Silent Reflections of a Lover

I have considered the idea of your abscence -
of a sudden recognition on your part
that I have played on too many streets,
swayed in and out of bad lighting on too many occasions.
I have dug up old corpses of beautiful things no longer beautiful
and I have worn my satin ribbons in all the wrong places,
shamelessly.

And I have, love.
All of this and worse.
My fingernails stuffed with all the soil and defecation
that makes the ragweed and magnolia bloom.

Yes, and I have broken myself into all sorts of pieces,
chips of my shoulders scattered about my toes.
And then, the more secret way of falling apart-
from the inside, like glass in a rattle.

It is then, in all fragments, that your abscence is the most real
filling the cracks, the ragged edges
with soft dark nausea.
I breathe deeply,
all I can do to keep from melting on the linens and dripping on the carpet.

what else is there but to put the ribbons back in place,
tying away the loose ends of my hair
and meditating on wholeness.
Because, I think,
you too must have your private insanities,
hand-held mirrors which do not care to spare feelings.

I pick through the shards of my shoulders, pasting them together-
and ancient Chinese vase,
and wait for my insides to congeal like splattered mercury.

And this time, I promise,
I will watch my lighting,
I will tame my ribbons-
This time I'll be beautiful
for both of us.

Jessica Sitnick