December 2013

This Is One of Those Relationship Poems

You know the kind.
Her kisses taste smooth, but her mouth is full of knives.
She slices him up fresh every day like a salad.
The blade of her tongue flashes faster than white lightning.
You know how these things can tend to go.
He turns the other cheek a lot.
He takes walks around the block.
He forgets the beauty of her body.
He forgets the soft rock of their love.
Everything she says about him is true.
His mouth grows wired shut.
He has a great admiration for her mind.
She has the quick intelligence of a bird.
He has a brain constructed of concrete.
His cheeks puff out with dumbbells.
If only she wasn’t so always right on right.
Every comment hammers straight the nail of pain.
He calls her Annie Oakley.
He calls her sure shot.
He calls her those things in his mind at work.
He calls her those things in the shower.
He calls her those things walking the dog.
She rides bareback standing on a horse.
With her tongue she shoots him between the eyes.
He has no body armor for her words.
Earplugs only muffle slightly her sharp consonants.
And to think he once loved her scent and her accent.
And to think he once could kiss her scarlet thoughts.

He walked out without goodbye years ago.
He heard she cried continuously for a week.
He never occurred to him she might still love him
Over twenty years since he’s been gone.
He’s seen born and raised his very own daughter.
She hates him and they never speak.
Fifteen years her gong rang and rang in his head.
Fifteen years in his head she tried to administer his life.
Fifteen years she told him what to believe and what not.
Now he doesn’t even remember her accent.
In time he even grew to appreciate her sharp slices.
He carefully filed the sharp edges
He actually used some of her criticisms.
Then he learned that she’d had stroke.
She can’t speak too well right now.
He wonders if God decided the world needed a break.
He apologizes for thinking that.
He doesn’t wish to be vindictive or mean.
This is one of those relationship poems.
You know how they tend to go.
You can wander around in dark rooms for pages.
The person written about is going to look bad.
The person writing is going to come out good.

—Chuck Taylor

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