Updated: Oct 22, 2022
This man’s polarity reminds me
of Ted Bundy—the man
who killed women,
but saved a toddler from drowning
at a suicide hotline.
with his kindly hands,
knitted a scarf for his daughter;
he loved her and could not bear her shiver;
the respiratory spasms in her little lungs
rode him like guilt on wire.
“Breathe my darling” he’d say,
“Breathe, I am here.”
He held her palpitations in his palm
as if she were a nestling, fragile, jittering,
and wrapped the woollen round her
and pummelled his wife’s eyes
with knuckles stretched like lace;
he thrashed her face,
but made her feel unforgotten,
a queen supine, wet with love and pulp
like an oyster drawing from the water column.
He was also loving.
He choked his daughter with his hands,
then nursed her when wheezing
and beat her mother thin,
but fed them both full.
He was also.