Editing poetry: Dry Ice on the Palm

The title of this piece comes from an incident when I was living in Japan some years ago, although the content is more recent. For a bet in a bar, I placed a piece of dry ice on my hand and held it there until it all disappeared (or all sublimed if you wish to be technical). The burn did not fade for a long time. The analogy I suppose is that I seem to have a similar effect on people in relationships. In this case, I did warn about all of this in advance, but it is very difficult to believe that you will not be able to deal with something while in the grip of infatuation.  The lines ‘can it be sin to know/can it be death’ are from Paradise Lost. Hebenon and iocane are the poisons used in Hamlet and The Princess Bride respectively.

i warned you with my blood
soaked it in rags
shirts and eagle feathers
i told you
of my month-long scars
the battleground poem
in shaky hand
the sour quill’s black ink
typewriter blade
shuttles and fences with itself
as i recoil back
such sweet poison
the body makes
amaretto and cyanide
we both
wanted not to heed or hear
can it be sin to know
can it be death
meet these blameless eyes
and soon they will not see you
meet these antidote lips
and soon they will whistle you out
the wound on the edge of the picture
is meant for you to see
it burns when we touch
dry ice in the palm
a lesion
i heal so fast
do not listen to me
i am hebenon to the soundwave
in its drunken hazy crash
i am iocane
when i am gone
there is no trace but a scar
no dust but neglect
no memory but a lie
i am fire and ice
frenzy and doldrum
touch me
and somehow you will burn

via Editing poetry: Dry Ice on the Palm.


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