fiction, life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

her inferno


a voice

something still alive

someone trying not to scream

they make a sound that could only be described as an

oral ache

stretch of sinew, wide mouth, no noise, neighbors hear


there has been too much pain for sound

still tears come, when you think there could be no more

nobody knows, nobody knows, nobody knows

behind well constructed facade, beneath masks

the woman with her head in the oven

probably wrote a decent poem before she expired

smoothed her apron down, sent her kids to school

before turning the dial high

her own sounds of anguish and the hiss of gas

a sigh of sighs

the postman can knock on the door and you can open with a bright

false smile and he will think to himself as he departs, she is such a happy

woman always with a nice thing to say and a bright grin, I wish my wife were

half as content

close the door, gather the rope, sling it securely

the same woman who turns the dial high

prepares her demise with thoughtfulness

she is tutored at deceiving

sickness overwhelms her and she is on the floor tearing at herself

watching from ceiling, a woman unravel and be unable to re-knit

she feels in her solar plexus, in her very marrow, the scourge of loss

she can’t stand it, she can’t stand it, she can’t stand it

the idea time assuages pain, is a falsehood

hers is a road that will always be wet with tears

her eyes are closed and she is imagining how it is some of us

never stop hurting and others can brush off betrayal like lint

walk on unperturbed.

in the silence of her house, the clock in the hallway unwound

she feels the walls closing in, the very sky descend

all her madness like balls of yarn, have no where to pretend

they are okay

she is demented with hurt

voiceless, personless, no-one to reach out to

her arms are cut again and again with the switch of abandonment

she was once someone’s baby

she was once someone’s love

lapsing into unconsciousness in hot overflowing bath

crimson for her unshed horrors, streaking clean floor

did not need to use her own hands in sterile afternoon

washing line blowing emptiness like fallen maps

now she is dirt and dust and a woman without bones

she is sinking into the soft hiss of gas escaping gratefully

if she had the courage she’d light a match to guarantee

her inferno

she left one last message on one last machine

lost in time and the rolling hours curling their faces to the wall

her tinny voice breaking and crackling over distance

saying goodbye without saying goodbye

for even in death she pretends

everything is okay

and when you come home at 6

the table will be laid, your shirt for tomorrow pressed

hanging like a specter

its loose arms waving

in mute appeal


27 thoughts on “her inferno

  1. Have I known her, this woman
    With her head in the oven
    The pills in her palm
    The gun in her hand
    The blade held tight
    The rope tied up
    The bridge in mind
    The needle for final relief
    Seeking darkness as
    A pillow, a blanket
    The voice on the Crisis phone
    “I can’t do this anymore … click”?
    Have I made the next call in hope
    They arrive in time? Yes
    And what of the ones I have not
    The smiling one beside the cash register
    Saying not her pain, but “Have a nice day.”
    The one passing by who,
    Had I time to look and see
    The smile not reaching the eyes
    Same thousand mile stare
    As one returned from war
    But who sees but one way
    Out of her battlefield?
    What of them?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I love yours more, so there. Mine poured straight out of almost ten years of life as on-call crisis counselor. Not all the callers or drop-ins at the office or seen in ER or ICU were women, but most were and every one of those methods was real. It is no surprise that yours pulled it out.


      • I think counselors can write some incredible poetry because of what they experience.
        I did hot line work also but only lasted a year. That is TOUGH. I worked at a rape crisis center for several years and that was rough also but very rewarding.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That work is very much the school of hard knocks, the people are real, their pain is real, and I think that only poetry can begin to make that real for those who haven’t been through it or spent time with them, certainly far more than all the statistics ever gathered. And when those hurting people can write their own (We know some of them) it can carry an awesome power.


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