Just Once (Living River Of Hell)
'The trouble with being a woman, Skeezix,
is being a little girl in the first place'
'If this is Hell, then Hell could not be much,
neither as special or as ugly as I was told.'
I am diagnosed dragging on a Camel,
staring at the river, full of all the selves
of detachmemt from my actual one.
They used to be me as one self when I was
fused into the wall of my mother,
before I came here to this bridge.
I am deranging like the splitting haloes
of car headlights as they rush on that
great freeway to somewhere, nowhere.
The river is a subway and the trains are
stories of the dead derailed there.
There are pale orbs like faces saying,
we told you of such, you cannot be
cured of this indifference;
I have become the Horrid I always was,
child of a stranger, refolding into that mystery.
The house is gone with its fine bone china
and good silver, replaced with pills and notebooks.
The river swallowed the rest of it, husband, children;
the oily tragedy floats in a slick of remnants
in the same shade of black it always wore
when I dreamed of it, musing Nana with her
afternoon tea, saying, I am supposed to be
someone who cares, why can't I love this
like a great inhalation of medicine
so as not to destroy it.
The river is a great swallower of
fate's shortcomings, I figure,
if I shoot my last hopes into it
I will be that much wiser;
why can't I be the depths it reaches?
Am I so shallow in my forty years of life,
drawing on feelings that come and go,
where is the great accomplisher
to reveal my wounds and bleed them dry?
To only know, to only know.
To only be that solace I seek,
to throw myself into it, or to be
the tossed stone that sinks
into this river of memory
as if it were Hell on Earth
glistening under the city lights
flickering its dim reminders,
dead faces loving me back
as my child self loved them
But now, at last we meet,
that great Mother of reunions,
I see her glaring in the forming mists
which forewarn me in a tragic welcoming.
Just once, I saw it:
The corpse I am destined to become.