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Sorrow

by Snoink


I.

You slept this morning, I remember that;
you slept and I writhed in agony, waiting.
I wanted to shake you awake; I wanted to scream
that time was slipping by like a thief in the night and
soon we were going to die and I needed to leave.
I needed to leave and I didn't want to.
I wanted to curl into your arms and stay there,
my hands hooked within yours. I wanted to stay
so close that our bodies would intertwine--
my flesh would be yours and your flesh would be mine.
I prayed for this; I prayed and as I prayed
my sweat transformed into blood and watered
the California vines.

At first, I didn't understand why you couldn't be awake.
I couldn't understand because my heart felt like it would
bleed out of my chest. I couldn't eat that day;
even the bread left the taste of blood in my mouth.
I wanted an hour -- even just one more hour with you.
I would spend that hour to tell you how much I loved you;
and that even death couldn't stop me.

Ah, love! If only our love could save me from death!
If only you could stop time so that I could be yours
and you could be mine so we would be lovers for eternity.
But you were never the love of my life, and I only realize it now.
How can you save me? I can't even save myself. I can't save you
from leaving me, however much I hurt, however much I pray, even as
blood streams over my eyes.

Oh God! There is too much pain in this world already;
I can feel it seep through my bones and destroy me.
Even now, I can barely stand up to receive the kiss,
and now I must prepare to die?


II.

The inquisition begins and already I can feel a zipper
forming on my mouth. Questions fly about and I am tired,
so tired that the thought of death seems to be a mercy in of itself.
The kiss has been made, the money has been exchanged, and
I am a fool.

Kiss me again; slice off my flesh, strip by strip,
in the patterns of your initials. You ask me for the truth?
The truth is that here I am, vulnerable to your touch,
and you hate me, even though you don't know why.
You don't even know who I am -- maybe that's why you have
so much pleasure radiating from your smile as you disassemble me.

Piece by piece, flesh by flesh, are you trying to find
the way to my heart? Do you think that if you break me enough,
my heart will be yours? And do you think I'll love you?

Make no mistake: I am yours. I always was, from the time
my mother held me in her arms till the time you kissed me
one last time. I am yours, even when you break my flesh and
shatter my heart with your words.

I will tell you who I am:
I am broken and weak and you will only break me more until you
stretch out by body and pierce into my flesh until
water mixes with blood. I am strong and I will not forget you,
nor your temporary love, and I will never stop loving you.

There is nothing more to say.


III.


When I die, I wonder, will you mourn me? Will you
cradle my body in your arms before laying me in the ground?
Maybe you'll garland my head with lilies so that their soft scent
masks the smell of my rotting flesh.

Or maybe you'll crown me with roses instead:
those bloody petals with that strong scent has hidden
the filth of kings and queens before. It even matches
my scarlet nightgown, now drenched with tears.

Do you find me filthy? Perhaps that's why you hesitate
as you finger the thorns. Your hand is bleeding--
you long to cut the thorns off-- and yet you pause
and I don't know why.

Do you wish to hurt me more? Would you wrap the thorns
around my head until my blood trickled out in rivlets,
as if the flowers had learned to bleed?

Or do you hope that your blood
will mingle in with mine
one last time?



IV.

The long walk with you turned my feet into blisters
and I could barely carry the weight of our
conversation. How little we talk! Is it something I said?
You know that I love you -- everything I do has been for you.
And yet I can barely grasp on to the little we have
amidst all this weight -- oh God! This weight!

Why don't you let me love you? Why can't you embrace me?
Instead, you stand far off and mock me -- don't think I can't hear.
I can barely stand for pain, but every word echoes in my skull,
even as I shudder from the blows. You have become my enemy, and yet
I cannot help but love you. Your face, your voice, even your laugh
strikes a chord in my heart and I want to kiss you until my lips grow numb.

And it kills me to know that you want me dead. It kills me
to know that you are standing there with a grin on your face as I
crawl on the ground after your blows. I sometimes wish you would
knock out my ears until blood poured out so that I couldn't hear
your laugh.

Do not be afraid; I do not mind. Haven't I given my consent? Look!
There is nothing you can do to hurt me more, nor is there anything
that can break my love.

I can tell you already how I will die: I will die with my arms
outstretched, and the world laying at my feet, indifferent.
It will be raining then. It will pour so that people race under
broken umbrellas in a futile attempt for shelter. I will be outside,
drenched, and my eyes will be open and pointed toward heaven.
I don't need to look down at you. I know what you look like already.

