Monday, October 7, 2013

The Break-Up

We were a secret
so when it was over,
I didn't have the luxury of a dramatic broken heart.
There were no gatherings of girlfriends
to coddle me and curse you.
No group vows
to cut you in public.
Just the curses and vows I made alone,
and they left a bitter taste.

We divided our possessions equally.
You got our friends, our places, and our life.
I got principles, silence, and a coal in my throat
that I've never quite choked down.
Even now,
its heat curls my tongue and tempts it to run
wildfire wild until I swallow
hateful and hard.

I have no faith in firebreaks and water;
I know I'm the one who would burn.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

22 comments:

L. Edgar Otto said...

So sad but true. Sometimes there is simply not two sides to an argument and sometimes there is no trace left of our burning bridges...we are awakened long before we face the old set emotions of the scenes of such totally forgotten pasts that try to haunt us in our dreams.

Laura said...

... and who was it that said life is fair? oh yeah, no one... still, it would be nice if there was something beyond being a lone with anger, disappointment, pain.

Sylvia K said...

More true than I want to admit and beautifully done as always! Thanks for saying things, that I couldn't say way back then.

grapeling said...

that ember's been slow cooking and you poured on the bellows, here, MZ, perfectly

Kerry O'Connor said...

That first stanza is so telling - the wages of secret love does not afford the luxury of expressing the heartache. Someone always seems to be on the losing end when things go bad.

Your scenario is so authentically conveyed, and strikes to the heart of shared or vicarious experience.

Susan said...

Ouch is an understatement. The division of the goods here reminds me of my divorce. I love how the first stanza captures the situation and the second captures the heat of Hell.

Margaret said...

How do you do it? Tightly told, but expresses SO much. A tale of woe since the beginning of time, I'm afraid - and we usually don't learn from the past, do we or perhaps not until we'v lived it... and not even then. Such is "human nature".

Robert Bourne said...

having been in a similar situation this hit home... you really brought forward the emotions involved...

Fireblossom said...

This is a searing poem, not just because that's the imagery you used, but because the whole thing really does burn.

Forget that witch. I never liked her. Have some chocolate, baby. You were always too good for her!

Rachelle Smith Stokes said...

Wow, this is very touching. Not being able to share the venting and having to swallow the hurt like fire. Becoming bitter and burnt from your own hate. Thanks for sharing

wkkortas said...

The wordplay is Elvis Costello-esque, but there's more here than clever wordplay; there's emotion, raw without overwhelming the piece, and a bitter edge, but again, not so much that it drowns the quality of the writing.

georgeplaceblog said...

Good use of emotion - not maudlin or weepy but good old fashioned outrage. You say a lot in few words!

manicddaily said...

You do bitter superbly! (No one better--A bit of better bitter--) k.

Karen said...

You...this...fantastic!

Lorraine said...

No one can say it like you do...and how true it all is, i still burn and the knives never drop from my back, but he was a secret...

Marian said...

argh.... painful, beautiful.

Marina Sofia said...

Oh, oh, I feel the pain - a poem of tight-lipped emotion threatening to overwhelm...

razzamadazzle said...

So dramatic. Secret relationships are never good.

chamomile sea said...

Incredible, from the first word to the last. You really made me feel it. The only change I might suggest is in the last line: "that" should be "who."

The second stanza is my favorite, particularly this:
"You got our friends, our places, and our life.
I got principles, silence, and a coal in my throat
that I've never quite choked down."

Sharp Little Pencil said...

"Coal in my throat I've never quite choked down." Damn, if that isn't a perfect analogy for getting the short end of the stick.

That "secret love" aspect is a wonderful start to the poem, because you're right - clandestine affairs rob you of the chance to air the dirty linen and get hugs from girlfriends... which makes the coal dissipate and go the way of all waste.

BRILL. BRILL, Mama. Amy

Lydia said...

OH, those secret lovers and the secret joys and secret turmoils and secret breakups. Thankfully, they vent steam in our poems.....

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

sorry I'm late at visiting this blog but I was unaware of it.

I don't know if you'll even see this because I'm so riding in the 'kaboos'.

Just wanted to say how much I really enjoyed this piece. How many have gone through this and sit quiet in a darken room with the door slightly ajar.

Gracias