“Before the feeble dawn of gaslight and tea…” ~ Patrick Hamilton
Gaslight – (verb) : is a form of psychological abuse in which the victim is manipulated to doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity. (Wikipedia)
I told you I was sorry,
I promised to be better,
but the words dissolved like the sugar dust on a hot funnel cake,
and I meant them for as long.
You all think I’m a monster, a bastard, a fiend…
and I can’t argue.
My heart seems quite fine without beating,
and I can carry the leadweight sitting lumpishly in my chest,
like a huge and stupid bird that won’t learn to fly,
You are waiting for me to buckle I know,
waiting for a tear to well and my throat to crack,
and an abject shaky apology to spill out
that you can replay to all your friends and family…
but it won’t happen.
Call me monster,
call me inhuman,
call me fiend.
I don’t deny it.
I struggled too long to hang the correct feelings on my face,
nailing them there with good intentions,
but it didn’t feel right and I could never deliver my lines without snickering.
So instead I fed them to you and you lapped them up like a kitten at a cream bowl
and later screamed about gaslighting,
and your precious psyche,
and you know,
I don’t care.
I don’t care…
I never did really.
I created myself in my own image
and I am all the company I need.
I shuffle the cards and win all the hands and you shrug and say well, I took a chance
never realizing that my deck is all jokers,
and the coat of many colors you all so admire as I stride down the street
is stitched together from favors I have stolen.
Once procured they fade and like a crow I search again for the bright and glittering,
for trophies and conquests
loving the hunt and its adrenaline spike even if the end is already written;
the soft and tender throat turned up,
your drummer heart marking time
while mine cools even more….
Why buy what you can command?
Why take what will be pressed upon you?
Why pay when you can strut that coin across your knuckles for a cheering crowd?
as if human was a commodity bought and sold on a street corner,
I proclaim my heartlessness,
I revel in my self indulgence,
there is no mask upon this face.
And still you come,
with big pansy eyes,
and a coy, smiling certainty that you,
you and you alone,
can be the whetstone I am smoothed upon.
What fools these mortals be Puck proclaimed,
as do I,
for look how close to the bone I have cut
and still never bled.
And I sat idly by and watched as all the lights I set were taken by the winds
and blown into wildfire.
why are you still here?
By Jaye Tomas
Chimera Poetry 2016©