Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wheels

The woman who broke her heart had red hair
And blue eyes--
A sunset over deep water.
With her head tilted back, she believed,
As the bloom believes in the bee--
She did not, could not, see it coming.

Feeling herself destroyed,
She became a woman of the earth, as the quiet ones
In graveyards are--
A bus station bohemian,
Far down the road ahead of any memory,
Alone, disappearing.

That is where she met the man,
Who counted out his life in silver blades--
She thought she could stand to be with him,
Since she wouldn't really care,
And so,
Then and there she poured herself into his emptiness
Like a jar of smoke.

Each night he sent the knives at her--
They seemed to come out of his bright white cuff, like bones,
As she turned on the target wheel.
Each night in front of a popcorn crowd,
He built a skeleton around her from fifty paces
And she became its face and heart beat.

"Do you love me?" he demanded sourly
In the small hours after a show,
And when she said "no", the next night he missed,
Twice, and cut her.
She knew that to stay meant being carved,
A bar of soap vanishing to satisfy his anger.

The buses are comforting in their way,
But now, back on the Greyhound highway,
She finds her vision empty;
Blank as tomorrow, without the flying knives,
Without anyone's body to be heart for,
Without her red-haired love with the deep water eyes.
___

picture by Metin Demiralay

19 comments:

Cloudia said...

you go deep, my poet sister



Aloha from Waikiki

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Kerry O'Connor said...

I mean.."bus station bohemian"? Three words alone to adorn the unopened hatch of your original thinking... Geez!

And such a characterization: this carved, flayed heart-broken gypsy soul...

Lydia said...

I got lost in this. It was a full experience for me, and I am in awe of the power of this poem.

Lynn said...

You could make a movie out of this poem. And I LOVE that song by Coldplay.

Daryl said...

Yup, a movie .. yup

ellen abbott said...

sometimes you leave me speechless.

nene said...

Wonderful bus trip.

I remember the most awful pungent gas and oil smells in the underground bus stations.

For me that was the distraction from a very disheartening and painful breakup with a woman during my college years.

Marion said...

Fucking awesome, Shay. I was dodging knives and loving it. xo

hedgewitch said...

The images in this one just burn through the paper(if they were on paper) and into the eyeballs--that 'without anybody's body to be heart for" is the capstone. You make this bottomless yearning for love shout out in a business of flying knives and long bus trips over the country of night, chasing a memory that leads to emptiness, a "from" with no "to." Heavy stuff, and you know how I relate.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

"she knew that to stay meant being carved, a bar of soap vanishing to satisfy his anger"........whoa! So many great lines, so much understanding of the human heart in this poem. Incredible writing.

TALON said...

"They seemed to come out of his bright white cuff, like bones,..." -- There is always a line that slays me, Shay.

I'm glad she's got wheels...

Susannah said...

"Then and there she poured herself into his emptiness
Like a jar of smoke."

- wonderful writing!

Love it. x

Mama Zen said...

This is so good it hurts.

Rachel Westfall said...

This is a fine, fine story. It's so real, in the way of tarot cards.

HermanTurnip said...

I'll echo what others have said: This could be a movie. One directed by Guillermo Del Torro.

Brian Miller said...

hey boss...just wanted to say congrats on 300 posts this year...each one a gem...and perhaps the cattle call gets a little busy at times, but it is always a treat to see you...smiles.

Lolamouse said...

a sad and beautiful story.

Caty said...

you know your mind is brilliant, right? I think so anyway. Can't wait to go read this one again!

myheartslovesongs said...

those redheads will fuck you up every time!

at least our Heroine knew when to get out of Dodge!

your brilliance is only surpassed by your twistedness... um, sorry, i meant creativity. yeah, that's what i meant. {smile}