The Last Thing I Will Ever Need
A final embrace where the red ink of debt can turn black,
where the ledger book can be closed, the assets and liabilities
finally balanced off, the right-hand and left-hand sides equal.
Blame can travel like the high-speed photography of a nighttime
highway: white one way, red the other. Purity and blood. Ermine
and rubies. Iron-rich corpuscles, leukocytes attacking infections.
Possibilities are tiny creatures gnawing at my arms, leaving only
puncture wounds. Loss sits there like a masked torturer with
a leather cat o' nine tails in his hand ready to flay my skin.
Let me spread the remaining seeds of the endangered species of love
in its own ecological niche, a habitat built on acidic soil, so that it can
adapt and bloom once again until the invading intruder overcomes it.
I stand at the edge of a stagnant fen where a broken baby carriage rusts
near the shore. A creature whose left arm I have torn off has swum
to an underwater grotto where it waits looking up for a random leg to grab.
Jimmy Pappas received an MA in English Literature from Rivier University. His poems have been published in such journals as Atticus Review, Misfit Magazine, Kentucky Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Off the Coast, Boston Literary Magazine, and War, Literature and the Arts. He is a recent first-prize winner of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire's National Contest.