Gentle & low

Robert MapplethorpeTruth hinted at

there’s a ghost in the machine

that’s me

she’s climbing out of her past, survived the worst

they hold up mirrors and shout

let it out, let it out

the she who is me

spread eagle, violate

who will she need to please to be free?

I watch her as I would a

lover who coming close is further apart

the darkness of hurt

a chocolate center to emptiness

her breasts are hard and warm like

lost thoughts in my hair

we weave a strangeness over one another

her fingers inside me and then

words perfumed in the air

promises were said and broken

the bed lays untouched and I would wish I’d been

so lucky

bruises act like kisses and kisses are too deep

your tongue goads my sleep

when I said no you took and ate

your fill, then with moonlight cutting

curtains blind in silver

I see the outline of sin and pleasure

how pain is curled in little leisure

the first strike, sharp lines, leather belt

hands around my neck and down my throat

marks left on marks, growing roses in darkness

you make a hand print of the child lost

blood in water, sheets and cries

who will clean the absolution and who will

witness the last time?

I gave you what I could, it wasn’t

full it wasn’t even good

that was all there was

empty roads, night time rain, ebony on asphalt

lay me down on thorns

paint me a picture of torment

here’s my proffer, my scorn

for not being able to keep a secret

pluck a pin, suck it in, there it sprouts

savage love, ruins the innocent

pain comes in snatches like dreaming

you relish the way I collapse after you’ve taken

this last suspense, rinse out, leave her ready

for the next punch, a wound so loud

her breath has vocals

I’ve been gone a long time now

only the sound of the past plays

on repeat

gentle and low

as violence ebbs her sharp tongue

licking the wounded with happy sorrow

18 thoughts on “Gentle & low

  1. Self without, self within
    Not same, not different
    Truth will out
    Will wind labyrinthine path
    Or shatter the walls
    Slip through unguarded moment
    Self present, self past, self to be
    Paradox of happy sorrow

  2. I just remembered one of the members of the Kingston Trio talking about Russian Gypsy songs, that there are two kinds; The ones about how happy it is to be miserable, and the ones about how miserable it is to be happy. (Said with a terrible fake Russian accent.) 🙂

  3. I couldn’t find the song I had in mind, but I did find this that you might enjoy. I saw him live once at a coffee house in Chicago (I think it was in 1963) where the opening act was a very young woman singer named Judy Collins.

  4. HA! I found it! It wasn’t The Kingston Trio, it was The Limelighters. This posting of it leaves off the “happy/miserable” intro, but one of the comments points that out, so it is the one.

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