Vitiate

So I’ll curl up here into a little ball
And feign death because I hear that works
With bears and snakes, but you’re still here
You could knock someone out with that mouth
And inside I’m dying, rocking like a child at your feet
Shivering with fears I never knew before you
And do you go away?  Not until you hear
The sobs that escape against my will
Footfalls in the distance before I raise my head
And crawl to pick up the broken pieces of our marriage
I have to take out this trash, and where’s the mop
That can swab away my tears
Salty puddles on the linoleum
They’ll wear the floor away with worry and grief.

So I’ll curl up here into a little ball
Next to you in bed
And pretend to be asleep until I hear your snores
Away I’ll sneak to the living room for a while
So I can relax before the nightmares come
How did I let dust settle over this pain
And how dangerous to stir it up now
But with every scream and slap you tell me to clear
This cloud off of my independence
Hearing your chainsaw following me in the dark
Quietly I pull my bags out of the hall closet
Packed and waiting for a trip I’ve been meaning to take
Without you.

So I’ll curl up here into a little ball
Against the chill of the night wind
Looking at the stars so brilliant in the night sky
Could anything make them shrink and fade away?
Could anything make them fall out of their heaven?
Four years since I saw you last, but still I know
Your disbelief could destroy everything
If anyone cared to listen long enough
And I’m glad I left, happy to stop feigning death
Life is so much better since I started living it again
And I’ll believe in the stars and moon
And God and Earth and people too
What could you do?  I will choose
I have a right to be free of you.

Jamie Morris
September 26, 1998

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