The End of a Marriage by Patricia Smith

is totally silent, eerie in its zero.
Not even the clunk of paralleled possessions
dropping into cardboard boxes or the satisfying
slamming of doors, one after another, can slap
a period on chaos. It’s just one syrupy moon-eyed
gaze, taking in his overlapped belly, the dangerous
mole dotting her left shoulder, the blue veins
like roads to death behind his knees. It’s that watery
stare with no stop, the frenzied gulping of line,
curve, voice, all the stark unbended was of them.

Yes, we flinched against the losing, even our venom
was distinctly hued. Everyone kept asking, begging
detail, but all there was was the utter nothing, just
our eyes locked on our eyes, traversing that ragged
territory once more for the record, finally dropping
abruptly from the edge of my body, the edge of his.
It was a threadbare connect meant to end tragically,
one that was broken when we blinked and he turned
away and I turned away, our eyes fused open.
Then we began our walk toward separate sounds.


Date: 2006

By: Patricia Smith (1955- )

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