Street Sign (poem)

On Tuesday night, I got into a rare poetic stupor while driving. Lines and imagery cascaded through my head and when I got home, I immediately wrote this poem down. I wanted to give it something of an urban fantasy feel, but as with most poems I write, I have no idea what it means.


It started with a street sign.
Three numbers and the path to where you would crawl
as a sleepwalker,
toward the bed empty, devoid of him.
He walked away,
hips swishing side to side in motions
that should have made you realize…

You lay alone in agony,
his name dripped like saltwater
from your lips.
You never knew what name to call him,
never knew what words of intimacy to stroke him with.
He set you aflame,
caged you in a thicket of emotion.
His eyes pinned you down.
You never knew whether they were blue-hazel-green-brown-black.

He cupped your breasts,
two small eggs in the shell of a bra,
and you saw him take your heart into his hands
as they must have done to him,
bit into it with the teeth of a vampire.
Your body was his to cover with scars.

You never could discern his accent
(Northern? Southern?)
His blue-collar words, his white-collar ambition.
How could you have craved his embrace,
longed to know the way his hands formed
letters on your skin,
the way his body hung over yours?

You lay beneath him,
pain of a crucifixion curving your spine,
alone yet not alone.
You handed your heart to a vampire,
gave him more than you had cared to take.
He was the dream you woke from,
his nightmare voice belching into your ears.
He was the thorn in your ankle,
the snake at your heel.
You could not bring yourself
to crush his head.

The street sign points to a room,
where you lay with your head on his chest,
listening to his heartbeat,
all doubt vanquished.
A street sign loomed in your dreams,
three numbers and an arrow
pointing the way to his coffin
where you had lain your head,
hoping for death
to escape your crucifixion.

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