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I.
I pass by here everyday,
The sidewalks empty except
For the pale halo of light
Given by the tall street lamps.
It\'s cold outside, and my gloves
Are neatly placed on my bedside table.
What day is today?
Shivering, I clutch my jacket closer
And stare intently through each passing
Window, a cheap distraction from
My frost bitten cheeks. This neighborhood
Is dark and ssedy, almost pretentious
In its poverty. My presence is intrusive,
I know this as I penetrate the cold glass panes
With colder eyes-- old televisions flickering
The soft rumble of a family laughing.
There's yelling. Behind me?
No.
I slow my steps, searching every direction
For a lurking figure.
Another scream, my head snaps right
Toward an oncoming window and I watch
As through the exhibitionary pane
Some bastard hits a crying girl-- maybe 18.
I stare, stopped, my muscles taught
And swiftly turn away.
There's no use in playing the hero
And God knows that I can't help her.
This is the way the world ends, not with a bang
But a whimper.

II.
SHUT UP. STOP CRYING! I'M SICK
OF ALL YOUR MINDGAMES, YOU BITCH.
STOP CRYING! don't make me
(oh, God don't make me) DON'T!
the screams are still playing through
my head, an hour, two hours, a year
after. I wrench the tears from my eyes
And slam my fist into a wall
STOP CRYING YOU PUSSY SHE MEANS NOTHING.
NOTHING! but i know that's a lie, I know
that she's everything
and gone STOP CRYING
sliding my back down the cold
brick wall
Stop crying...
stop crying...
Just take another drink
Burying my head in my hands, I think
I love her.
This is the way the world ends, not with a bang
But a whimper.

III.
Be strong-- he loves you.
He'll change, he'll change, STOP CRYING
You deserve it anyway, how could you
Hurt him? To say you\'d leave--
I'll change him and one day it
Will all be better STOP CRYING
concentrate on something else;
tomorrow i'll cook him breakfast in bed
and make him stay home, miss work
TOMORROW HE'LL KISS ME
he'll hold me close...
in spite of everything.
STOP CRYING
There is nothing in me worth crying for.
This is the way the world ends, not with a bang
But a whimper.

IV.
August 24, 2 PM
Body found; female. Bruised
On face, arms, legs, and torso.
Apparently dead for several days.
Discovered in a downtown apartment
Where she reportedly lived with her husband.
No sign of him.
No other family.
Concussion and major blood loss,
Dent in wall indicates attacker
Slammed her into it.
Important; written in what appears
to be blood on the mirror
"I love her."
This is the way the world ends, not with a bang
But a whimper.

------
She falls softly down from towering pedastools...


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Comments

The following comments are for "In Fire and Ice"
by shefallssoftly

Casey's Case Unsolved
Casey- Yeah, It happens everyday/night. Abuse. Murder. We look through the windows, but don't bang on them or break glass, or extinguish the flames. It's up to your generation, as all before have obviously failed, to educate and find a cure for this disease.

Good read.
Robert William

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: May 31, 2005 )

Casey
It is very hard to critique a poem like this without getting into social commentary. But from that PoV, I'd say you captured it well. The lingering self-hate and caring for the victim is a good detail here. It will be helpful for those who suffer to know that there are people who care that they can reach out to. Hopefully they will.

I'm sure you know there are typos that you can fix. I like the man's voice in caps as it's appropriate, but for the woman, I'd suggest putting it in lower case in parenthesis. Her voice is thought, right? It's a whimper.

Good write.

Lans

( Posted by: GibsonGirl [Member] On: May 31, 2005 )

Bobby, Lans
Bobby;
There's only one problem; the same people that are smart enough to solve the problems are the ones who are destroyed by them. It's something you have to see from the inside to really understand how it works, I think. People on the outside just don't understand the depth of it all, most of the time. I hope our generation can manage to eradicate every social disease, but I know better than to count on it. I will educate my children to know their own self worth, and contribute whatever else I can.

Lans;
All of the voices in this piece are whimpers, in their own way. We portray submission in a very strange way in our society. After all, if one is going to surrender there must be a battle, right? I don't think being hit is enough to make anyone really surrender. I think it's the psychological torture she puts herself through. I stand by my choice for caps, simply because we portray victims as quiet, passive, but inside there is a storm raging that should not be ignored. Thank you for your suggestion, though.
-Casey

( Posted by: shefallssoftly [Member] On: June 12, 2005 )





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