My girlfriend bought a new soap but I don’t much care for it.
The bottle is clear and the soap is liquid blue like the old one
But this one, it has a smell like rotten memories falling from
A tree. It reminds me of a lie she told me in some distant
Once-here year. It reminds me of the only time I’ve ever
Been as angry as drunk uncles that my mother told me not to be.
I joked at first, asked her what the scent was and she flinched.
I was the same bad guy as before and she told me that same old lie
She used to tell: “I don’t know”. I can tell that she does, by the
Smile that tugs at her lips in places that my love hasn’t touched in ages,
By the turning of her face away from any direct inspection, or the
Way she relies on addict tricks like deflection or that old black
Magic misdirection. It’s a potion, then, some Iago-like concoction
So I’ll strangle her in bed the way she used to like, the way that made
Her lips less tight, her hips hike.
She water-boards me with it and
I, Tantalus, do nothing until she lets me, when she gets me out
The cuffs that bind me and unwind “we” since that first epiphany
When at last her truth set her free, enslaving me. Still can’t breathe,
Can’t feel, can’t get clean without some foreign smell that tells me
She betrayed me, body or mind, and I find the way to clear myself
Of that reeking sea is to swim through, use it up, handful by handful
And over that far shore, sand-full, filthy like her mouth. Empty then,
The soap is out like spilled secrets which cling onto my skin, stinky.