By Ashlee

I wrote this poem even as I knew my heart was about to be handed back to me, unloved.

“Prepare a Room”

Prepare a room

For me and you

And break my heart inside

You’ll break my heart inside

The window coverings are your pride

The walls painted with our wasted time

 

Prepare a room

For me and you

And break my heart inside

You’ll break my heart inside

Make the bed with the heaviest sheets

Full of our regret; blankets miles deep

 

Prepare a room

For me and you

And break my heart inside

You’ll break my heart inside

Lay the joyful pictures facedown

They were dusty liars anyhow

 

Prepare a room

For me and you

And break my heart inside

You’ll break my heart inside

The wardrobe full of promises untied

The dresser drawers have knobs of lies

 

 

Prepare a room

For me and you

And break my heart inside

You’ll break my heart inside

I’ll come and meet you there

And leave with dust-sprinkled hair

                And a heart that’s bite-sized.

 

Companion Poem:

“The Inventory of Goodbye” by Anne Sexton

I have a pack of letters,
I have a pack of memories.
I could cut out the eyes of both.
I could wear them like a patchwork apron.
I could stick them in the washer, the drier,
and maybe some of the pain would float off like dirt?
Perhaps down the disposal I could grind up the loss.
Besides — what a bargain — no expensive phone calls.
No lengthy trips on planes in the fog.
No manicky laughter or blessing from an odd-lot priest.
That priest is probably still floating on a fog pillow.
Blessing us. Blessing us.

Am I to bless the lost you,
sitting here with my clumsy soul?
Propaganda time is over.
I sit here on the spike of truth.
No one to hate except the slim fish of memory
that slides in and out of my brain.
No one to hate except the acute feel of my nightgown
brushing my body like a light that has gone out.
It recalls the kiss we invented, tongues like poems,
meeting, returning, inviting, causing a fever of need.
Laughter, maps, cassettes, touch singing its path –
all to be broken and laid away in a tight strongbox.
The monotonous dead clog me up and there is only
black done in black that oozes from the strongbox.
I must disembowel it and then set the heart, the legs,
of two who were one upon a large woodpile
and ignite, as I was once ignited, and let it whirl
into flame, reaching the sky
making it dangerous with its red

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