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tearing the rag off the bush again
In the Driveway PDF E-mail
in the driveway

As my almost-ex circles me  –
still as prey in the driveway  –
as his eyes target, cheekbones knife,
his rose-pink lips (his rose-pink lips!)
thin,as he closes in  –  restive, intent  –  
as 14 years diminish into the closing
space between us, as, tensed to spring,
I dial 9-1-1 and follow through
for once, still blooms a memory:

My long-ago defiance, spurred by surety
that cummings is right, that feeling is first,
that only stiffs attend the syntax of things.
And perhaps still so. But an addendum, overdue:
feeling, if first, need not be followed through.
For love it seems  – or lust, at least  –  drops,
Falconesque – opportune, carnivorous  –
binding the unwary to the ruthless
in a dance primal and brutal.
Our mistake, we predators and prey,
scavengers and scavenged,
is to consecrate chemical response
with ceremony and song, conspiring
to dismiss a cunning in the gaze,
a threatening hunch of shoulders poised
to launch and wheel,  until a child,
rabbit-frozen, velveteen eyes wising up,
pressing her cheek into the grid of screen,
observes our death-throe dance;
until a siren song makes it safe to admit
that the light has left Love’s eyes.
And death is no parenthesis.
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