Poetry

Cheltenham Elegy #420

Photo by Magda Ehlers via Pexels. CC0/Public domain.

I.

The Junior Prom deposited me (and fifteen
others) on the floor of her basement. I could
barely see daylight at the time, and at three in
the morning I began to prowl. I was too scared
to turn on any lights. She emerged like a mermaid
from seaweed. I needed comfort, she enjoyed my
need. We had gone out— she was bitter. The whole
dialogue happened in shadows. No one was hooking
up in the other room, either. You spiteful little princess.

II.

Whether off the bathroom counter
or the back of your hand, darling,
your unusual vehemence that
winter night, cob-webbed by
half-real figures, was animated by an
unfair advantage, which stooges threw
at you to keep you loopy as you
died piece-meal. All I had
was incomprehensible fury and a
broken heart— when I hit the floor
at four, you were getting ready
to play fire-starter, opened
the little snifter, curled your finger
twice in the right direction; darkness—