All posts tagged Memory

The Ghost of Gangrene

Published May 23, 2013 by rlmcdermott

it moves from left to right
and calls your name

it preys and prays
and calls you to its side
to dress you dead

the sweet deliverance
of pills that know your name

the sound of your own voice
the hidden mystery of it all
to watch death is to die

codeine has the properties of gangrene

your nerves dance like hobbled ballerinas
on toes that look like blackened twigs

your spring has been a bitter season
grown sweet before its final blossoming
roots dipped in the alkali of too much love
andante-sweet dementia-praecox
is simply another word for prayer

this is the epic of your life
to die without birth
a requiem of pain
unannounced and unashamedFlower

Visiting Aunt Mae

Published July 18, 2012 by rlmcdermott

Seen and
not heard,
we sat in
wooden chairs
our feet barely
touching the
floor, our hands
hidden underneath
our dresses–
trapping the
words in
the warm
of our thighs.

“Keep this
one for me,”
you would
say, passing
the word
along in
the moist
knot of
your fist;
and I would
take it, never
its mystery,
burying it deep–
a stigmata of dreams
that we shared
in the long Saturday
afternoons spent
sitting in the
dark parlor
of a woman
who would
die of cancer
at the age
of thirty-five.

The Apple Tree

Published June 12, 2012 by rlmcdermott

When I was
I was old–
a girl in a window
about to be brought
and sold by grief.

The tree across
the street
knew my name
and called
it every night
to comfort me–
a murmuring refrain
of leaf on leaf.

I asked it questions,
will I be happy,
will I find love,
will I survive,
until it could
not answer–
so overwhelmed
it ceased to sing
and stood silent.

My only friend,
that tree, stopped
singing to me
because it could
not bear my sadness;
and in the fall it fell,
yellow, gold and red,
it bent its head
and wept us both
into a living death.

Beautiful Vampire

Published May 23, 2012 by rlmcdermott

How many years
have I waited
in this place–

no shadow
sheltering me,

no song
giving comfort,

only memory
holding me
in its closed hand?

Then one day
I asked a question,
threw it in the air

and there you were–
a creature, different
yet the same,

tortured by a demon
that has so many names
it thinks that it’s a god.

And so for you;

I’ll wait beneath
these paper trees
for all the sunsets left to me–
I’ll be the water in the fire,
the blackened stone,
the insect at the end of day
all leg and tender bone.