Whereforto Ye Wanderers

Whereforto Ye Wanderers.



Friday, January 23, 2009

To A Living Girl (by Ellen Herget)

To a Living Girl     


You think I’m his, 
but even if I was I wouldn’t be. 
You think he’s mine, 
but even if he was he wouldn’t be. 
There is no MINE but I suppose 
you don’t know that yet. 
You think I’m glaring but my eyes 
are soft.   

I am 24 and find myself wanting 
to grab you, razor-boned Cherub, 
grip you at the neck and croon 
into your ear: 
When I was your age 
When I was your age   

When I was your age 
the days were aching droning 
month-long hours punctuated 
by minute sparks of drunk heat. 
I loved someone too, ya know. 
I wept too, ya know. 
It’s hard to recollect much 
when 8 years have passed 
and I’ve systematically practiced 
forgetting the things 
that were done to me, 
that I did to myself.   

But you, Cherub, 
fair pink-lipped kid, 
the set of your hips and flutter 
in your hands awakens the faintest 
edge of memory; 
like scenting something organic 
but unpleasant on the breeze; 
burning hair, maybe, or the flat 
smell of the dead. 
And I faintly recall the slow 
sacrifice of my spirit 
in those years, the degradation 
of my head into complacence 
and my body into a tool.   

Were I foolish enough to advise you, 
I’d say: 
Cocks are often compared to guns 
but cunts aren’t made to be weapons. 
You could be a harbor 
or you could be Pearl Harbor; 
choose the former, luv. 
Don’t cover your narrow chest 
in scar tissue by hurling yourself 
in the line of shrapnel, 
again 
and again 
and again. 
Foster the lost little child 
of your Love; don’t sell her downriver, 
don’t leave her in the hands of alien men.    

Your wings haven’t grown yet, Cherub, 
and you keep hacking them off 
to nubs.

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