never was a wagon to fall off of

by Rachelle Howe

my head throbs like an erection.
i've kept my entrails locked,
gulling the binge aftermath.
to my left is my favorite trash can,
mouth crammed full by
beer bottles and lingering rum.
i haven't partaken in six hours
and for this i pat myself on the back.

somewhere in the recesses of my mind,
the phone rings. crawling
across the disarray of sheet and sweat,
i grasp for the migraine inducing shriek.
the cradle rests stillborn
in my dusky palm.

i grunt in greeting and am surprised
as to the other voice.
it is my mother who immediately starts preaching
about her harrowing, "self-worthying" projects and
which affair she wants to be healed from;
deep resignations and accusations
lined within the silk of cheek and tongue.

regardless, i hear her--
better than she ever would me--
taking words and ingesting them
only to ramblerambleramble
and spew things like,

"i know that we cut you more lethally
than any slice-and-dice drive-by,
know that the pain has been
wedged monumentally deep.
however, you're still a drunk.
...but i love you."

deftly, i mutter,
"i love you too,"
as i place the phone back down,
and slip into remission.


Author's Note: Poetry assignment #3. Narrative. EDITED ONCE AGAIN. UGH. HELP! THOUGHTS!? :)

Posted on 11/22/2006
Copyright © 2022 Rachelle Howe

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Quinlan L Gibson on 11/23/06 at 07:24 PM

This is so good. It's insightful yet detached, which I think makes this piece all the more toneful. (is toneful a word? It should be. haha)

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 11/26/06 at 01:46 PM

A courageous piece, Rachelle; far from superficial. And the title means so much more after reading the text. Love the opening line, and how it, these lines: i'm disgusted by the superficiality we've been reduced to like dogs, and the closing stanza hold it all together, keep the inspiration in perspective.

Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 11/27/06 at 05:06 AM

First line is freaking brilliant. The rest of the poem's good, but that first line really gets this angry sucker rolling. Great work.

Posted by Lauren Singer on 11/28/06 at 08:36 PM

wow this is great rachelle. im sure it will be a hit in your class. my favorite line by far is: the cradle is like a stillborn in my dusky palm. brilliance, my dear. i also love the second to last paragraph. the whole thing is excellentttt.

Posted by Kristine Briese on 12/03/06 at 01:57 AM

Brilliant, of course, and that first line makes sure we read the rest.

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