Today's poem is from Lea Banks:
IT WAS NOTHING
Nothing is so beautiful as spring.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Something like the ride on the Tilt-A-Wheel,
the teasing carnie with the snake tattoo. Something
like his boarding house room with the meltdown
mattress floor. Milk bottle of vodka and orange juice,
just a little vitamin C to help me dance until the ceiling
exploded. Woke up with nothing on but a Heavy Metal
tee shirt. Naked smoke rings blown from his scratched
mouth next to my ear, a torpedo. My hands
covered my throat. His curdled breath demanded
me watch where his snake started — and ended.
Something like being thrown hollow and naked
into a pool I couldn’t swim in, so-huddled
with death. This time it was a man carrying
me to poolside. His fingers inside my gasping
mouth, hooked between my teeth and cheek.
Told me to drink more wine, stop that screaming.
Something like being fucked drunk and willing
the waves of the lake over the two of us
in a mad tangle of wet clothes, lips of shiny
later under a blood-soaked moon with a teenage
blotchy-faced stranger. I was a blue slip of a thing
slimy, sodden. I slept under a van that night.
It was nothing like you said it was, mother.
It was something else entirely, father.
You weren’t there for my undoing, a volley
against those lessons that you taught or failed
to teach. I was an emergency room wide open.
Angry squall of death in a small town morgue.
It was nothing. It was nothing like the spring
it should have been, innocent and brave. Before it
cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning. Spring could
have been jumping in puddles, boggy smell
of brack, lily pads hiding sacks of eggs. A firefly
chase, a swat of black flies, rolling rolling dizzy
down hills of parachute grass — something
like the garden of Eden after the gate had closed.
Please head over to Tattoosday to check out some of Lea's tattoos here.
Lea Banks lives in
Thanks again to Lea for sharing her poem with us on the Tattooed Poets Project!