Pain Comes In Pairs*

I finally took my head out from my car’s ass
to look at her. She had called my name,
then smiled at me with the same big gap grin
she had as a child. She was no child now.
The halter top and skirt she wore exposed
her washboard abs. I knew then I would be her husband;
the look on her face told me she knew too.

In preparation, I sacrificed my Jordans upon stakes
next to the decapitated heads of her doll babies.
I stayed behind her, hefted up the hem of her wedding dress,
as we leaped, together, over a broom.
We lived life forward, our marriage a working progress.

Until I came home and found her sitting
on the kitchen floors, legs spread open,
a pool of blood and pink flesh, spilt from her vagina,
mingled with her tears on the floor.
Wordlessly, I retrieved a small bucket and filled it
with the disembodied remains of our child, while she retreated
to the bathroom to do her best to wash away her shame in the shower.

I went along on the messy business of disposing
the contents of the pail. It was raining; it was easy
to hide my tears as I dug a hole, with my bare hands,
into which I dumped my first child.

I came back into the house to find her laying
on our bed, her ass cheeks beaming at me
like binary stars. I laid next to her, wrapped my arms around her.
She was still warm. I kissed her neck and failed
to feel her pulse on my lips. That didn’t stop me
from moving inside her until night’s end. She was my wife,
and two deaths would not prevent me from giving her my child.

*This poem was written on July 1 during Interpretations Sundays at the Eubie Blake Jazz and Cultural Center.

Copyright 2012
A. J. Hayes
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