I've memorized your face.

Oh God! Don't turn away from me, don't leave me now -- not now,
not now. I shall leave you soon enough and you shall not be ashamed.
You shall not be ashamed of my naked flesh wrapped in my sweaty nightgown.
You will not be ashamed of the pained look on my face or the way my broken body
heaves as blood drips down my face. Do you think I would let you be ashamed?
I would rather die -- I would rather die.


V.

She's there; I can feel her presence and
see the anguish in her face. There is no hatred,
only pain, raw pain, and I can see her soul
split in two. How could she have known what
would come about? How could she have known that
her heart would break from the very thing that
filled it? She did not question, only loved. She
loved me when she accepted me in her womb,
she loved me when I lay on her knees, helpless.
And now, I am spread out helpless once more and there
is nothing she can do. Nothing she can do but watch
in stupefied horror.

She loves me still. I can feel that too and
my heart aches for it. She is watching me closely,
and she knows what is coming next, though she thinks
she doesn't have the strength to bear it. There
is no hatred in her heart toward anyone.
But she wonders why, and she is
so scared.

You are scared too; I can feel you tremble as you
avert your gaze. You don't want to look -- you've never been
good with pain, and now you are confronted with it as a
truth that you cannot escape. Perhaps that's why you kneel
and kiss my feet, your eyes downcast and ashamed.

You are scared because you believe that
life is pain and death is pain -- and you hate that my
blood drips down and waters the ground below as it confirms
all that you feared you knew. Even as you kill me, you
want to follow me, you are dying to follow me, and yet
when you see my broken body you hesitate, for you know
that is your fate as well. So you tremble and there is
nothing more that I want to do than to hold you in my arms  
and sigh.

Do not be afraid!
What is there to fear? Do you think that our love
will die upon death? Don't be a fool. I forgive you! Even now,
my heart's last beats are for you and my blood pours out in
cups of wine, ready for you to drink.

I am not scared, not anymore. How could I be?
There is nothing to fear when you have nothing left
but Love; everything else has been destroyed.
Even now, the rain is cleansing my body so that my flesh
is as white as snow
    while my spirit clings to God.

There is nothing more to say.


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Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:11 pm
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TheTaleAsOldAsTime wrote a review...



Hello Znoink.!

This is very very nice.
I loved it so much.
Poetry that reaches out and touch's ones emotions are my favorite and let me just say yours did just that. This is very emotional and really good.
I don't have any criticism for you. I felt that critiquing this was not useful, because llike you said
"There is nothing more to say."

~Tale xxx




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Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:02 pm
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Firestarter wrote a review...



Hey Znoink,

I really liked this. At first, I thought I might mention that it needs less words and more efficiency. It seemed, at the start, like it would be a good idea to strip away the repetition and leave a more tight poem.

But then the stream of consciousness fell more into place and I stopped reading this like a critiquer and stopped thinking about what I would change and just read it. And loved it. It's rare I find a poem on here that I don't know what I would do to edit it. Perhaps it's because I feel like this topic and specific narrator is particularly personal to me this year and therefore it had a bigger emotional response than others that might read it. But it felt right somehow. All of it.

Looking back, I think III needs the most work. It's lacking compared to the others and could do with some looking at. It seems too laden with questions and lacks the flow of the others.

That's pretty much the only useful thing I have to say. Thank you for sharing.




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Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:54 am
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Audy wrote a review...



Snoink,

That this piece is brimming with emotion is no wonder. The voice here is passionate and vulnerable at times; there's a very raw quality in this piece that I think is a good thing.

There's a very kind of narrative/prose quality to this piece. It reads like a monologue. That's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the speaker is engaging or shows "character" through the words - I'm not sure that's quite the case with this, but I definitely know you can get it there. The problem I think, lies with the "you and I" perspective that very much shuts the reader out - especially with the lack of imagery/metaphor/figurative language - those are the tools of poetry, and poets use them to create an experience - I say this is narrative/prose like, because it is very much reliant on voice and ideas alone rather than imagery, so there's no feeling that is evoked, rather there's only feelings that are being told to us, like listening to your best friend rant, coupled with the "you and I" shuts the reader out completely and it's hard to connect with the speaker in the purely empathetic way that you should be able to connect through poetry.

Now, I'll give you props - rhythm-wise, pretty smooth and flawless ^_^

I prayed and as I prayed
my sweat transformed into blood and watered
the California vines.


