Before it hits

Your leaving
was almost as bad as that
time I caught my hand in the car door

at first, numb; too stunned
to even move or scream,
do anything

then reality hit like a fist in the gut
with a rush of blood to the damaged part;
the throbbing limb
the broken heart...

the only thing is, I don't remember
crying quite as hard

Brief encounter with lunatic in a bookstore

The way things had been going lately, the
last thing I wanted to do was run errands,
but I had a mile-long list I'd been avoiding;
thought I might catch up on half of it, help
distract myself from one disaster after another

Kept fighting the urge to scream, cry, or kill
someone in my frustrated, helpless mood, the
battle clenching my hands tight around the
steering wheel as I drove, press of bone
turning my knuckles death-white as I jackknifed
into the parking lot, another stop crossed
off the list

Bookstore clerk approached me to ask if I
needed help with anything. "Up here," I said,
pointing to my head. They started to chuckle,
but I must have had a strange look on my face,
for they smiled awkwardly before turning to
go; even the nearby customers started to edge
their way subtly towards the door, merely
highlighting the fact that I should not even
be out, but I forced myself to do this, to busy
myself with projects to get my mind off things,
only to find myself stranded, numbly, in the
thick of it all, completely lost within and
even unsure of my actions now, trying to
swallow the fist in my throat that wouldn't
let go, so I turn my back, grab a book and
rustle the pages loudly, almost tearing them
in my effort to cover the uncontrollable
sobs that are shaking my whole body, which,
from everyone's perspective, probably looked
a lot like I might have been laughing

Late night in a laundromat

Just when it seems like things have settled,
they all get upturned again:

the striped thing always hitting bottom first,
only to be pummeled by the others,
as they go around yet again,
impossible to keep up with...

and I sit, staring slack-jawed through it all,
waiting for the buzzer to sound,
for the dark of night to fill the windows,
for the last remaining loser to fold all
their worthless shit and clear out so I can
at least have the solitude of my tears

Cynthia Ruth Lewis:
I'm 38, having written poetry for the past 17 years. Currently back in the publishing
world after having taken a 2 year hiatus due to creative apathy and temporary insanity--
which, actually may have enhanced my writing. It has certainly enhanced my weirdness.

2005 Underground Voices