Susan Smith Nash


My lips were like metal

and melted wax

familiar tastes of obligation

you know how it is


Im afraid to tell you

ravishing trace of stars streaming from the sky

warm July of self-abnegation

my hand searching for yours;

still, Im afraid to tell you.


In the summing-up we all avoid,

dont ask me what my life meant;


Im under the car, face-up

defined by metal and the malleable

chromatography of bone and sheen

love me if you dare


after a lifetime of being set up to fail,

you never do

silence when you pull off the impossible

words dance around it,

around what has always been

what always will be


flecks of blood like stars inverted

wax melting on metal lips

bitter, bitter then sweet so sweet

love me if you dare,

but only


-- October 27, 2001