Summer 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 3/4 Poetry |

Kicking

When we broke up I removed all traces from the house. The little plastic vials, the inside out glassine bags stamped with names: CORVETTE, GRAND PRIX, LEMANS, dumped the hospital tubing and three blood-stained belts and the book on medieval farming I used to read like a lullaby. I never loved you, the furniture said, I always hated you, and all the plants coarsely mocked me. I woke up with hands hanging from my throat somewhere applause dying out, the hole getting bigger. And ground down the space between us for weeks with women, call them women, but the minute I was out their door the hole gaped again, like a pocketbook torn open by a thief. I raged through the house, explained to the open refrigerator how misused I was, wept into my hands, puked, sweat the shame into my sheets, studied my horoscope, scoured texts in film and print, attended fetes for the chemically deranged, complied with whatever I was told, got a haircut, listened to whatever song said the world was an impossibl

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Charlie Smith has written five New York Times Notable Books and has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

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Hollyhocks

By Charlie Smith

When we broke up I removed all traces from the house. The little plastic vials, the inside out glassine bags stamped with names: CORVETTE, GRAND PRIX, LEMANS, dumped the hospital […]

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