Past Tense

8412052496_fd8d1ff522_bMarcela Bolivar

I haven’t the strength

To answer your request

Though I find your words

Requisite, proximate, sufficient

I would eat them if I could,

Like cherries or cancer


What color is freedom?

Every face I see is unsociably clear

I wouldn’t recognize a smile

If I held it between my teeth

Against my breasts or even if it fell

Posthumously from the ceiling light

Like a hirsute bother


What good is a smile anyways?

Can I hang my coat on it?

Will it make me beautiful?

Rich? Thin? Less formidable?

If I walk on my hands

Will I appear happier?

More sane? Less avid?


If I draw my lips, harlot red

In the shape of a bow

Will you love me as I am?

What if I cannot write

Ink being the substance

Of my selfdom

Will you declare me past tense?

And wash your face

Of my ill-advised spleen?



18 responses to “Past Tense

  1. I tried to tell them that Nature was taking over
    acting strange
    I did rituals
    candle magic
    I called on the Goddesses and gods
    I called on dead relatives
    but no one came to my aid
    so I dealt with things the only way I knew how
    I lit the flame
    turned into smoke
    went out
    through the window
    and danced in the moonlight

  2. Whew! You present the entire catch 22 with minimal spleen. Using questions instead of answers–even rhetorical ones–is to be slightly open to connection, I think. And unless she has another medium, she may have to keep her ink in the present. The rhythms here are seductive at any rate.

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