Grace McDonough

April 19, 2000 - Wichita, Kansas
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dead horse surgery

You are not the one I hate.
In fact,
I loved that blue eye--
I saw it in my sleep
I see it before me.

Your hands were not the ones I wished to escape.
They were long,
Kind sometimes.
You gripped me tight from the inside.

Your teeth were not the ones gnashing,
Tearing to shreds
My tear soaked pillow marked by
The mascara stained cheeks,
The bloodied sheets


It wasn’t your scent
From the top of your head
That passed through my dulled senses
On a dull afternoon,
The last time I’d see you
Fully awake
for a while.

The blue eye poured out
The finest sugar,
The glittering white sand
To warm me
Keep me fat and glad--

Warmth that promised something far beyond
The realms of possibility
The needs of my calamity.

The blue eye dulled too

What never dulled was the brown one staring back.

You were never built for a woman like this
You never looked for a woman like this either
She appeared quite beautifully
She rose from piles of great ash
Marked your body with a thick gash
And began her botched surgery
The goal:
Something built to last.

She stands over your ruptured body.
Blood soaks her bare hands
Pours over her naked form onto her
Bare feet on the cool concrete.
It cracks beneath her cosmic pain,
Her hellish plan.

She insists above your gutted form:
‘Blood is what tethers us
Blood is the red hot beginning
The staggering end
Life’s dark elixir that replenishes itself
It will make us whole again.’

If she drinks enough blood
She will feel enough love
If she lets in enough hell
Rolls around in it,
Coats herself in it well
It will solidify and stay,
The red clay,
And remain and remain.

It is endurance
And its skill.
It's hard not to kill him herself,
In her vision of permanence,
But rest assured,
tenderness will.

So she digs with pliers
And tweezers and tools
Until you come to,
and scream
‘Curse you
For coming too close to the open flame,

For trying to mend pain with more pain,
For taking apart a body meant to be loved wholly
On its own time, in its own way,’

For trying it again with her next soul mate.
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