Like Lemmings Leaping Off A Cliff

You followed your heart.
There’s nothing I can say
against that. You followed
your heart back to the shark
pit, like it was a hook in the
side of your lip and it hurt
too much to not go along,
even if you’d be snapped up
in the end. The water’s
already got the scent of
you in it, and I don’t want
to watch the feeding.

You followed your heart
into the boxing ring, only
the gloves are off and no
one’s cheering for you.
We’re just stunned,
mouths hung open,
drying in wonder,
wincing in anticipation
for the bruises his fists
give like gifts. They’ll come.
They’ll come.

You followed your heart.

I just wish mine had not
toddled after you.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

Hammers and Nails

I think you learned to love people
by watching hammers love nails

You bury them in succession
one after another after another
and you never expect them
to get back up.

Some do, of course.
It takes them years.
Decades, sometimes, but
they wrench themselves out
of the holes you put them in
with their heads still smarting,

so you go back.

You love them down again. Harder.
You put all your weight into it,
just to make sure.

I know what will break you.
One day you will love someone
and they will go crooked.

You will love them
and they will twist at their shank.
Bent over, hunching their back,
they’ll take you on their spine
and let you hit as hard as you like.

They’d rather be mangled
than hidden away.

What will you do
with a love like that?

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

Defenestrated Spuds and Domestic Violence

After the police left,
I found the potato
you threw past my head
in the middle of the garden,

haloed by daffodils
and shards of glass,

still tin foiled
and warm to the touch.

I thought of you,
tears burning out the ovens
of your eyes,
of the scream and crash
as your rage shattered
silence and kitchen window,

the absurdity and chaos
of your fingers making
a weapon of a hot meal,

the surreal moment
I felt myself duck for cover
from comfort food cannonballs.

I picked it up, the potato,
and wondered how I’d ever thought
you had a soul full of peace.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.