pain arrived, so late tonight,
heavy tread tentative,
no excuses, no explanations,
just arms loaded with mournful smiles,
and stories that reeked of old books
on faraway shelves-
we slid back against the pillows,
reading words aloud that stuck like
unfamiliar food to our tongues,
pain, trembling, so late tonight,
turning pages one by one,
till we were screaming,
tumbling, whirling,
down a soundless gush,
and the lake of unshed tears
flooding the foot of the bed,
rose into a tidal wave,
and we were the last natives
on a submerged atoll,
wrapped in burning flags,
fingertips touching,
waves beating their wings
against our unmoving legs;
pain, stayed, so late tonight,
like a secret lover
who knew the other door,
waiting for the first sliver of dawn,
lips upturned in a salty smile,
stories spent,
shadows of the weeping moon
smudged dark under
unblinking eyes,

For the next mid-week prompt at Poets United  -“Citizenship”. Completely tangential of course, but that’s how it goes, I suppose.

20 thoughts on “Again

  1. in the solitary hands, in the eyes alone and the heart that feels the words of dusty old books once treasured and still. written by a hand whose toil of tears and tales of yore wished for eyes like to share in their imaginings.

    wonderful write, my friend


  2. I am moved by the images here, with pain arriving–moving in with all its baggage and stories. I’m tried to stretch in my imagination to an idea of citizenship and almost can. I don’t see pain here as an intruder/illegal immigrant, though the narrator (and I) would like that to be true. It’s too at home in the burning flags and isolated islands that it visits through its secret door. Wow.


    1. Thanks Susan… in the end perhaps everyone shares the same set of or pain that connects us all, across and beyond geographic boundaries. In another, we are alone in our world of pain sometimes.. and all other artificial constructs and borders become irrelevant. 🙂


  3. This is an interesting look at citizenship. Ive been in this kind of physical pain it is the one time that the minute hand sweeps away concern for others. There is so much pain in our world it is good that there are still people who do reach out to others.


  4. ‘stories that reeked of old books on faraway shelves’ – how wonderfully your tangent wrote itself…pain is like an occupation of the mind, body and soul whatever form it takes and this poem seems to capture that in many magnificent ways..


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