Nazi Soldiers Dream of Making My Day
Your life in my hands is a done deal—
nurtured like a city in the mind of a king.
I don’t want you but I bleed in your memory.
You used the word fuck to describe what you wanted
too liberally—the waitress brings me a gingerbread latte and I wait
for the best lover I ever had to come breezing in, he bleeds
all over Blackburn like a flogged martyr but he
smiles patiently and sexily whether I like it or not
and like only an exceptional thirty-something lover can.
Sometimes, I think, to write poetry you have to
not write poetry—I restrain my idiom to suit the context and
apply creamy lipgloss, spoon the froth into my mouth.
I want him inside my body and you out on your ear—
the further away you are the more rational I feel—
we’re in bloom, and I crawl around looking for my veins.
I’d text Bobby but I’m afraid of having nothing to say.
In my internal life I have a thousand children, all hungry
and not enough arms to protect them from harm
—Nazi soldiers recall comrades smashing babies’ bodies
against the sides of concentration camp trucks until they’re silent
and transgender scrabble champions take their own lives—
the callus where the pen rests on my index finger scrapes clean off
and leaves a swollen, red lump
and there’s a hunch in my throat as I ethically codify The Guardian with him.
I want him every minute of the day and yet struggle to orgasm;
it’s an unfairness I feel is out of proportion
with my incredibly compassionate realism. Just how immediate
can a poem be? I round on my own alibis for making morally redundant books.
I am writing this but soon I will be typing this—
erasing, editing, never pastiche, always influenced
by the splitting second rupturing each rational and spontaneous thought—
the headline in my heart is: Do Lovers Ever Really Die?
An Annie Lennox song (not her best) plays on the radio in the pain clinic;
the string section slightly retarded, as is the synth. ‘Talk to me.’
And we sit here silent (‘like lovers do’) while I write this nonsense while
Nazi soldiers in interviews say it was the worst time of their life;
they never got over the slaughtered babies; their worlds
fell apart. He reads ‘Lancashire Life’ magazine, urges me to
hurry up with the novel, there’s a £895,000 house with our name on.
Poverty is not so unfunny these days; I eat the value range yet still
manage to look good in black on bad days. Poverty realises itself, even imagined poverty,
only in lieu of the obscene wealth of others. Others often less talented
than my good self. Side-splittingly ridiculous figures
attach themselves as captions over each necessary, concrete item.
How can we save money today? How can we save each other?
This morning my orgasm made me self-conscious
and he saw me stare at a sassy young woman but was I thinking
about wanting her or being her, if only for a split-second.
Nazi soldiers dream of making my day and I cry—
my nurse falls over herself and into the house scratching
her perfect thigh and hands me a prescription I have begged for
since nine o five am, just as she was entering the building.
O Debbie give me back my ability to make witticisms and live
without adequate sleep or dysphoria. How many babies
against the sides of trucks and how many times a triple letter score
before the knock at the door is someone official. She had
pink hair and she was called Mikki. There are many sexualities
all explored but not described in The Guardian on a Tuesday afternoon and
when I ask you I say, ‘so if you had to shoot a child on its knees,
or you would be shot or tortured horribly, or else
you could simply shoot yourself and eliminate the atrocity’
you say you would shoot the Nazi soldier. I say I would shoot myself
but oh dear my darling as if this was news to you.