Solitary Illusion of Love – A Poem


Solitary Illusion of Love

You shuddered when the chair fell
and broke
against the door
and I saw our future illuminated in the scratches
that were scarred into
the paint
near the bronze hinges.

it fell.

But Hanna did throw a tantrum the other day
when I asked her to come in and
wash up for supper.
I had just put the noodles into the boiling water.
Red faced under the bright white sky
she glared at me.
Furious blond curls full of dirt
and sweat
sticking to her skin
as she unbridled her anger
at me
yelling “I hate you!”

I didn’t have it in my heart to punish her.

Only indifference.

So I told her to go to hell
and walked back into the house
to dump the noodles down the sink.
I made a cocktail and smoked a cigarette
as I ground up the meal
in the garbage disposal
listening to the music it made
more satisfied
than if I were at an opera house
performing Orpheus in the Underworld.

How is that for an appropriate response?

I don’t know the feel of you any longer.
When your arms surround me
in the evening
and you lead me to bed
where your grappling hands clench my
surrendering thighs
your breath
smelling of minty contempt
scraps along the nape
of my neck
and my lips resign themselves
to yours
all I taste
and feel
is the sanitizing turmoil of disdain

But let’s just leave the jumbled pieces of the chair
where they are.
Where we are.
So they may be a reminder that
whatever else
we may be to each other
at least we will be

And I will remain with you
to be
that solitary illusion of love
which you seek.


13 thoughts on “Solitary Illusion of Love – A Poem

  1. Joseph, The first part, though prosdaic has a lot going for it–that relationship between a father and his daughter but it seems a separate poem ending at “How is that for an appropriate response?” Then the rest continues on into a seductive love poem that is right there. I could be wrong–most times I am.>KB

    • Hi KB, and thanks for the comment! The whole poem is from the mother/wife perspective and is told in a kind of one sided conversation. It is about the loss of love in a family, and its dissolution. It is told in two parts, the first centering on the relationship of mother/child, and the second on wife/husband. The love piece, and the seduction, was meant to show the absolute loss of feeling the wife has, as was her response to her child’s tantrum. I suppose I did leave it a little ambiguous, and some of my intentions were not clear.

  2. Jo, I see I have bee calling you Joseph. Confused. Anyway.
    This is another killer from you. I do assume you are publishing these? I hope so. Jesus God you need to be read out there

    • Please call me Joe if you would rather. I go by that name most, so it feels more natural when people call me it.

      And no, not published, professionally at least. Just here. I have been giving some thought into self publishing, or submitting my work, but haven’t found (or committed) the time.

      Thank you for the comment, and for reading my poem!

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