The Mentally Retarded Swing

I took myself to the playground
where we used to go
I swung
back and forth
back and forth
back and forth
alone

it wasn’t as fun
as when we used to
laugh until we were drooling
taking turns
on the mentally retarded swing

I started to think
I would still marry him
If he’d just promise
to take his medication
and not to turn our home
into a prison

no, I wouldn’t
yes, I would
NO, I WOULDN’T.

That man’s chocolate

My best friend asks me to take her
to the haven where i know everyone
when i ask her why she’s laughing
she accuses me of eating that man’s chocolate
while he’s in the bathroom
“Here’s the thing,” i answer,
“he slid it across the table to us
very imperceptibly, by inches
when we weren’t looking.
He’s just shy and lonely enough
that he does that
for everyone.”
afterwards, i thank him
for the chocolate
and he smiles
into his coffee,
refusing ever
to look right at me.

Startles

My startles are as hefty
as a thick bowl of stew
with all the fixings
i don’t just scare
i jump out of my skin
and into the ceiling
when i run into
my rarely seen roommate
at three am, we both say
the same thing
“Oh, you scared me!”
“Good,” I muse to him,
“Finally, we found
something in common.”

Rewritten

the rain keeps coming
like it shuttled your last locks of hair
down a drain spinning

the rain keeps coming
like the sweat out of every pinprick and hole
like the sinew of muscles
broken, reset, straining
rebuilding

the rain keeps coming
like all the poems
i write and erase
re written