“Her Mind Amiss, Matched” by Hodge Woodroffe

Her Mind Amiss, Matched

     I.     Her Repose

 

Gaoler man got the keys to the souls that’re

Hanged from trees and left to rot and wilt and ferment,

untreated.

I knew her, of course I knew her. Heard she used to prance in

Enigmatic strides of well-endowed isolation, looking for a man

Who wanted to speak before he spoke, and see inside a fantasy she alone witnessed?

I heard from the woman who lasted long before my time,

That her mind decomposed before her soul

Understood that her time of dying had come and gone, the forebode repose.

She knew of form drawn by faux formalist who writ verse on arts grave

A different verse, new verse that etched upon her key,

And gave that key, a gift, to the master of her repose.

 

II.      The Messiah

 

Voyeur is the cigarette ash mote caught in the messiah’s crotch, after three showerless days

Of park bench living with stolen newspaper crafted underpants

Reeking of piss and sweat no matter how fresh the daily news may be.

He combs his hair of deadbeat lice selling their plasma for sweetened food stamp wine

He bathes in the refuse washed up on the beaches of tabula rasa

Staining the cleansed patrons tied up in shoe string bikinis with shards of unholy broken glass.

She knew this man, and basked in the sun of his beaches. She chewed the glass like poisoned gum

When she returned to us, and I met her decades later, she was touched by his ash

She wore it like a crown of premature splendor afflicting her at a middle age.

I don’t blame him for her ignorant folly, he was a hell of a guy. But everyone seemed to forget their

Conversations, and soon he didn’t exist. I guess I took his place, perched upon a throne of thrones

That pierced my ass. They were tipped with ash, but it dissolved in between the carefully printed letters.

 

III.     Descent

 

She loved him, with her crippled limbs and mind within the bubbled downward spiral

That painted on its walls a fake smile with pierced eyelids warning her to hide her face outside

The bubble. For seductress’ of sloth and ecstasy would trap her into an old familiar noose.

She followed her instructions well for a time, until a false step sent her crashing down the stairs

Into a darkness she couldn’t see through eyelids stapled shut to mimic her beloved self-portrait of him.

The fall took a while and eventually she floated in her throwback indulgence and told herself she

Toed the straight and narrow lanes of ash lined steps.

She believed it, or at least she told herself she did.

I knew the truth.

Her ash was a fake sweetener steeped in life and tasted of a bitter root and poisoned at the mere taste.

She may hit the bottom one day, but for now it’s her descent and its effect on me.

Her sins writ in a book the gaoler clenches reciting them eternally from his tattooed prison on the wall.

(36 lines)

Justin’s Note: Hodge Woodroffe lives in suburban London, where he attends school and scribbles his verse on crumbling parchment by the candlelight in William Shakespeare’s two bedroom apartment, the bard of nowhere! Of nothing, I tell you! Truly, as we all are.

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