Bloodshot Detours

Bloodshot Detours
JCD Kerwin

She gets bloodshot eyes and follows railroad tracks from her head. She follows them to memories he laid for her when he left her cold, forgotten and skin and bones when he said she wasn’t worth the warmth of a lesser man. She blinks dead, glazed eyes and sees black birds on the tracks, pulling off the flesh of all the friends she left behind. [She pulls at her own skin, hanging loose against her ribs, sticking puncture-like from her body while she wonders when the birds will come to claim her for their final meal.] She follows tracks to the town she remembers, but doesn’t, because all she wants is the life she never had, the life she almost had before he kissed her lips and drove the blade into her heart. (Her salty tears across the metal: tarnished silver made it rust the faster.) She walks at Dawn to find someone who can keep the train away for one more day; someone who can keep it away until she finds the way home.

Nov., 2012

Broken Bells made me do it. That’s my excuse.


Winter Comes in Autumn

I’m still playing with punctuation, but…

Rorschach Monster
J.C.D. Kerwin

She says. She says I shouldn’t bring up the bad memories, the bad thoughts in my brain about all the yelling and the screaming and the fighting and the times when she didn’t look at me at all. The times she hated me. The times she called me “monster” and said she’d rather be with Jimmy at the bar called Jungle Jim’s down the street. She felt ice cold, then—the times we made up after, because I knew that though she whispered “sorry” in the dark, I knew she meant it when she said she wanted him. Jimmy wasn’t me. Jimmy was better than the monster that clawed to hold her in the night. She calls me sentimental, though, because I draw to many sentiments; draw too much sentimentality from too many songs long gone. She says. She says I try too hard to match our lives to pictures, try too hard to match our steps to the movie stars on the boulevards. She doesn’t know she is my Hollywood dream. So now we take the morning train to the shipyard and as the whistle blows three times, we know that we’ve arrived. It’s our goodbye. She says I should wear a coat when it’s cold. I watch her go to Jimmy as I sit along the bank and cut valentines from my heart. The red droplets stain the snow, but I think the patterns are Rorschach mementos I’ll keep to remember her in summer when the sun gets far too high. I like how cold she used to be. I remember what she used to say. She used to say “monster.”

Sept., 2012

That is actually based on this old thing:

Winter in my Hemisphere
J.C.D. Kerwin

We can take the morning train to the shipyard.
The clock will chime four times
and we’ll know that we’ve arrived.

We’ll crowd the docks
and fold tugboats out of paper
we’ve cut from one another’s heart.

You’ll think the red blots ruin the snow;
I’ll think they’re Rorschach mementos
I can open in my head
to remember you in June when
the sun makes it far too hard to see.

You’ll like me running through ice barefoot,
and I won’t care because
if it makes you laugh,
I’ll be okay to cut up my Achilles.

So I’ll bleed in the shipyard;
I’ll spill myself on the canvas—
you always said I’ve never
had the guts to be so weak.

Your eyes will hurt, but
it’ll be like singing in the darkness:
There’s no one there to hear you,
even though you sound like you could fly.

I’ll just pray it’s good enough for you,
because my scissors are too rusty
to cut a new me from your heart.

July 2011