Thoroughfare

First her face presses through.
A gentle thump, warm chest punch.
Next the exit wound.

Head born, she begins.
No longer seeing what is packed dark,
what is organ within him.

Her shoulders force the hole.
Hands bore through his back
like a flock of geese.

It is when her heart
beats inside his
that he loses footing.

Down on his knee
she drops him, swiffs
through like arrow wind.

Hands clutch at the invisible
egg of her, but there is no shape
to gather in passing.

Her waist, thighs, small toes—
all sharp lines—depart his spine.
The final cuts let no blood.

Perhaps the lines are Ls
starting to say leave or love,
but no sounds follow.

Her word is incomplete,
vagrant, vague. Who can sustain
the sound of endless L?

It makes a warm cave
of the mouth
we can’t live in, but brave.

His breath is meant—
her breath is meant—
to run out.

2013

3 Responses to “Thoroughfare”

  1. eduardo says:

    I like the language and imagery of this poem, yet I’m quite certain I’m not getting what it’s about. Previously, when you’ve mentioned the source and/or inspiration of a poem, I’ve smacked my forehead in “D’oh!” fashion for what becomes all-in-a-flash obvious. I’m suspecting I’m again (still?) being dense and oblivious, here.

    Even so, I do love the closing triptych: His breath is meant—/her breath is meant—/to run out.

    • wordweed says:

      Hi E,
      You are astute to guess there’s a source for this one too…this time an image that I offer my students in a Creative Writing class exercise: a simple black and white line drawing of a woman flying through a man’s chest. It intrigues me and I’ve written about it more than once. Another manifestation is the 2011 poem, “when you pass through me,” which you can find on wordweeds with a quick search.

      Thanks, as always, for reading! Your comments keep me on my toes.

  2. Glenn says:

    This poem would make an excellent painting!

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