Death and the Maiden
1. The blood cloys like ink on the pages of her wrist. She is not breathing; not thinking living loving laughing smiling. And oh, God--how did we come to
How did we--how did we--her scent is fading now. Goodbye goodbye goodbye. I only wish she had written me a love letter in all that pretty red ink, instead of spilling it all over my nicebrandnew carpet.
And when I wake up, will she turn to stare at me with those eyes that see too much; too much, everything I have tried to hide from her. Oh, oh DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT! I’m sorry
your eyes hang open and stare but they don’t see me anymore they see only blackness and maybe fire burning deep under earth that is where she went the preacher told me because
Because the ink has stained all her pretty white pages. I want to clean it up, but I am afraid to touch the pages; they might break and crumble under my touch.
I am not weeping; I should be weeping (they say); but I am not because I always knew.
She was only staying Here for a little while, anyway…
2. When I am dead, she said, to me in the white van parked overlooking the city, bury me in a rose garden.
I want to be surrounded by beauty in death; beauty in death that could not surround me in life says the girl with a hand-me-down heart. I think of her with starlight reflecting off the glasses she casually sets on the dashboard before drawing me
into the deep.
She says, bury me in a rose garden, while I bury myself in her lips and her tongue and her eyes black as night and the lace at her throat I pushed back to feel the pulse in the hollow of her throat.
Bury me in beauty, she says, over and over…
Because of your hand-me-down dreams…?
She says bury me in a rose garden, and I say to her:
Bury me in a rose garden, she says, and I will give life to the roses. I will make them bloom with such beauty that not one man in love will dare to pick them for his beloved, for fear of marring their beauty.
Bury me in a rose garden, and I will at last be beautiful…
3. Her lips are swollen like overripe fruit, and they taste of too-sweet cherries. She has pushed back the hair from her face, and I can see that her cheeks are too hollow, creating shadows accented by the over-applied makeup she used to try and hide her flaws.
I want to love her…but, oh, I can’t seem to bring myself to even look at her.
I try to hide my repulsion behind kisses and hugs, but her hand in my own is too thin; I could twist it at the wrist and it would just
And only then would it match the way she is inside…
Why; WHY! I want to scream at her, and take her by the shoulders and shake her until her head jerks back and then snaps in two.
What are you doing?! What are you doing to yourself?! Who do you think you are fooling?! You aren’t making yourself beautiful by
yourself until you are thin as a wire and twice as rigid and if the wind hits you wrong you will bend over sideways and get swept away because the way you are now…
you will not be able to support yourself.
You think you are making yourself beautiful, but darling, I can tell you right now: