I couldn't do it, I tried.
I really did.
Twisted it, tugged at it, even greased it, but it wouldn’t shake off.
The weight of that metal band on my finger;
How I detest the strangling grip of it.
Twenty years and the noose has only become firmer,
And all that coagulated red has turned a murky purple.
The musty damp room that I inhabit,
Is foul and vile, full of shards and splinters.
You needn’t have flung that oak wood boat this morning.
I haven’t cleaned it up and I am not going to.
The longer I stare at the jagged edge of the mirror,
The more it seems to be an escape route.
No, in it I see a silver spectrum smashed.
The undefiled bed… Oh! It was tainted the very first night,
When you claimed warm red, but it really was dark and biting,
When you decided to splatter black and blue and purple everywhere.
Each day thereafter I bore a new shade
Even then, the dollars spent on concealers never pleased you.
And now the garter, the dress, my grandma’s veil,
The dated wine corks, the photograph in Maldives,
You and I and the something you had – we had,
Burn and smolder and scorch when revisited.
Feeling the bump in my head, I trace the outlines,
The round shape: round toes, round nails, round face,
I hate the damned roundness of my life.
Twenty years have come full circle,
The origin seems today. Each day feels new,
And each bruise, each cut lip and welt on the skin,
Feels fresh. Red oozes fresh. Haven’t you had enough?
I’m tired. These walls have been damp far too long,
The cracks, peeling chips and the swellings are far beyond repair.
The rains have left me chilled to the bone,
And now, I’m going to yank it off.
Perhaps I’ll severe my finger with the shard of mirror,
Or go get the tiny instrument that rests in a brown packet,
Tucked carefully in the drawer of your study,
And when you return, you’ll find
An empty artillery shell.