Yesterday I was sick, sick
in the head,
panic and paranoia,
it’s been like that for years, used to say
I was a victim or the victim.
I’m gettin’ older now
so I put myself to bed, filled myself
with pills and, after a while,
floated quietly asleep.
Today I feel all right.
(Although I wanted to cry for help,
cry out to you,
it’s not that I’m a clinging female,
it’s just that I’m ill).
Oh but he comes on tender,
He’s a lizard,
he’s a lizard with a serrated tail
rasping his way
through a fancy dancing poetess.
Caring and love have
become blood and semen spattered
and coagulated all over
my abused body and my gothic imagination.
I remember my friends,
let me tell you bout them,
And I say, and I meant to say and what
could I have said?
I’m not bitter,
I’ve just got many reasons to sing the blues
In the movies
you huddle into the corner of your seat
and flinch, withdrawing your arm,
when I touch you, familiarly, as a friend;
a gesture calculated to make you comfortable.
“Where did you go on your holidays?”
“It was cold and quiet at Captain’s Flat …”
I thought you fragile, and wanted so much to
hold you, comfort you.
But who was I to offer unsolicited affection
my eyelids swollen
my body thick and lumpy with a
tranquilized tiredness? We sat
in the sunlight eating sandwiches and apples.
I was ugly in the sunlight.
© Kate Jennings