Anger


For some, she comes early,
but she is always late for me: this
song on a taught string, holding
my masseter in place, tight like a drum,
lessons still to learn as she
locks some words away –
she is the hiss of a boiler room
pressure valve slowly releasing
my viper tongue, my scorpion sting

I thought I left you behind in a summer,
crawled out from under your carapace
casket, hearse.

Boo hoo, little girl,
guess you didn’t, 
she whispers, laughing
a little at me
a little at the world
(Balance is, I suppose, important)
And now, what about you?

What about me?

I know, she says, silkily gliding
over my tongue,
we haven’t been on the best of terms, 

I know, she says, sliding comfortably
into  my gaze
we may not always see things the same way,

I know, she says, curling my fingers
into palms to make tiny closed familiar fists
you’ve preferred the way of the open word and the open kiss

I know, she says, seductively stealing
into the marrow of my bones
sometimes  – only sometimes – you need me and my way of stone

In the time of Fear and Loneliness
before trust and before friendship
before kindness, before hope,
before Love,
there she was:
the robbed child,
the crone, ugly before her time,
the watchful spy,
flame thrower, heart eater,
cruel witch,
proud bitch,

and now in the glass,

there she still is.

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