Rachael Swiss

I Pick At Scabs - Poem by Rachael Swiss

There are fragments of your flesh
Underneath my fingernails
Crusted blood in frozen coils
The evidence of how you twisted
From me.

I liked to look at you
(I liked to laugh at you)
In your modest attempts at nudity
Too shy and arrogant
To strip down to your bare

I clutched at hair
I tore at skin
I ripped off clothes
(Yours and mine)
I reached out for your hand -
Rubbing my eyes in sheer bewilderment
As it cannot be.

I pulled you in
Drew you near
I bit your bottom lip in a searing wave
Of desperation.
I would have cried out
Had I not swallowed your tongue
And your venom.

And bile.
And all that refuse of yours
Found a home in me
A receptacle for fluid-producing functions
Such as I –
How dare I
Be so bold.

We ran in circles
Predator and prey both
In a dark forest
Chasing our tails
No breadcrumbs to lead us back
To our Happy Home.

The sun set and the game was over
Our energy spent and wasted on the play
At life
And love
And happiness
Then you retired to our bed

I did receive one parting glance
Over-the-shoulder look-no-further
Mocking me.
And I accepted.
So that I could feel
The smooth surface of your back once more
And make it cry.

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 6, 2007

Poem Edited: Wednesday, April 13, 2011

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