Eh, feeling a little bit better about this one. And at least I managed to get two down today… I might have one more short one in me when I get home. Even if they’re crummy!
NaPoWriMo gave a list of spaceship names from the delicious novels of Iain M. Banks, and suggested using one as the title of the poem, which is where this one comes from. I found out, unfortunately, that Mr. Banks yesterday announced he has terminal cancer, which is rather advanced; he may not be with us a year from now. He is about the age of both my father, and my parents’ good friend (my brother’s godfather; maybe the best man at my parents’ wedding? I can’t remember) who passed away last fall from, eerily, the same sort of cancer. It’s a depressing and unsettling kind of thing, and I feel more depressed and unsettled that the only thing I can get out of it is this mediocre scrap of writing that is just me pumping the bellows to keep the fire going. But I suppose it’s more of an effort than nothing at all; these are the things we must do.
I think the weekend, and a sustained gasp of spring, are needed.
He wore it after the original was severed,
fearing that its absence would show
between two ribs, or flared in his nostrils.
He always kept the lights out during sex.
If anyone got close enough to notice,
it would be too dark to see.
From time to time he felt phantom pains
deep inside his chest, a coppiced stalk
trying to sprout something stunted
but generous. He read philosophy.
He took communion and waited for change.
But it was the small hesitations
that quivered his hand or his tongue
which gave him away. Then it would slip
and expose his abbreviation.
What could he call himself?
Not a person: maybe the kind of person
who knows why he no longer deserves
that title. Some word that means,
“used to have slow warmth inside him”,
but not anymore. Now there’s only
an indifferent blood, just a few degrees