Ides of March – April, the Cruellest Month


Regina Cherry

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 109 in 2004.

Ides of March
April, the cruellest month

You were precocious.
How cold felt that gunmetal tip
against your thinning pained wrinkled lips ?
how slow, infinite eon minutes
of hesitation
reeling off life, ancestors, shtetls -- paintings ?
how hard the shaking steel on your
curled away tongue tasting
acrid -- metallic --oily ?

The crack exploding
your brain, burst
tympanums in a nanosecond
image-time travel - recoil
kicking lose a tooth,
you cut the light to the loneliest
a most definite exit not
with a whimper.

A dark crimson trickle of a stain
on your feather pillow.
What time was it ? as if that mattered
how cold were you
to your mate's touch ?
did she scream-roar with a voice
unknown to her, as
I did then twelve years before ?