October 6, 2008

darts against you and the goddamn universe

my sophomore love died on the beach four summers ago
but it seems ages now and I rarely feel staring eyes anymore
the rattle snakes in the backyard
the speeding tickets
flaws and foes piling alike
and either you lied or got it all wrong
your constellations
they were all wrong

time is not taking toll
time is making us troll and frolic
because time has stopped for goof but nobody noticed
and there is something
or maybe someone
pushing the buttons
someone who has not read the user's manual
navigating on sheer instinct

pardon our dust, our bumps, our bad temper

notice: there are potholes in the galaxy big as this whole planet

warning: the universe is for sale in a seedy second-hand store

* * *

that summer you saw my flesh becoming pale and traced my stretch marks
magnified every scab, every little mark made visible
by that horrible swimming suit that was my birthday present

a young couple yards away was making out
she was gorgeous
and you said I looked like her when we met
she was a brunette and he was well built, a handsome surfer called john
weren't they happy?

* * *

time has not stopped
we become weaker
the strain hasn't made me any stronger
but the body is a wrinkle, the burning sun, the scars inflicted,
the pain concocted over flesh as yellow canvas of history unfolding
while you predicted storm and the honeymoon was over

you drowned on the beach
four summers gone
his name was john
and I didn't look at all like her
your constellations were wrong
as were your predictions
weren't we happy?
too soon it was over and I'm still trying
to bear you close and hear the rattle snakes
in this impossible endeavour

arianna leighton (San Francisco, CA, 1971)


The Mad Celt said...

Wonderful poetry from such horrible pain.

chad said...

there are some interesting images and good use of language. but on top of that, i think the most compelling thing is what has not been said... all the information the poet spares. it's the "off screen" what makes this whole text powerful. well done.