You’re stuck in my chest like a pitchfork.
You cleaved my heart in two neat pieces,
like an overripe peach,
and I lost one half, crushed beneath your heel.
All I want is to stop writing poems about that pain.
But that pitchfork handle is always accidentally
catching on loose ends of memory,
unraveling the tattered red sweater
I’ve woven to keep myself warm through
three winters now.
I remember the day I picked a bouquet
of guileless happiness with you
from the place I showed you our first spring.
This is where we will marry, I said.
My first daughter will carry this garden’s name.
And your eyes sparkled harmless,
told me I could trust that secret with you.
Another day, the color grey,
and I was on my dad’s porch step
when I slammed the door in your face
unable to even ask why,
left with just
the laundry basket contained scraps
of our life and
me a sad pile of yarn
to knit whole again
one stitch at a time,
willing faltering fingers to forget
that all of me was rags to you.
My demons stopped coming for me
with sharp objects
the day I returned from my Gethsemane
because you do their job just fine.
My arms aren’t long enough to
pull out the four pointed spikes you drove in
and as my only anesthesia, your pitying kindness.
God, let me keep this one perfect thing.
The answer: drink the bitter cup. I tasted bile,
brimstone ravaged my throat.
And so your name became hellfire,
your existence a pitchfork on which to flay
a lump of meat I no longer recognize
as my heart.