Excerpt from (After) Confession

You could cut off my arm
or shoot a bullet straight through my heart,
it wouldn’t hurt me.
It doesn’t hurt to be abandoned by you,
even for an hour,
your silence like a thick backhand
across my face.
Hit me again.
It doesn’t hurt.
I’m not here.
I’ve reached the Land of Nothing.

I’m not angry, not sad.
I think I’ll clean the kitchen,
the sink could us a scrubbing.
I could almost hum,
but the volume is turned down too low.

Thought I’d thrown away the key
when I met you,
wouldn’t need this place no more.
Sure needed it then,
a place to duck out:
his boozy raving insults,
her oozing guilt and judgments,
my premature responsibility.
I hid in blankness,
never shed a tear.

Ah, memories,
one split-second and I’m here–
gray trees, gray grass,
gray everything,
cool quiet plain,
no happiness, no pain.
So easy to fade away,
evaporate, disintegrate.
I can barely hear your voice.

Do I love you? Hate you?
Want you? Forgive you?
You don’t understand.
It’s futile to ask
how I feel:
I don’t.

So when you come looking,
don’t think that’s me
in the kitchen.
You may be sorry
but I won’t be.
I’ll be gone to grayness
like an old dish towel,
safe in the Land of Nothing.