Reconfiguring of the “Self” in a Waste Land  

Under the blood burning moon, she had come over the crest of the hill.
No blossoms on the trees – thirty degrees – but it was warm enough.
He was clinging to the quality of her sugar-flawed skin, the high wild bush the ragged shadows made of her hair.
And remembering every detail of that October afternoon when he first met her, from start to finish, and over and over.
Not just because she was young and soft, but because he was trying to sear in his brain, the scene of ecstasy and tenderness.
But it drained everything from him, the language to say it in.
Her skin was the color of oak leaves on young trees in fall. Her breasts, firm and up-pointed like acorns.
Hair – braided chestnut, coiled like a lyncher’s rope. Breath – the last sweet scent of cane.
Erasmus was a stout tallish young man, with brown curly hair.
People can see us, she says.
They crouched like two bulls locked horn to horn in a fight.
Strong as he was with his hands upon the ax or plow, he found it difficult to hold her.
He pushed her on the stubbed ground. The air was heavy with smell as they rocked back and forth. His eyes brightened as he fancied her womb.
She cried. Rivers of sweat.
Glowing like a fired pine-knot, she raised her black flesh and straddled his back to pound it with her fist.
It was a randy aggressiveness he enjoyed. He resigned himself to the ping of desire that surfaced up from his bowels.
Her soul felt as sweet as honeysuckle whose pistols bore the light of coming song.
And still she cried. My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me. Speak to me. Why do you never speak. What are you thinking of?
A strange thing happened.
He wept. His brain allowed one half-formed thought to pass.
Suddenly he knew that he was apart from the pleasure of it. Apart from the pain. He saw himself a ludicrous figure.
Whispers sprouted in his consciousness like long green blades.
He fixed his eyes on her.
I love you, you bitch. He laughed, thought about it and then went on – in a bad dream perhaps.
He was undecided.

Categories: Narratives, Poetry

Tags: , ,

4 replies

  1. Use of the word “bitch” feels wrong in this poem. At least for me…the poem is otherwise full of powerful images and lushness.




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