Shame shift © mmSeason
I remember little
of last night, just a good clean mood
of efficiency, satisfaction relief
as of a job done, and before that, relief
as of release.
But I know.
I know where I was, where I went and what I did,
I know to whom.
Today I’d say
it’s untidy, that way of working, messy, slashing
into the job in an instant, debris left where it lands, no evidence
swept out of sight.
Last night, instant
was not impulsive, debris was irrelevant,
what was to be done was done with nothing else dispatched,
no one else touched.
Last night the decision, drive, direction
sliced straight as the silver bullet, easy, level,
no parabolic arrow flight; that’s for today
and before – the rising thrill, the knowing it was about
to be one of those nights, apprehension, appetite
and stepping out, plunging as if from warm water into the shock
of cold air;
and since – the sinking recognition, piecing together
memory shards with evidence, reasoning out
the tale of the night, telling it in left-brain linearity
over the crackle of image-sparks; the plummeting
relief of after; soberly sliding into pain-dulling warm water
to unknot, rationally sensibly to soak
for a few weeks.
I remember little,
the odd glimpse, though mainly scents –
but I do know where I was and with whom, what I did
and a kind of why.
I remember finishing the job – obstacles got rid of,
opposition scythed down – but no horror, pain, doubt,
for I could experience no horror, could sense no pain
as flesh was sliced away from bone,
limb from shoulder, features from skull
by my relentless claw;
could notice no mess as the blood
matted my muzzle.
The mopping up
was for today and the warm water, the thinking
of loose ends to tidy, stains to scrub. Last night
I could not regret.
© mmSeason 2003