blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



The End of Free Love

And wasn’t the drunkest mania we’d ever caught
            like a bad crush
on merlot: days wrapped in wash-dulled sheets, no matter

            the hundred miles
between our cities, their factories like monuments to folly,
            producing only smoke.

It didn’t matter that you wanted us to fight in bed,
            urging ourselves
beyond temporary wounds and into permanence; that I was

            unable to admit
reluctance for the mornings I couldn’t raise my left arm
            without wincing,

the memory of your teeth a ring around my clavicle,
            a familiar pattern
surfacing. And weren’t our complicities like a remedy

            for love, absolution
from the butcher’s work those memories would exact? Our bodies
            weren’t built to last.

The elaborate mythologies we’d bury in each other
            wouldn’t stay put,
rising as bruises, as ravenous ghosts, as inadequate courtesies.  

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