The Dark Side of Love
In saner moments I take it out,
turn it this way and that,
examine every crease and imperfection.
I polish it until it gleams, an object of perfection—
a thing outside itself, beautiful, abstract.
Nothing you’d question.
.…it swells, a ball of fiery lava,
glomming thick and dense
rising in milliseconds
pluming unbidden, uncontrolled.
It bursts, red-purple, raw, gashes re-opened.
It splatters everything, like thick paint,
insinuates itself into the wrinkles of my face,
under my fingernails, in my stomach,
squelches up between my toes
as if I’d stepped in mud,
the quicksand that swallows all.
Until no trace remains.
Anger, why are you still here?
I thought you’d gone,
let flesh knit itself back together
leaving barely a seam,
the hint of something, a bruise
that rankles on the edges of memory.
A few grains left in a sandal I once
wore to a coarse-sand beach.
Only an arid impotent sadness lingers—
gray, brittle, cracking,
its dust coating every surface,
gritty against my teeth.