Why I Left You
When you had quite finished
dragging me across your bed
like a band of swaggering late-night removal men
dragging a piano
the size and shape of the United States of America
across a tent,
I left the room,
and slipped into the garden,
where I gulped down whole mouthfuls of delicious aeroplanes
that taxied down my throat
still wrapped in sky
with rows of naked women in their bellies
telling me to go,
and I went,
and that’s why I did it,
and everything told me so –
tracks that I knew the meaning of
like the tracks of a wolf
wolf-hunters know the exact colour of
by the tracks of the tracks alone.
You get a feeling for it.
You stand in the garden at night
with blood getting crisp on your thighs
and feel the stars spiralling right down
out of the sky into your ears
like drip-fed needles
saying Get out. Now.
By ‘you’ I mean me.
One of us had to:
first published in Violet (Bloodaxe, 1997), © Selima Hill 1997, from Gloria (Bloodaxe, 2008), used by permission of the author and the publisher.