Thursday, December 13, 2012

No Tail, No Soul

It didn't have to go the way it did.
I could have turned away, like a coin rolling of a table's edge.
I could have deleted all that happy-faced smarmy shit from my inbox
instead of answering.

I could have been a real bitch and told you to just suck it.
I didn't, but I should have.

And you?
You could have had the grace to get hit by one of those blood-colored buses
in the hectic streets of London.
Your heart could have come bubbling, black,
through your dry lips like a drain backing up.

Wipe your chin, you Manx troll.
You could have left the big island
(may it sink. may the lions on the Thames dip and drink)
and gone back to yours.
(may it sink, too. and may there never be another.)

Airlines could have conveniently gone out of business.
My passport could have been denied.
I could have simply decided to stay home and watch the snow fall.

I went though, like a country fool.
I went, and it was like swallowing a live viper, meeting you.
I crawled home by my fingernails,
and couldn't eat for a month.
My spirit lay still inside me on a dark border I never wish to see again,
but, in time, it wobbled to its feet.

Now it is strong again,
but gets snappy if it is touched.
Love me if you want to, girls, but stay the fuck across the room while you're doing it.

It didn't have to go the way it went,
but I answered your letters, and got on that plane,
and it did.
________

for Fireblossom Friday "calamities"

21 comments:

Marian said...

hah! i almost said i hope to god no one ever calls me a Manx troll, but then i thought, hey, there are probably a couple people who would :)
i like this, Shay, i like the voice and the energy. a lot.

Daryl said...

ah yes ... and Manx troll is a perfect description

nene said...

Ooops, forgot Love the 'Manx troll' thingy :-P

hedgewitch said...

The image of the black heart welling up through the lips is what stays with me, and the lions drinking, their muzzles dark with that bile-like blood. The disaster here (of trust lost and love spurned) is a devastation that carries profound darkness, and some people should lose more than their tails for causing it.

TexWisGirl said...

wowza!

Kim Nelson said...

No one reels in the darkness, sadness, disappointment, loss, giving it names with adjectives the way you do, Shay.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Sounds like a right royal bitch, whoever she was, and Manx troll is all too kind a description.
The poem itself is wonderful writing - you reel us in to the story-line and we feel the narrator's pain as if it were our own.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow, you have nailed it. Especially the part about the heart getting snappy if it is touched, and stay across the room. I have been there. LOVE that, "in time, it wobbled to its feet".

Susan said...

This one hit twice--once in the heart and once in the belly. I have done (shame on me) and been done to (woe and all of the curses in your poem on the guilty party). Godly wrath, splendidly displayed.

Kay L. Davies said...

Ouch, I remember a time:
"Airlines could have conveniently gone out of business.
"My passport could have been denied.
"I could have simply decided to stay home and watch the snow fall."
But I went, and things happened that never should have happened. Oh, no. Oh, yes.
K

Poet Laundry said...

Note to self: do not get on Shay's bad side! Whew...you have really tapped into it here. That third stanza especially, for me, got right down to the deep, dark emotion of this experience. I know the feeling.

HermanTurnip said...

So much venom, anger, and spite in this piece. Loved it! Heh...

sharplittlepencil.com said...

Shay, thanks for a great prompt at Toads. Gotta say, this is my kind of poetry, and I can't usually post much like it because my husband is a pastor, ha ha ha.

The Manx Troll had me peeing my pants. I would LOVE to hear you read this!!! Just "eggs out" and take no prisoners great stuff. Love you. Amy

Shadow said...

i'm sure not gonna piss you off...

Emma Major said...

whoa, that's quite something, must leave.nice comments :)

Lolamouse said...

No one can hurl an insult like you, Shay! Ouch. This was painful to read (in a good way!)

Mama Zen said...

These people never have the common courtesy and decorum to just DIE, do they?

myheartslovesongs.com said...

i like Mama Zen's comment!

now you know that we can't have the U.K. sinking, Sis... just her little bit of it, okay? {smile}

she wasn't worthy of being shat on by you!

*Hugs* from across the room

myheartslovesongs.com said...

i like Mama Zen's comment!

now you know that we can't have the U.K. sinking, Sis... just her little bit of it, okay? {smile}

she wasn't worthy of being shat on by you!

*Hugs* from across the room

Shawna said...

This is unbelievable. There are some things you simply must not do, and yet, you must do them ... knowing full well that you will have to drag yourself home by the fingernails.

"Love me if you want to, girls, but stay the fuck across the room while you're doing it." ... This is probably the best break-up poem I've ever read. Needless to say, this relationship will take a long time to recover from.

Again, this is a superb poem.

Margaret said...

Somehow... I think the one that got away never deserved to be had in the first place.

A powerful, hurting poem. This tigress just needs to be careful she doesn't turn into what she hates!