“Your absence has not taught me how to be alone; it has merely shown me that when together we cast a single shadow on the wall.” – Doug Fetherling


“You have splattered
some wide and dark paint in my mind.”
you’d said;
there’s no explaining
this Jackson Pollock explosion
spraying over the Realist canvas of my life—
but I’m going to try, Virgo-style,
to archive and catalogue it with the proper care;
to assess and caress these lists
as we steal chocolates
from the advent calendar
of a kiss.

This won’t follow the rules.
“I’m going to get creepy.”

An umbilicus connects us.
Not a silver thread,
but a twisted life-stem
wrapping around us,
pulsing with our conjoined blood.

We’ve traveled so far
from the city of the ordinary.
I let you carry me
tucked in your pocket,
hidden inside your blueprints,
wrapped around your little finger.

I’m going to be your banyan tree
in the darkest forests
of your cerebral cortex,
winding around your heart
and embracing your deepest roots.


When I was drowning,
you pulled me to land
but when I fell asleep on your chest,
I wasn’t expecting this undertow
beneath the lull of your heartbeat
that grabbed me by the ankles,
skin scraping against rocks,
thrashing me across the ocean floor.
You smell my blood from a thousand miles away—
catching me in your teeth,
dragging me across the serrated edge of your desire.

You rip my heart apart at the seams,
tearing all the stitches
and opening all the scars.
You catch my tears like snowflakes on your tongue,
carry them in a locket under your shirt.
“Give me your pain. I’ll eat it.”
You’re the wax of a thousand candles
from midnight vigils at my bedside,
melted into the wood-grain of my skin.
You’re becoming a part of me.

“Trigger me.”
Smash through all these locked doors,
all these rooms I’ve barred off.
Their floors are dark and full of broken glass.
Bring a torch: take my hand
and if I trip and fall on the debris,
hold me down. “Cover me.”
Keep me still through the fear.
I’ve given all my keys.

“I’m stretching so hard to reach you
my nerves are snapping.”

The rare earth magnets in our bones
yank us through the ether,
leaving holes in the fabric.
We pry ourselves apart,
crashing back together
so hard it leaves bruises.
We live fused at the hips,
communicate through osmosis.
Are we particle or wave?
Matter or energy?
Reaction or entity?
I don’t know—but I’m riding to work today
with your mane in my fists and the wind in my hair.
We’re careening so hard down this mountainside
the speed blinds me.
Our contours blur.
I think we’re becoming a centaur.

“This is becoming painful.”
I sleep clutching a pillow—
awakening before dawn empty-handed,
an open socket buzzing sparks.
All the red flowers of my blood cells
have turned into black hellebores
and my teeth won’t stop chattering.
When I cross into this land of poison longing
where desire becomes fever
you sculpt arms from words
and carry me to safety.
Your voice is the rain outside my window
and the moon that filters through my dreams.

I tell you I’m broken.
You are the magpie of shards.
You’re building a nest for me
with all my frayed ends.

This is not a little death—
this is the life I lost and gave up seeking.
This is an opening into deathlessness.

This the fire opal glowing on the roadside.

Stop the car. I don’t need it anymore.
I can walk on from here with you in my hand.

© Psyche Marks 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top