ANXIETY OF GUILT There never was a time when guilt didn’t sit just below my clavicle. If genetic guilt is possible, I know how it travels packaged in the lining of the uterus where it feeds on my soul just as pregnancy ate the calcium from my bones and teeth, yet births continued, through ignorance and the too infrequent pleasure of sex, but like a drug addict’s call, the beckon of climax too great to ignore. I know it’s contagious and always there, hardly buried in the day-to-day issues of life where it arises on a perfect day to swamp pleasure with anxiety. I can see the veins on the top of my hands that used to be smooth, a cliché reminiscence of mother’s hands. the skin so thin, a tap leaves a reddened rose of remembrance, like guilt, it fades slowly.
NAME UNSPOKEN His name lies on our tongues never voiced a memory that wanders through us dragging its pain like shredded flesh, bloodied and defiled. We talk around him when we talk at all as if his being doesn’t sit with us still, as if his mind wasn’t beyond his learning. his guitar playing so natural all who heard were amazed. As if the adoration of his dog, big and clumsy and mourning at the top of the stairs didn’t tell us what we already knew. We never talk about the night; the police refusing entrance his body hanging stilled as if our imaginations didn’t speed past the reality of the horror, the loss, the emptiness, the gut-wrenching explosion of pain upon hearing he was no more.
Pat Tyrer is a writer and lover of literature who walks the canyons of West Texas watching birds when the sun is up and star gazing when it’s not. She loves poetry that sits in your mouth and fiction that speaks in mysterious and haunting ways. See more of her work at www.wordstreet.net