Sunday, May 4, 2014

discordant cloud-banks

He watches her like some grade-school boy,
watching a foreign creature, an outsider.
He follows her movements with his eyes, 
an impartial observer, staring.
He seeks an opportunity to strike.
He yawns, stretches his arm and tugs her hair.

She shakes him off, 
as she shook off all the recess boys in grade three,
without another glance.
he comfortingly pats her back.
And thus they carry on, over and over
ages without end.
Aggression then caressing, 
a separation, then a brutal unity.
He has overstayed his welcome-
he has forgotten how to be a guest.
He has become a boorish
Mr. Bennet, trapped inside
a colony of females that he thinks beneath him.
His wit has ceased to be biting,
it has soured into loveless vitriol
his charm devolved into discourtesy.

She clings to him,
holding on,
refusing to let him go.
She endures his slights,
 ignores the vinegar tongue,
if she opens up her mouth in protest,
her weak defenses amount solely
to a castrated cry of:
Oh Mr. Bennet
She tends to her nest, knowing he cannot fly away,
so she makes his imprisonment more pleasant.
Rendering it more unendurable.
He holds her hand,
but with reluctance
a man about to shake himself free,
so he lets the manacles hang from his wrists
for just a moment more.

She pulls her fingers out
from the spaces between his,
she will not look at him.
She looks instead at the gathering storm
the grass blown horizontal by the angry wind
the tree branches shaking in the thunderclaps
She makes a joke about Kathy and Heathcliff.
He laughs, with an awkward sort of hope.
He reaches for her coat pockets,
hungry to taste her lips,
reaching, grasping, hidden by soft words.
His intention shrouded by a volley of witty jokes.
His hands seek to meet hers,
stuffed into her coat pockets.
His cold fingers intertwine with the wool of her coat and the heat of her hand.

She laughs,
his blandishments flowing through
her veins like cabernet.
Her eyelashes are dusted with snow.
She laughs like a woman aware,
for that moment, for that instant,
She is Desire. She is Beauty. She is.
She laughs like a woman unaware that the fire
with which she plays
will burn her.

We have the unique position to see not only the sins of all the world, but to look past the pain and suffering and into the empty tomb. For we all know what happened three days later.
--Walter E. Jenkins, CSC

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