On atonement

September 21, 2010

When the alley you pass every day
has already become
a balding testament to the fact
that you are not naked on the inside;
When the lone candy wrapper
bathing in colourless autumn light is
crumpled just right on the kitchen
table; when the last
string of steam has curled from the cup
carelessly left on the floor next
to the yellow sofa,
when all of this happens, and you stand up
and say:

‘We were determined, but so naive,
we were proud of being young, our
bodies
(here you will pause thoughtfully)
existed to be used, we didn’t know
then
what we know now’…. and so on

When you say this, I will stand up
and agree
that we had something going
that the eternal question of
who was fucking who
matters
that I miss the smell
of you on my fingers
that yes, I apologize about the car or
the dress or the dog or whatever
and that I’m incredibly goddamn
fucking sorry that I wasn’t the attentive
friend you needed on saturday mornings

(Originally for CombatWords)

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22 Responses to “On atonement”

  1. wkkortas said

    Everything is so important when we are young–we have any number of manifestos, so many things to be so passionate about–and yet what do our relationships (and their dissolutions) revolve around but the small things–“the car or/the dress or the dog”–and what do we remember but those things. Wonderfully built, highly perceptive piece of writing.

  2. forpuck said

    Thank you, and I’m happy that you enjoyed it. It was written in response to the combatwords writing prompt. If you have time, join in. I found it a great place.

    On Tue Sep 21st, 2010 11:28 AM EDT

  3. Stafford said

    Couldn’t stop at one. I read a week’s worth and recognised myself in all of them. Poetry can be a dream or reality and yours is real.

  4. brian said

    wow. that was like a shotgun going off in that last verse…i felt it deep…incredible one shot!

  5. raw..your writing is peculiar,powerful wrapped in naked truth, daring and edgy! i like this aroma..mesmerizing one shot disconnected AG 😉

  6. Gay Cannon said

    My first love and I broke up over a hair-do but we didn’t reconnect because it really was over and it was time to move on. The images here are universal and the emotions equally so. As usual, excellent write! Thanks, Gay (@beachanny)

  7. dustus said

    This poem breaks my heart. It’s so well done and brings back memories both sad and joyful. cheers

  8. forpuck said

    Thank you very much for your kind words, everyone.

  9. Great imagery, I especially love the end-stanza. Can relate to it. 🙂

  10. forpuck said

    Thanks Steve. Have had a look at your blog, really dig it.

  11. Shashi said

    Its interesting, raw and powerful and the imagery is vivid…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Connect with me on Twitter at @VerseEveryDay to read one verse everyday on life, love and longing…

  12. Hey! I enjoyed the opening images, particularly the one about the steam from the cup. Very effective and eerie – like the end of time itself! Happy one shot day! Victoria

  13. Jingle said

    a positive attitude saves life time regrets or wounds.
    lovey story.

  14. Claudia said

    wow – so raw – so honest – so f… good!
    i would accept the apology right away if i were her

  15. Glynn said

    It’s like a song of remorse, and I think I can even hear the music. Nice one.

  16. forpuck said

    Thanks everyone, your kind words are appreciated.

  17. KB said

    Powerful OS!

  18. Wow. Raw emotions are always so powerful!

  19. i can feel angst so much in this…very well written and a great share for One Shot…a heads up..i am an Essex boy in amongst these yanks creating One Shot so its great to hear raw, edgy, UK stuff…thanks Pete

  20. forpuck said

    Thanks Pete. It’s cool that there are some UK people too, if for no other reason than for it being easier to potentially meet them. I’ve read some of your stuff, and I really dig it.

  21. Leslie said

    somehow I keep going back to that candy wrapper and its significance. The emptiness, the what’s left now seems to echo around the room and into the heart of this poem.

    Very nicely done One Shot my friend
    I don’t live across the pond but I do visit

    Harvest moon smiles

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