YES! A metaphor! This part sticks out like a sore thumb, but in a good way-- like a flower in a field. But where did the rest of that thought go? :c It just evaporated.

The roman numerals in this piece is apt and a great choice for structure. Already in this part, I feel almost as though it's a different speaker - or a different voice - or a different aspect of the same speaker; maybe the speaker is older or more mature, or maybe this is just her stronger side - regardless - a much stronger section than part I, both in quality of emotion, but also in imagery.

The inquisition begins and already I can feel a zipper
forming on my mouth. Questions fly about and I am tired,


Again, metaphors are the strongest part of the section. That's because in poetry, a metaphor is the equivalent of "showing" versus telling in prose. But I'm sure you know this. You take something familiar and accessible that we can touch/feel/taste/hear and you ascribe it to these feelings and these notions, and all of a sudden: connection. Bingo!

With III, I see this as a kind of reflective part of the piece. The whole "will you mourn for me?" - by this point, the poem ind of drags and I'm really wanting to go back to the strength in II again - I really want to shake the narrator awake and be like, "Please get over this guy!" With IV, I really do get the sense of there being a weight and a weight of words - a lot of this has been said already. There's an overwhelming sense of emotion and of helplessness and of dependency, but also of weakness - of striving for some kind of perceived perfection. It kind of aches, Snoink.

V - I'm getting the sense that it is a shift/point of view? But at some point I'm so bogged down by the weight of words and the weight of emotion, that I'm left confused by the yous and Is and there's a third perspective somewhere here as well.

Trim this down, please. And then find me again!

~ as always, Audy




Snoink says...


Thank you Audy! You are wonderful. <3

I have a question though! Did you get the overall metaphor of this piece (i.e., it being a reflection of the Sorrowful Mysteries from the rosary)? I was afraid of making it too obvious (the Roman numerals, the separation of five, the mention of the mother in V, several of the images used, which kind of follow the whole Sorrowful Mysteries, and the title of the piece, which was "Sorrow", and the placement of it in spiritual poetry) but now I am wondering if I am not being explicit enough!

My goal was to kind of make it like someone from the modern era was praying the rosary, and reliving the Sorrowful Mysteries with Jesus, since that's what you do when you pray the rosary. And, those mysteries are really, really painful.

Did I go too modern so that the overarching metaphor was completely and totally hidden?



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Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:05 am
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fireheartedkaratepup wrote a review...



THIS IS SO PAINFUL I DON'T WANT TO REVIEW IT.

I tried to break it down, but that didn't make things any easier. xD Here we go!

I like how this is so relatable. You can insert millions of characters into the he/she/I/my spaces and have it make sense, but it's still readily apparent that this is meant to be about Jesus.

Well, readily apparent to me, anyway. I can't speak for others who don't think the way I do. XD Also, I've found that things that seem obvious to me easily escape other people, so. There are some who might find this very confusing. Augh. BELAY THAT TRAIN OF THOUGHT.

As a piece of writing, I love it. It's beautifully crafted.

On the next-to-last line, there's an indentation that probably shouldn't be there. I know it could be stylistic, but you haven't used that type of thing in the rest of the poem, so. :P

I apologize for the lateness and scatteredness of this review. D: I've had reviewers block likewhoah. I'll try to get someone else to review it, though! I think you deserve at least oooone more good long review.




Snoink says...


Thank you so much. <3



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Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:38 pm
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Nightlyowl says...



Oh my god, very emotional very good... just... just wow I don't know what else to say. Great poem. Five owls out of five.
~Nightlyowl




Snoink says...


Thanks! :D



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Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:26 am
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fireheartedkaratepup says...



AHHHHH IT'S THE POEM

Remind me to come back later.




Snoink says...


OMG, OMG, OMG, IT'S THE POEM.



fireheartedkaratepup says...


YES IT IS.



Snoink says...


IT'S LIKE THE BEST THING EVER, RIGHT?!



fireheartedkaratepup says...


WE SHALL SEE.



Snoink says...


OMG. THE TENSION IS PALPABLE.



fireheartedkaratepup says...


*slices with knife*

Tension pie?



Snoink says...


SO DELICIOUS.



fireheartedkaratepup says...


YUM.



Snoink says...


COME BACK TO ME, PUPPEH.



fireheartedkaratepup says...


I'M COMING. LIFE IS GETTING IN THE WAY. *pushes life*




Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one's life.
— Kate Chopin, The Awakening