Nine Days

for Anais Nin

You were every bit a child still, at thirty
when that afternoon in the hot mistral
you invited him in
and in
and in
until he tangled your conscience
with pheromones
and tender insistence,
drowning your homesickness
in his ocean of chromosomes
that gave life to your own
until he filled you up
and came out the other side
through your delicate lips,
whispering and
spilling onto burning pages
that flipped like heartbeats as you wrote
and the pen in your fingertips
which I know for certain
trembled with electric truth
while the rains fell on a dreaming Paris
you stopped descending into
as your rumpled sheets
became your home.

So tell me how it was—
did he stroke your hip,
confess secrets of all the women
he’s kissed, about
how he’d really missed you,
thought of you all these lonely years?
Did he whisper in your ear
that really, this is no abomination,
that you’re his secret garden—
staring into your irises,
watering your trembling orchids,
plucking and admiring
this harvest he created
and telling you how you were always
the favorite child,
a twin phoenix
burning savagely in his bed,
eternally merged in bliss
as the forgetful wails of streetcars
dappled the sighs
of amnesiac Electra
and did he offer, like a gift,
this sickness you’d wear forever
like a glamorous pendant,
diligent student of tristesse—
like those butterfly kisses
he placed on each eyelid
just maybe that once
before he gave himself
into your arms
and returned what he’d stolen
from his littlest devotee
with the contrived debauchery
only true artists embrace.

But darling, he didn’t tell you
that hell is not forever:
just a fleeting velvet station
of shame,
a flowered apostasy
as inevitable as a train wreck—
and when he wanted to leave,
did he make
some spent-sperm excuse
about work or sleep or space
as he left you wrecked and whole?

But he didn’t realize
that you elected this disgrace,
justified your poised madness
with epicurean tastes—
you picked the time,
chose the place—
you showed him your letters
you’d then erase—
rode him to justice
and captured his flattery
in the spiderweb
of your womanhood.
You won his remembrance
after so much neglect
and paid him in vengeance
without ever really intending,
dear curious Anais,
to break him,
but you did—
though only with tenderness.

With the silent grace
of a lioness,
you stole back the fire
he ripped from you
so long ago
and tucked it into your heart,
binding his need delicately
with the silver filaments
of your words and limbs
to light your white pages
with the dignity of calculated sin.

© Psyche Marks 2007

Leave a Reply

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

Back to Top