Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 4 • Winter 2002 • Poetry

I Never Called You That

Dallas Angguish

No matter what you did I never called you that, you could be killing me with your strong arms or with that moonlight silver pistol that you bought on Sunset Boulevard when we went strolling just for the hell of it or you could kill me with the same knife with which I sliced the meat of your meals or with bamboo shoots under the finger nails like we saw in that dark comic book that we read in bed that time or with the suffocating blanket of your silence, or you might asphyxiate me with the strangely cool dampness of your kissing or better still you could kill me with the plunge of your body or you could be killing me with the heaviness of all those dreams you harbour in secret that do not include me, the dreams you have of home and hearth and some girl who certainly isn't me, or you could be walking out the door your bags packed your love for me scrunched up and tucked in your jeans ready to be thrown away like a hanky gone bad in a forgotten pocket, or we could be in the dark together our breaths mingling like Siamese ghosts your hands on me and mine on you and each of us rolling out moans that echo against the blue paint of the walls and you could just cut me open with a belittling

word, or we could be sitting under the sun on a bench surreptitiously holding hands in front of the Great Lakes with Canada just beyond the haze and you could destroy me by saying how you never wanted to be here with me and just wanted to go away and forget me or we could be in your kitchen against the fridge taken up in spontaneous passion and you could kill me with a glance that says you're thinking of someone else that ends what is between us and even then I would never call you that - or, as has happened, on a cold day on which frost settles like a white sheet over the desolation of Detroit and I'm looking out the window wondering what to make of it and what to make of you, you could walk quietly up behind me and put the exercised muscles of your arms around me and press the firmness of your chest against my back and nibble on my ear as if I were a virgin you wanted to deflower without me screaming out and you could say it, just because you say it all the time, you say it when you're happy and playful, you say it when you're teasing me with that wicked smile you get, you say it when you're angry and also when you're sad, you say it all the time because either you don't think about it or you do and you like the connotations

released when those words leave your lips, and often when you say it there is unmistakable affection in your voice which is at odds with the words, and of course you say it in your songs all the time which has made you famous, but as you say it this time with the desolate white vista in front of us and the weight of your body behind me which is as forceful as our secret history and with, in the back of our minds, the fact that we can't be together forever because you won't let anyone know about me and the sort of things we do in private, the words you whisper sound different to what they usually do, affectionate still, but as you say it this time I think to myself that you might as well just kill me right here and right now because I see the future collapsing right before my eyes and even if you were killing me with your silver pistol or your white body I would never call you that because I am not pretending that our love is something other than it is, that I am something other than I am, and so for me those words have no meaning, they don't feed an attempt to repress the truth which is that you have kissed me with crazy love and have abandoned yourself to me and so I would never, I would never call you bitch, never call you girl

Dallas Angguish is a poet and writer based in Australia. He has been published in Australia, Asia, and the United States. He is currently writing a novel, For The Love Of Winter, expected to be completed by the end of 2005. His favourite animal is the wombat.

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