Spite

April 19, 2010

I guess I have one of those
beatable faces, the sort you want
to blue with a bruise.

He began to not want me.
There was no other woman,
no drugs, no usual reason.
He just started to hate my face.
It’s an ordinary face, it smiled
upon our ordinary love.

I want to cry but it’s cold,
I think my tears would make
little icicles on my cheeks
so I stick my hands in the snow,
I fist the snow, let it numb me –

I’m not the masochist he thinks I am
but I like this pain, the fear
of frostbite, the way it makes me
clench my teeth together; I can’t
feel anything else.

The night he left me
there was no argument, I didn’t cry,
I tried to get it right
but he hated my smile,
my acceptance of his leaving.
He didn’t hit me, there was no pain.
He just spat & spat & spat.

Helen Kitson

Tattoo

April 19, 2010

He had love on his right hand,
hate on his left.

On her soft skin
his name was soon punched in.

It was Indian ink:
permanent and blurry

Kathleen Kenny