I Still Blame
Two years later, I still blame you
for most everything that is not working right--
for dresses shed like snakeskin beneath strange beds,
my bra unlatched by the hands that bought my drinks,
for acts that made more sense with my eyes shut,
and showers the next morning that boiled my skin raw.
There was Marc who kissed as if he was
scared to enjoy it and
whispered "You make me nervous" in the dark like war strategy;
we had a perfect counterfeit love, tracing fingertips over muscle outlines
'til he woke me at 9 a.m. with just ten minutes to get gone.
There was Chris the thick-limbed pitcher
that wanted me on top,
who had field-wide shoulders and an Olsen twins poster in the bathroom;
his eyes reduced me to prey as I slid out of my skirt, laughing,
knowing his best kept secret was his utter harmlessness.
There was Shaun who I only recall enough
about to regret; just
a 4 a.m. hall fight signaling me to slither out a back door and
scurry home as he shouted "Where are you going, bitch!?" to my shadow;
I cried like in made-for-TV movies and eyed calendars 'til my period came.
There was Dan, a messy mix of close friendship
who I itched to confess love for but knew to pin my lips instead;
he looked away with lights off while I filled in for a missed ex,
and now we tiptoe past the baby ghost that sleeps across our words.
Still it's you I blame for walls I walk
but never find the gates through,
sleeping soundly under thick quilts of lies and waking up oppressed
(for every midnight phone call where I listen but don't speak,
dialing indiscriminatingly for any noise to fill the hollow quiet).