Friday, July 21, 2006

Sorry for the long absence -- I've been very ill and am still somewhat pale, weak and fading, like a tragic Southern heroine.

Here's something to chew on for a bit:

Letter #6

Dear Inmate,

I apologize about the mess,
the state I left the cell in,
with the bacon drippings everywhere,
the still-living dragonflies stapled
to the ceiling and the fabric doll chairs
tumbled over from the toilet to the floor.

It's hard out here, too, dear inmate,
difficult to keep things straight
without the constant parallel bars,
the 90 degree angles of concrete and windows.

Living in a swamp has it perks, to be sure,
my skin has never been so soft and fully moistened,
and the misquitos have managed to bite my crowsfeet
(instant botox!) until they have plumped
like a nine-year-old girl's. An escape always
has its moment of clarity, the inevitable depressive
slump after the thrill of success: I have crested
the hill of barbed wire and old laundry!
I have lived underground in a make-believe coffin!

Anyone who has once worn stripes and an ankle
bracelet of lead will tell you the same: seeing
the full sky bores after a while, rubbing yourself
in fields of grass can only pleasure but for so long.

I miss the tastes of steel, the blood
under my fingernails, the bruises on my ribcage
from the guards, the pudding
(so like the mud under my feet!)every other wednesday.
I miss my little window and seeing the sun
for only ten minutes a day. What use is all this earth,
all this space?

Sometimes I like to imagine I can hear
the bloodhounds bay across the lake.
I pretend they are still looking, but
I know I'm low on the list of priorities
and that the alligator farm is still far from up
and running, despite all the inmates' work and losses.
The left hand is not so useful, and thumbs
are overrated, as I kept telling you.

I must go. It is time again, to sit cross-legged
underwater and fish with my teeth.

Wish you were here.

Sincerely,

yrs.,etc
______________

Comments for the little sick girl?

2 comments:

Sam of the ten thousand things said...

I like the surprises here--

the still-living dragonflies stapled
to the ceiling and the fabric doll chairs
tumbled over from the toilet to the floor

I like to imagine I can hear
the bloodhounds bay across the lake.
I pretend they are still looking, but
I know I'm low on the list of priorities

Good approach to the poem. I like the tone.

Christine said...

Thanks! I think it could use some cutting, but I will keep those passages you mention.