February/March 2005

Kurt Newton

when my girlfriend wanted to get married
all I wanted was sex
but we wed inside a cold cathedral
committed vows to honor and cherish
love until death steps in and wants to dance
we drove to someplace special
someplace warm
and shed our clothes
and pressed our skin together
skin beneath skin
inside skin
surrounded by skin
consumed by skin
each time trying to seek that perfect union
we had heard so much about
but could never quite achieve

when my wife wanted children
all I wanted was us
but I filled her with my fancy juices
and infected her body with alien life
a seed made of skin
that grew root-legs and branch-arms
a naked trunk filled with loosely-bound organs
two eyes, a mouth
a face that resembled both of us
and something altogether unknown
a tumorous growth that sprung forth
from the rich earthy musk of her loins
and invaded our mutually-exclusive space
without apology
and wanting to be fed

when the mother of my child wanted another
all I wanted was for the first one to go away
but I infected her again and again
until her garden became infertile
nutrients forever stolen from her bones
her body bent in a perpetual hunch
until the pains started
without the kick of alien toes
and the doctors arrived one by one
pieces of her abdomen taken
tested, evaluated
deemed malignant
blades cut and pared
and reshaped her insides
but they could not remove the echo
that sounded when I touched the surface
of her skin

when the woman of my life wanted to die
all I wanted was to die also
but I stood by and watched
as death came to dance a farewell pirouette
upon her sunken flesh
tap a hollow tuneless drone
upon her sallow skin
watched until she was no longer hiding
beneath its once smooth and silky surface
exorcised without a scream or a shout
or a shuddering orgasm
gone with just a sigh
and the silence that followed
my girl friend
my wife
my children's mother
my love