Featured Poem • July 2016
Half in Love with Easeful Death
I followed her everywhere even though she was half in love with easeful Death, her hand reaching out for his and not for mine as she followed him like a groupie, like a goodtime girl, walking into traffic, overmedicating, joining random military units, searching, like a pilgrim, for the path of shrapnel, and me with my 110-pound pack of complicated fucking emotions always bringing up the rear. I may have been a third wheel in their love affair, but I knew as devotees and obsessive types always do, that she was just the flavor of the month, washing his dirty underwear, cleaning out his ashtrays while he slept in another room, and I, back at her place, washing hers. I’ve carved her name into my skin, bought her the finest chocolates, sold my beat-up paid-off Toyota for a diamond ring, but how can that compare with his darkness, his brooding masculinity, those smoky eyes? How can a gussied up hatchback traded for rocks compete with that dangerous sort of eternity? I’ll go down with a long line of other fools, my fingers sliding along the stone wall, following her following him, our little smudged coal-dust parade of half-loves and broken twilight wishes clinging like caked-on mud spiked with gravel to the sole of an emotional suicide. And I’ll leave a trail of glittering sharp-edged diamond chips to mark the way, just in case, just in case, one day she changes her mind and lets me lead her out.
Lynette Mejía writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror prose and poetry from the middle of a deep, dark forest in the wilds of southern Louisiana. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Rhysling Award and the Million Writers Award. You can find her online at www.lynettemejia.com.
She writes that “‘Half in Love With Easeful Death’ is a nod to a poem by John Keats, called ‘Ode to a Nightingale.’ I’ve been a huge Keats fan since my high school days, and that particular line, ‘Darkling I listen; and, for many a time/I have been half in love with easeful Death,’ has stayed with me all these years, like a touchstone in my pocket worn smooth with time. Thinking about how much I love those words, and how painful it is to love someone who feels like the speaker does, led me to think about what it would be like if Death were a real entity one could fall in love with, and how it would feel to be the Duckie (from Pretty in Pink) in that situation. Not terribly pleasant, is my guess.”
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