Poetry by Valerie Egan
By Valerie Egan
the rain howled out
brains and brawn all shattered on the sidewalk:
here we sit, crones with clove cigarettes,
a purple taste under the bruised sky.
there goes the machismo swinging by;
there it goes -
head held high,
do no wrong;
out of key, can't sing.
my knuckles scraped in the muck too long,
became too gored with caking liquids,
slick poisons, white stained cocaine tread outpaced heart.
holding my tongue, lest
curses drop like spittle,
inelegant words for lady mouths -
has honey-man gone to bile?
tragedy, tragedy, unwilled comic tragedy.
honey-heart gone to bile - that's closer,
the chairs scrape and shiver,
the air is jabbed for emphasis -
i feel it melting, macerating inside -
it's like the strawberries have gone all to melt;
the tongue is fooled by memory,
it slips through fingers -
the skeleton gone
Obtuse and carnivorous moment:
dark lit in the night.
One body finds the next under the faintest glisten
Of sweat, dreaming, auras
bleeding carmine and cream;
moments that marked us as swine –
Every moment, this,
This is what I want to remember in each detail –
The press of an arm, my head in its curve,
The landscape of sin from the eye to the throat
And silence –
Only the night
Told by shadows and watchful crows.
I encountered that
And closed the curtains with force.
The oceans went red and my heart was throbbing with sudden electricity,
A reminder that equilibrium is a gift,
And I could not weigh mine down
With your aching tons of bullshit.
I took a cold shower to calm down
But while I was there I saw myself throwing that match over my shoulder,
Watching your house burn.
Valerie Egan is an affable, creative type who by day works in non-profit arts administration, and by night scribbles poems and pictures in the dim light of her uninsulated attic. She has been published in the Dragon Poet Review, Voicecatcher, and Oregon Humanities magazine. Occasionally her visual art will find its way onto the walls of a forward-thinking drinking establishment in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She is drawn to the dark, the absurd, the beautiful, and cute lil’ kitty cats. Enter her world at http://eganvalerie.wixsite.com/portfolio