shears
and on my ears with chopsticks to the hilt."
I don't reason with him,
I've been too far gone myself
and I know that reason is dead
in the swollen, bleeding heart.

His screams are unnerving
as any who choose to scream alone
behind closed doors
and I can hear him even with the
key in the ignition, even idling in the street.

There was no telling him
no matter what he chopped off
what he butchered from his body
or scraped with scouring pads and lye,
her letters will glow neon in his universal night
her skin will wrap him haunting still
and O God how she will roll yet on his tongue
and sing poison bells through his skull.

The trenches of memory are dug deep
and filled with bodies.

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