Pounding Words


pressure i thought i'd conquered.
feelings from a long time ago when
the world i lived in died and part
of me died with it.

oh, the music! the music did this
tonight. will i ever be able to
listen to this music again without
seeing Kansas Expressway on a hot
summer evening on my way to work?

will i never be free of this musical,
dancing pain? never? i can never listen
to these songs again without crying and
instantly being back in that place?

all alone. so lonely, so hurt, so dead
inside. hiding in the closet with the
knife clenched in my fist under the pillow,
sobbing like a broken child, asking over
and over, "why?" or worse, telling those
ceiling angels, "i know! i know!"

i don't know anymore. maybe i did then,
or maybe i just thought i did.

"i'd come down there and kill him for you,
denise," he said.

"would you come down here and just hold me?"
i asked him.


and seconds turned into minutes turned into
days turned into weeks turned into months,
have started turning into years that i live

and i don't let anyone really close. i don't.
i won't. really, i can't. not ever again.
not in the same ways i used to.

so it's 2 in the morning and i sit here, the
music pounding in time to the words that pound
inside me, trying to be set free. i hold the
tears on my fingers and wonder that there are
any left for all of this. all those tears i
used to cry. rivers, oceans. it's as if it
never ended, never became distant and dull
instead of immediate and sharp.

i can forgive you for using me. for leaving
me. for taking what i offered you and throwing
it away as if it were nothing. i can forgive you
for lying, for the black nights of hell right
afterwards when you could have come over and held
me, like the friend you told me you were, like
the lover i thought you were.

but i can never forgive you for taking this music
from me.


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