{Poetry}: Senectitude: a Grand Finale

I am on a poetry-writing site where there are contests and critiques. Sometimes, I enter the contests just to spark my creativity. Well, I entered a contest with a word bank, and I ended up winning first place, and it also made another writer’s list of “amazing poems”. It’s a pretty exhilarating feeling knowing other people appreciate my writing. So, without further ado, here’s the winning poem.


 

These subterranean cellars
may atrophy from aphotic charms.
(But I rather decay from the darkness
than the saccharine toxoid that clogs
your own heart.)

My spine has crumbled to cinder,
my tongue as useless as leather.
This logophobia makes every library
a haunted mansion
and every museum—
just an empty dwelling place.
(It’s not that I’m afraid;
rather, I’ve always been a coward.)

Since you have abandoned me,
I have found I struggle with a fear of codex,
whether within their binds are words of monosyllabic count
or multi-syllabic.
(I can still hear your voice in neglected chambers,
reciting works by Poe, one hand tangled in my hair.)

I have been struck dumb,
I have fallen mute,
because what words fall upon deaf ears?
What chimerical friend weathers the storms
of melancholia?
(All my imaginings brush past me
in this hall of mirrors
when push comes to shove.

And when I push,
they shove.)

There is no solace for an atrophied heart.
There is no comfort for a recovering aesthete.
No heartsease for my heart is just a barred cage.
(For every painting is a plain white canvas,
every book is found empty,
every museum-a hollow shell.)

This is the end.
This is one final curtain call,
for a woman who will have no paroxysm.
(My emotions are all dulled like the knives
you ran against my veins.
My feelings are all wax like a candle melting.
This is the end.
I’ve been collecting losses for longer than I can remember.
Now, it’s just a matter of saying goodbye.)

Forgive me, my love,
this is my grand finale.

-L.G.

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