Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Lover as an Extended Metaphor for Death: Two Poems

Here are two poems in which I use a lover as an extended metaphor for death, or rather, more specifically, with my (past/previous/long-gone) obsession with death and death wish (of sorts). Yeah, I was an angsty, fucked up adolescent and twenty-something. Ah, thank god I've matured. I mean, I have, right??? (Just joshin' yas! I *know* I have. Yay)!

Getting Intimate with Death

Year after year he waits for me
So calm, so cool, so smug and self-assured
Secure in his knowledge that one day I will be his, that he will possess me
And I am so afraid that eventually I will succumb
Say yes to his promises of a world without pain
A place without race or class or religion
A place where happiness is the rule
And there are no exceptions

He catches up with me at a party
He puts his hands on my hips
I feel his warm, smoky breath on the back of my neck
I don't need to turn to know who's standing behind me
Coolant-coated fingers travel the length of my spine
He whispers softly in my ear and I automatically turn to him
I had forgotten how even a glance at him could make me forget myself
Our eyes connect
He grabs my arm, gripping tightly
Forcing bruises shaped like fingerprints onto my skin
He leads me to a bedroom, still holding my arms
Making me feel like a delinquent elementary-schooler being marched to the principal's
I had forgotten how he could instantly control me
I can't do anything but stare at him
Looking so good, standing tall, his slender body emphasized by jeans that look painted on
On his jaw a slender white scar
In his face a past, mystery
He is so forbidden,
I cannot help but want him
He puts his lips to mine, holding my face in his big hands
He presses the length of his body against mine
Running his fingers down my neck
Moving his hands across my body
Tugging at my hooks and buttons and zippers
My body reacts and I grab at his clothing
Pulling him down onto the bed
Not wanting to wait even a second longer
Then my head starts screaming at me
"NO! Not again, not like this," I think to myself
He stares at me, his coal-black eyes angry slits,
Leans over again
I try to resist, to push him away
To dissect myself from him
Always reminding myself "this is wrong, this is bad"
But I can't believe my own words, can't make myself stop

All the time I'm so very aware of his presence
In my deepest hunger
I want him to ease the ache at my very core
Fill the gaping hole
Days I yearn for him, pray to him, believe him inevitable
Others I resist, will him out of my thoughts
Dare him to come to me, a cigarette-smoking, soul-selling savior
I have kept him at bay, a memory best left untouched

His lips are on my breast, his hands on my ass
Salty sweat and bare skin against bare skin
But I can't go through with it this time
I push him away from me
Get up, begin to dress
We are all the time engaged in these same struggles
The prize being my life
I am so tired of our endless fighting
The pointless power struggle
The contest for a soul perhaps not worth saving
That I almost give up, give in, give away
But I can't
To lose would be to die
And then he would own me
He would recreate me
As a bitch who never thought of anyone but herself
Playing the same damn mind games he played on her
As a cunt who fucked them all over
Spreading her legs for the biggest player of them all
And never caring
As a murderer who killed all that was good within herself
This lover of mine, with his sexy eyes and charming way
Would use me
Destroying anything pure inside me, anything worthwhile
And when he had finished molding me into his image
He would have made me
A monster

copyright 2006 Katherine Andrews

Getting Intimate with Death Revisited

Even though I was so sure
That I had rid myself of him,
he still has a power over me,
an inexplicable hold.
I am no longer always so very aware of his presence
in my deepest hunger,
but I still rush towards him
in small increments, selling my soul
piece by piece, letting him
kill my spirit slowly,

I encounter him recently,
again and again.
We come together quickly,
lips meeting hungrily, almost
He'll run his hands across my ass;
before I know it my sweater will be around my neck:
breasts loose, free.
He'll tweak a nipple and
I'll run my hands across his crotch,
undo his belt, pull down the zipper.
Even now, I always
take an active role.

We meet as animals:
primal and fierce.
Our encounters are brief, almost
meaningless at times.
Afterwards I am always left feeling
less than.
I give up, I give in, I give away
oh so much.
I let him steal
so many bits and pieces.
I ache to free myself
from my sick obsession,
to rush towards the answer,
to embrace life like the long-lost lover,
rather than continuing to rush
towards all that will,
in the end, only
kill me.

copyright 2009 Katherine Andrews

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