Another Stormy Night
by April Dawn Bare
Moonbeams wander through venetian blinds
Leaving dim white stripes across my chest and thighs
As I sit at the mirror, mind in absent flight,
Hands vacantly engaged in a futile fight
Against a stubborn strand of hair
That was whipped and tied beyond repair
By a dusty, muggy wind that steadily blew through an open car window.
You once told me you loved these strands
?They spread ?cross your back like a silken fan,
They catch the light, in vibrant tones
Of red, auburn, yellow and gold.?
But the very next day, a defiant joke,
I had my cousin cut it short,
Unable to understand just how much that stringy wig meant to you.
I had come to you later, with a teasing grin.
You recoiled in horror, face reddening,
And all you could manage to sputter out
Was ?What did you do to yourself??
I responded with sarcasm
About your shallow obsession.
Then we spent that afternoon,
like so many before and since, trapped in bitter conflict.
My hair is now as long as before,
But that afternoon left yet one more
Unhealable scar on your fragile soul,
And another bad memory to try and dull,
To hide deep within that room in your chest,
Already so full of other regrets;
Yet another mark on that long stick
you use to keep track of your miserable life.
Keeping tune with time?s steady pace,
The lines on my chest have moved to my face
I still look young in this moonlit glance;
Eyes still bright with false, studied innocence.
I use this faux youth to solicit admiration
As of a precocious child?s presentation,
While all the while I hide behind a veil of deliberate mediocrity.
You see this youth as a nasty deceit,
?A vicious bitch?, a seductive cheat
Wrapped in the skin of a sweet and pretty girl
Whose manipulative tears form to weaken your will.
I admit I have let a learned naivet?Obscure the pain I?ve caused those who?ve loved me,
By pursuing a selfish crusade
to keep myself free of ?needless? emotional responsibility.
On our unmade bed the moonlight now rests,
The sheets still stained by mutual distrust.
So many nights I sat there in dread,
Face streaked and wet, hands hiding head,
Wanting only to sleep then and there
To wake and find it was just a nightmare,
As your contorted red face, spewing spittle, filled with hate,
bellowed threateningly above me.
The moonlight has left... it has turned to rain.
So many nights I had tried in vain
To leave your control- this torrid life,
But always held back by your adrenaline-spurred might,
Submitting instead, to stare into space
Until you were finally done with your rage,
Then I?d hug and kiss your beleaguered frame
in a cautious attempt just to calm you.
Then the following weeks would proceed,
With you planting me flowers and pruning the trees,
Trying to be what you think I need you to be
Overwhelmed by the fear of losing me.
And my guilt-ridden heart would try to adore,
Not a tyrant nor monster, but a scared lonely boy
Whose world had been so inhumanely filled with hate
and deception and sorrow.
Then the evenings would come
We?d spend them at home.
I'd retreat to my work, pure cold reason;
You?d slip serenely into forced amnesia.
Until that inevitable moment arrives
When you think, you perceive I won?t look in your eyes
Or some other clue that I?m not just your wife,
but a demon sent to torture and tease you.
The thunder now grumbles as if in a trance
Induced by lightning?s hypnotic dance.
My spirit is heavy with guilt and remorse
Knowing how much you?d be hurt by these words.
You?re asleep on the couch and I kiss your cheek,
Then turn off the lights and cut the T.V.,
I think I?ll curl into a ball on the floor
and 'will' the world away.