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Group Therapy

Outside the clinic, summer hangs the night
like wet laundry. Marti holds a cigarette
with paper fingers, her hands
and shoulders rustle, a leaf pile slowly
eroding in the wind.

Answers stand inside like windmills.
Coping is stirred into cheap coffee,
glazed over complimentary pastries.
It’s hard to boil her life down
to a textbook and weekly meetings.

She’ll take the black hand
the smoke offers her, suck it down
until her lungs are tight and painful,
a last gasp of air.

Inside David wrings his hands,
a madman, his knuckles bobbing
like whitecaps on his skin.

He sees the zombies
around the circle, the half-eaten meat
to their cheeks and hands, their eyelids
thin and dark.

His future keeps the car running outside.
It’s laying on the horn good and hard,
revs the engine with a heavy foot.
Sweat slumps down
his neck. He’s noisy when
he leaves. His chair shudders
across the tile floor. The door
chuffs shut with a click.

Outside her smoke gloves his hand,
strings him along to her car,
the engine running.


The following comments are for "Group Therapy"
by 6echo

Windmills of mixed-up minds
Nice work - your first two stanzas are packed with arresting images.

'Answers stand inside like windmills.
Coping is stirred into cheap coffee'
... this is excellent: oblique, and sharply observed.

Perhaps the poem's close would have had more power if I'd been given a clue as to the history of the relationship between 'Marti' and 'David'. I could guess at a dozen interesting origins, but as it stands, the last stanza feels just a bit too diffident to me. Am I being dense? Should I see something more?

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: January 23, 2006 )

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