Return to
Table of

a poem by John Tustin


The kids weren't home
but we were
and I knew she'd ask
and of course she did:
"Letís do it now.
My period's due."

The dread moment.

We stepped into the darkness of the room
and the rain was a musical violence outside
the curtain.

I did my duty.
I did what I was told.
I had to.
I tried not to think
but I did.

The wind and the rain
beat on the window pane
like an anguished lover.

She came.
I could stop then.
I did stop.

I betrayed you.
But you knew I had to,
and you will sleep a troubled sleep tonight
as I have you
but you don't have as much of me
and the rain won't stop;

it floods the flowers
and drowns the gutters
and stalls the cars in the street
and muddles the minds of men
and falls from my face,
rolling from me
in putrid sorrow,
in disgust.

I will crawl into bed,
dazed and drunk,
and betray you
and betray me
and, in successfully sleeping
castigate my breathing
as it descends
one more step
into isolation,
into the abyss.

© by John Tustin
Gutter Eloquence Magazine ~ Issue #14 ~ March 2011    return to top