Breakup poem with my past self

by Abner Dormiendo

What do you want me to say
means I don’t have anything
to say, my mouth is a vacant
parking space on the outskirts
of this city. What happened before
that? I was drinking wine, drinking
from the wells of her eyes
like I am a never-ending thirst
in the body of a man. What could
you have done? Exactly nothing.
There are stars, yes. There is
the smell of rotting wood,
unclean carpet, unclean hands.
None of us are clean. That is true,
but you should have seen her teeth
sweeter than half an orange slice.
It was so saccharine I thought
I was going to die. But you didn’t.
In a way I did. And what happened
before that? I was a hairline away
to the next funeral of feelings,
a metaphorical foot on the grave
of her name. I mean what did you do
that led to now? I was driving away
from her place. I think the sun
was too hot that day. You think?
I mean I am not sure. What is there
to be sure about? The certainty of
her hair. I want her like I want
the truth. But she told you the truth.
That’s beside the point. And then
what happened before that? My hand
was knocking on her door like
asking what do you want? What
do you want? I just want to see
how words end in the mercy
of her kneecaps. I think I was sad
that day. I think sadness drove
my car, not me. It was sadness’s
hand on the door, not mine.
So where is it? Sadness? Yes.
I told him to stay. I need company
and I wanted him to tell me
the history of her. What is it?
Her pulse in my parchment skin,
her eyelashes in cursive. Is that all?
She is not an archive of the most
beautiful things scaled to a woman.
But she is, isn’t she? She used to be
so much more than that. And now?
I just wished there was something
to blame, some tangible thing.
You will always have you. Not always.
Name instances. That afternoon
where my body betrayed me.
I was a shell after the fact of
the molting. I was an afterthought.
What did she say? She told me the truth.
Didn’t you want the truth? Again that is
beside the point. That’s the point all along.
So what do you want me to say?

*

Day 14: Make a poem that takes the form of a dialogue. I don’t want it to look too dialogue-like format-wise (i.e., like a script or with separate line cuts for the parts). I borrowed a technique from Richard Siken’s Unfinished Duet.

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