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Loving Minna

it is not a gentle
memory of you that
i bring home

it is a memory of
teeth and bruises
it is a memory of

fire and poison
words over bear
liters of scotch

portions of songs
huddled over tears
in the corner on the

floor all night
mugs of water drunk
poured; a desk, a floor

bruises to hide
coffee brewed and tea
over bread and cheese

grimaces, teeth
firm slaps anger
revulsion, raw bare

passion resonating
to the burning of
Sting all night

the fatigue held in
bones, in flesh,
the sting of hangover

i am not your friend
you are not my friend
not enough time has

passed and why doesn't
this lover just leave
in the morning you

ask me you ask and you
are so sad so tired so
strong. I watched the

muscled arms, the tense
torso, the sprung legs
round angry thighs

breasts pressing forward
held tight all day in
oppressive heavy work

still so sad so sick from
love running until the
lungs burn and cheeks red

panicked late at night
tears and music and then,
"do you know tosca, do you?

you must visit slovenia
you must understand you
must sense this kind of

love to understand why
i took the cigarette and
burned out my own face

why i am wild
why i am crazed
why i am so cruel

why you must hate me
to truly love me
to be my lover now"

i see your pretty body
and short hair with bangs
dark with lighter stripes

"this is me; this is me"
so beautiful all of it
but sad and dangerous

"most creatures under god
are harmless unless frightened,
cornered or sick," i thought.

so lovely so successful
so formidable so brilliant
yet nothing without love?

and a tender embrace
a tender kiss and a walk
to the tram station, 7b

©1996 Chris Abraham