The Shine Journal

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Adrian S. Potter

 

 

Tell Me Lies in a Dead Language

 

 

Perhaps it starts with genetics.

The knack of the body to remember

what the mind chooses to disregard:

gloom, heartbreak, and black eyes.

To routinely recall the verb forget

soon after a drunken argument

has leaned in close and shouted

sinister advice in your ears.

 

Each day, less of you survives,

and what remains seems fragile and disposable,

half-healed bones and broken china.

A penchant for shoplifting, sex,

and scotch before noon.

Scattered scars that outline your wrists

and bruises that ache, disappear, then return.

 

So you say that your husband is nice

in his own way, a statement as undecipherable

to me as Sanskrit.  You tell me lies

in a dead language and I answer them

with the comforting weight of silence.

I can only think of how at dusk,

as night closes around our world like a fist,

he will punch you behind drawn curtains

and locked doors.  If I believed in apologies,

I’d give all of mine to you,

mumbled like unanswered prayers

floating aimlessly toward heaven.

 

©Adrian S. Potter

 

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BIO: ADRIAN S. POTTER writes both poetry and short fiction.  He was awarded first prize in the 2007 Saturday Writers One-Page Poem Contest and the 2006 Èervená Barva Press Fiction Chapbook Prize.  Previous publication credits include Colere, Cherry Bleeds, Reed, Denver Syntax and Poesia.  His short fiction chapbook, Survival Notes, is available through Èervená Barva Press.  Additional propaganda about Adrian and his writing can be found at http://adrianspotter.squarespace.com/. 

 

MOTIVATION:

 

"This poem was born out of an experience where an abused neighbor would not accept anybody’s help to remove herself from the situation.  I unfortunately lost track of her after moving away, so this is my poetic tribute to her, and my hope that she was able to save herself from her tormentor."

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Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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