Saturday, October 6, 2012

Gothic Neanderthal

I listen
Will it ever end?
Her gentle, velvety voice
mimicking childish sobs
amidst animal grunts
Head under pillow
Camping in Africa
on a space ship in Galactica;
an unseen witness to murder
in an abandoned
graffiti-coloured crime district
I cradle my teddy bear,
close to my chest,
covered head to toe
in my feathery nest.
I stroke it

You’re not alone
I’m here. Shh, don’t cry

Fingers in ears
so hard
it hurts
to avert
my ache—her cries—his
screeching—the insufferable thunderous thump
through thin floor
I climb out of bed,
creep down the hall,
peer through the crack
of the kitchen door.
Grey netting hangs
from naked papery breasts,
dark purple tulle
fastened round her waist
black smudges
smeared ’cross her face.
patterned like lace
wet stringy hair
to her brow
her neck
wet cotton
toxic breath
menstruation blood
the onion soup we ate for lunch—
I dry-wretch
It stops—silence
Her arms hover in the air.
Twisted grace, fit for a coffin
Did it die?
Daddy strokes her like the cat
she nods—
whispers and purrs
Behind her come chants
Push, push! Push, push!
It begins again;
She screams—
note shrill against the beat
droning voices of back-up men
Gothic Neanderthal giving birth
Giving life
To song...
-- Jessica Bell

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