The Sunday Poem: Katrina Guarascio... Champion

If America's songwriters were poets they might have been lucky enough to write this moving piece.  Instead, they had to content themselves with It Ain't Me Babe and Don't Fence Me In.  Life is complicated, and this winding piece finds its mark in line after line.

Katrina Guarascio reads this morning at Sunday Chatter.


I hear the insomnia is back;
that your arms betray you as
they search for the heat of my body in your bed.

I hear you search for my scent in your pillows
when the only plot we ever shared was rented
in a back room or highway hotel.
Lover, I have never been in your bed,
why would you look for me there?

You slept soundly wrapped
in the idea of me, but the collage
reflected from your eyes
is not the milkweed which hangs on limbs.

I am broken strings,
misread maps,
the insecure song of wind chimes;
I told you before we began.

We were only granules rushing toward
the bottom of hourglass.
I am sorry I didn’t consult you before
pushing ornament to floor,
allowing the shatter before
the sand ran through.

Lover, I regret the pain I caused you,
the false hope of a finale exclusive
to Hollywood movies and backwood mythologies.

But I do not regret the days we tangled,
the waves of Wednesday wordplay,
our Sunday morning communions,
those moments, few and foreign,
remain a cracked pocket watch,
too precious to throw away
long after the ticking ceased.

I promised you tissue paper heart,
your name cradled in the base of my neck,
and a tongue that hummed battle hymns;
things never mine to give.

You were just a man,
who wanted to love and be loved in return.

But I,
I wanted to be your champion,
to reshape your dreamscape with bare feet
and an honest smile.

I wanted to be the one to chance the
monsters away.

Never doubt I didn’t burn
for 72 days at your steps before
slicing myself like a cyst from your skin.
We were time bomb;
the inescapable strain of heat and kerosene
paid its toll in endless desert road
and sheets left to chill by winter’s window.

Lover, we always knew
where this path would wind.
The inevitable was singed
to our tongues upon first kiss.

You are still leaking from my pen.
How many poems have bared
your twisted thumbprint?
How much more will I write
before I rid myself of this affliction?

To say I love you still,
isn’t myth nor gift,
it is merely one of my many sorrows.

I am nobody’s champion,

my hair holds no scent.

Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email

Views: 125

Comment by Margaret Randall on December 30, 2012 at 10:08am

I love the mystery of this poem... lines such as: "those moments, few and foreign, / remain a cracked pocket watch, / too precious to throw away / long after the ticking ceased." And so many others. Images such as "You are still leaking from my pen." Bravo!

Comment by Don McIver on December 31, 2012 at 8:12pm

Indeed...really nice poem Kat.

Comment by Izquierdo on January 3, 2013 at 4:04pm

Indeed, a truly compelling poem


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