Storyteller by Marcus Slease

Relatives bring her brochure after brochure with pictures
of chartered boats, bronze men, fire dancing, neon drinks.
But she won’t leave the empty aquarium beside her bed.

When she was twenty she rode all over Belfast, dropping
into party after party with an erotic squint that made
all the college boys sit up in their seats.

When she walked into a room all the gum-smackers stopped smacking,
all the bent heads looked up, and the disco tunes stopped spinning.
Everyone leaned forward, waiting for her latest made-up story.

She always had our attention. During one of the worst hailstorms
in Belfast history she made us run through the streets with brooms
and penny whistles, shouting out messages of free love, seizing the night
by its throat. She was more woman than any of us knew how to handle.

Thirty years later and she reclines in her bed, pill after pill
in the palm of her hand. Sometimes her eyes seem to say yes
again to the full tilt, the marrowed life. But she only slobbers
some story about her lizards, how she must recapture them,
but they keep slipping, their tails breaking in her hands.

From: http://www.theadirondackreview.com/slease.html

Date: 2003

By: Marcus Slease (1974- )

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