The Absinthe Literary Review

by Alison Daniel

The Recidivist
Our confusion is what makes the world interesting
and no matter how brilliantly
incoherent you are, Iím not interested anymore.
Thereís no blur between haunted and hunted,
no discussion about purity
and degradation when youíre predictable
as history repeats conflicting lies. Iíd like you
to tell me how it feels
to be empty of concept and time
but thatís a waste because I donít understand
the criminal mind,
intimidation, the threats until after you finally left
I remember you said youíd never be with a woman
again, a blatant conflict
from what I saw today. Perhaps everything
you say is the same as psychopathic manipulation
like the time you mentioned
if our marriage ever ended youíd disappear with drugs
and alcoholic drinks but that would be identical
as saying youíd refuse to think.
How strange. Thinking has never been an aspect
you could honestly claim. There was no
surprise when I saw you walking hand in hand.
All I could do was open my mouth
and laugh so loud Iím still laughing now.

A Mountain Or A Molehill?
A question popped up
on my computer screen from a stranger
who plays pool with my husband
on the Internet.
He wanted to know if
progress had been made after I answered
the phone
to hear my husbandís ex-girlfriend
say heís been fucking her.
It sounded like something from The Jerry
Springer Show
, the drama
of wanting to be completely obscene
even if in reading the computer screen
the following day I see Ďmy wife is getting
out of bed ... write later,í
Iíll tell you the rest.
Strange things happen when I suffer
lack of sleep the same way a question
answered is never complete.
I was expected to believe the pool player
was really asking is it okay to go mountain
bike riding with a girl he used to know
and because heís shy the secret
had to be kept which makes me wonder
why the stranger from the Internet
knows more about my marriage
except for one small thing
that has nothing to do with mountain
bike riding or fucking an ex.
No. It has everything to do with my husbandís
addiction to morphine
swallowed as he sat on the couch
watching The Jerry Springer Show
twice a day until I asked him to leave
and when he did,
four days later there he was,
happily walking hand in hand
with the ex who had phoned
when he wasnít on the Internet.

The Book of Scorpio
You dressed
like any black winterís night
and escaped
before I had time to tell you
how much I hate you.
It may be true the sea laps shattered
peace with salt
stinging and undefined attitude
when you promised
you wouldnít wear black
without the pride of an artist.
The effect
was more precious than revenge.
You phoned
to say you
wanted me back and all you got
was explosive
sounds of silence
deep in Scorpionic sea.

Before you left this house
torn open, a spasm
of nerve endings screaming
with neglect, you said
youíve been waiting
for something like this,
that every day
youíd wake with relief to find
me by your side, happy
remembering Iím your wife
instead of those many plausible lies
tying trivia to the tendency
to transgress.
Itís not the same as secrets
betrayed in the chaos
psychopaths bury deep
inside the talismanic
trauma, the shock of looking
at your unblinking
reptilian eyes.


© 2005 Alison Daniel

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