CHECKMATE

By: Joana Dey

This poem first appeared in No Holds Barred #16 and is re-printed here with the permission of the publisher and author. No Holds Barred is still in print and avalaible.


It's just that I'm afraid.
There, I've admitted it.
I love him so much.
my heart could explode
from the wanting, the need--
for him to complete the jigsaw
that claims my soul.

It's impossible now,
to be with him in the car, in his flat--
anywhere; all I want is to
grab him and touch every
piece of his body with mine.
I'm so ready to lunge,
my toes ache as I try
to keep still.

There's a lump deep inside
so big I can't breathe.
Won't he see the pain
spilling from my eyes?
Or hear the words
struggling out to be heard
as normal-nothing's-wrong.
Smile, Ray. Laugh, Ray.
Life's just a joke--
and I'm giving away
the clown's tears.

Ruffling my hair, patting my arse,
pushing me up to-- and past --
the limit of bearable pain.
As though he's teasing or testing
to see how far he can go.
I flaunt and flirt and wiggle;
do all I can to make him look
and see how strong I'm wanting.
Birds all flock, so why not him?

He adores perfection and beauty.
And then there's me:
round, little eyes, crooked teeth;
ugly me!
And bloody hell , this cheekbone:
shattered and put back together
upside down and around.
All I have is my body,
to tempt him and pull him in.
I can't live like this anymore.
If I say anything, do anything,
he'll run so far, I'll spend eternity
trying to find him.
I'd have no life without him.
But the way I live now:
waking at night reaching out,
to find only cold, empty space?

I can't bear to be near him;
won't survive if we part.
I'm trapped forever
in a spiral of fear,
turning and shattering;
endlessly lost.

Take a chance? (Yellow coward)
We're partners, best mates,
a whole--not quite done.
He'd kill for me, and I for him.
We know each other's thoughts,
can time our actions to the second
without a wasted word.
That's trust and faith.
It's love.
Why should I think
he'd fling me away,
for telling how I feel?

I'm scared....
He's playing a game with me--
I think.
Such an icy, closed-feeling facade
he wears, to show the world
who he is.
Fools all but me;
I know this man!
The deeper he feels,
the harder he jokes and....
plays around?
Ruffling my hair?
Patting my arse!
Touching me.

Do I dare?
I know I'm right.
I'll play his game.
Touch me, Bodie,
once more.......

Check-mate!

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