Crush / WERE

By Maria Belotti

800px-Gospa_Sveta,_oltar_svetega_Križa1 I watch; I wait.
Bated breath, I lean into my
Chair and force myself to be still.
Slender fingers tremble unknowingly I
Start a drumbeat then I force myself to stop –
Only to worry at a hangnail and cause the roughened
skin to tear then bleed and I don’t know it I smear crimson down
the side of my face and I jump at the whoosh of the door only to turn
And pretend I don’t see you staring at my bloody countenance
You silently glide over to me and my heart flips trips stops –
Reaching out with one achingly slender, pale hand you
Caress with white paper towel the signal of my sin
My hands on the desk clench, then release.
I force my jittered eyes to look your way
I accept the towel with the crimson
Stain I lower my head and
Gasp in shame.

She bared her broken teeth at me.
Mirrored there, dry tongue gasping
Coughing a growl, spittle a bare afterthought
She bares her broken teeth at me.

Opposable thumbs are there, however.
My former lover, Bagheeta: furred and slant eyed
Claws digging dark ruby grooves in hardwood floors
Towards me Crack! Scritch! Scraaaaaatch –

Noises that echo 1982 symphonic in my brain.
Throat gurgles sloppily and I feel something blossom
In my Goddess region. No time for regret.
No time for a Last Kiss Goodnight.

Now 1942 comes out of some swampy part of my brain,
So I grip poisoned barrels – I swing up what will
Release twin souls from purgatory;
I lock onto yellow maddened eyes seeking my soul.

She bares her broken teeth at me, and
A sulfured click backfires in my ears.
Tawny skin and muscled breast inch closer
Until I smell dinner on her lips.

So quickly it is over.
It is 3 a.m again. I trip over my Maine Coon cat
As I blunder to the bathroom mirror.
I thrust my hand into my mouth –
My teeth are whole.

Category: Poetry