“Arguments with My Selves”

“So who are you?” I’d ask, looking into a mirror.  A few years ago, I brainstormed to see how many identities I take on. I think the total was six or seven. I next checked my insurance policy to look at my mental health coverage. Then I sighed and wrote drafts of three poems. Each poem describes the same event from a different identity. 

 

Arguments with My Selves

 

1. In Rome a lady

dressed in her drop-dead

white suit and sparkling

white shoes parks

her Vespa,

slides off the seat,

removes her helmet, shakes out

her golden curly hair and

strides away as if she owns

the whole damned city,

while on the same sidewalk

a Ro-man, with dark hair

combed back,

his dignity enhanced

by the gray silk suit,

cerulean tie, and black,

to-die-for, Italian shoes,

dares a crimson scarf.

To the dead entombed

everywhere in this city,

the brilliance of these two says

“Those of us

yet to die

still savor life”

and thus even the nun,

beneath her habit

wears golden slippers.

 

2. In Rome, city of buzzing wasps,

a lady old enough to know better

wearing a white suit and sandals

parks her Vespa, slides off the seat,

removes her helmet, shakes out

her permed, dyed hair, and sashays away

as if she owns the whole damned town,

while on the same sidewalk,

a businessman, perhaps,

or some damned bureaucrat,

his dark hair carefully coifed and dyed,

(“Oh my, Oh my!”)

strides down the street,

his dignity provided by

the gray silk suit but undercut

by his flaming red scarf.

Of the dead entombed

everywhere in this city,

these two are willfully unaware,

their constructed appearances saying

“We grasp at life,

no matter how shameful we seem,”

and in Rome even the nun

beneath her habit

wears golden slippers.

 

3. In Rome she slips off the Vespa’s seat

in her tailored white suit,

her white, glittering sandals,

but I see beneath her golden curls

that bounce as she walks

in the Roman sun

a death’s head, instead of a face,

and her sparkling watch

wraps around a wrist of simple bone.

She passes by a man, a Ro-man,

in his gray silk suit,

his blue tie, wearing a scarf

the color of blood, the same that leaks

from the hollows around his eyes.

He, already dead, encounters

a nun in golden slippers,

a bride of Christ

who’s forgotten His sacrifice,

revealing that she lacks

the depth for a dignified death.

On this page, on my hands,

everywhere I look is blood.

Published by

sanberdooboy

I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

2 thoughts on ““Arguments with My Selves””

  1. I’m familiar with your works & how your words evoke beautiful images of nature…which I love, but this one so unique. I thoroughly enjoy each layer. A new favorite for me.

    Like

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