Ruby (anotherplay) wrote in same_oh,
Ruby
anotherplay
same_oh

write instead of spam

bats
sword
tea
skin
serenade
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There are bats on your leg.

Perhaps, once, they were meant to be birds
But as I study their flight up the curve of your calf
the angles are all wrong--
sharp points and odd edges
where smooth lines and graceful arches should be.
An inky flurry of black on your pale skin.

I have much time to watch them in these late hours
sipping expired tea from the chipped mug I keep hidden under your sink.
The only thing that's really mine here.

They are selling authentic replicas of japanese swords on the television
in the wee hours of the morning while you
serenade me with whiskey-scented snores.

Such a funny phrase, "authentic replica",
and quite useful, if you think about it.

I am
an authentic replica of a woman
in an authentic replica of a relationship
with you,
an authentic replica of a man.

It strikes me as very funny
and I wish I had someone to tell it to,
even if it is more of a joke that is at my expense.

But we don't talk.
Never talk.
If we talked I would have more than jokes to tell you.
I would have hopes and dreams and secrets.

I would have stories of my childhood
running wild in Kentucky farmland.
Of the old barn where I was bitten
by the mouse that wasn't a mouse
and spent three weeks in the hospital.


If we talked, I would tell you
that I hate bats more than anything.

They are selling authentic replicas of japanese swords on the television
in the wee hours of the morning while you
serenade me with whiskey-scented snores.


So painful and funny. Great writing.
first
crushed invisible
beneath her lover
and her sister
paved over
by regret's iron road
skin sealing her mouth
with its protests

second
trampled by her children
in their rush to exile
their bat swarm of fear
ears stopped by the serenade
of boot and sword
death darkening the sky
slowly like tea

now
for a third time
rachel imeinu
lays down her head
in the valley of ghosts
if only those years were men
men with shitty haircuts who off-key serenade
men with teeth like overnight tea
men who dribble their words like mefagrim ashkenazim

if only those years were men
men who sued their brides for failing to be virgins
men with dozing bats in the chambers of their hearts
men who burn all 36 neighbourhood trashcans in a fit of rage

if those years were men
I would take up my sword, or more likely a beer bottle,
and slice them from skin to marrow
for stealing so much from you

why did they have to be time
why did they have to be already gone
Each night, the sound of bats flying by our window was like a serenade. At first I thought they were birds, but upon closer inspection I noticed the leathery skin, the massive wings, and the strange way they flapped about. In those early days, we would sit on the balcony in the dark, cold cups of tea in our hands, and watch them move past. It might've been the sweetest time of my life. But even then, though she said nothing, she was already noticing the dark smoke moving ever closer toward the house, the heavy noise like thunder in the background getting louder everyday. Soon the men were there with their swords and guns and I saw that the bats had gone.
sing the sword-skin serenade,
drink down your cup of tea;
the bats are wheeling in the sky,
and you are here with me.