whores of my deepest love
(they’re decent women, I’m the corrupt one.
they understand. & that to me is love.)
she accepts, at last, that her lover has wandered off. she
has composed her broken heart, & tucked each of her
tears into their little metaphorical beds. she writes one
final verse, & then she will never speak his name again.
she calls it the last chapter of John.
I ask her if she is ready for sexual abuse, because the only
way I can make love to her is to hurt her, & she replies ‘I am.’
she tells me things that make me want to believe that she
loves me. but I wonder if it’s merely her loneliness speaking.
I ask her ‘are you my whore?’ & she replies ‘I am.’
she hasn’t been here for a long time, that woman who said
she loved me, that she would always love me. I told her that
when she has journeyed without me to the farthest sunset,
she would forget me, & I would forget her. but she insisted
that she loved me, & nothing would change that.
she hasn’t been here for a long time.
when I have written a poem about a woman whom I may have
loved & who left me because I could only call her whore, & the
sorrow of it is too much for my eyes to hold, I am thankful
for the tools of my intolerable trade – paper is easily riven;
a pen is broken with a splendid crack…
(Art: Peter Basch)