CAN YOU LIVE WITH SURRENDER?
In the morning you will cut
your hair, stand naked at the bathroom sink
twisting all those questions into sections,
whirl the waterlogged mane into points;
snip first at slick bangs,
then the furled wisps near the nape.
Hold shears close to the scalp—
the cold will burn your forehead and your hand
will shake, not from exertion, but from last night’s
rye whiskey downed on the sly in a dark
room of the basement, the empty bottle
hidden among the refuse of what remains,
so many nights like the last. And the stench
of urine from the unflushed
toilet gags you as you squeeze
fingers, bring metal blades together,
begin the sluice that loosens years
flowed in brown richness, waves
of dead-heavy wetness released
into smooth porcelain, the bare bowl
a lover’s hollow heart.
And later, you will wear a blue-
knit hat, turn your thought’s ankle
on grief’s stone, walk the mind’s alley
of that lover’s lane, knuckles
scraping along the fence, rough brick
your skin reddened raw.
Title of the poem is the last line of a blog entry posted by Gerry Hill, Sat. Sept. 27/08.