Ægrimonia

i’ve got blood in my anger
and sorrow in my veins
worry runs through me
it’s nonstop insane
my heart is clogged up
with obsessions and pains
dear lord unconfuse me
i’m crippled in vain
my body’s too toxic
unsteady i walk
with fear as my cane
ill-thoughts will kill me
they’ve poisoned my brain

—Terri Guillemets

Existing

I wanted to write
      a book of poetry
but it’s already written;
      those poems —
red, throbbing, beating —
      are just trying to
            make their way
                  to the paper

—Terri Guillemets

Weighed down

the scale now shows me
one hundred sixty-eight
but in those simple digits
I see rejection and pain
sugar, laziness, exhaustion
hormones splayed out of whack
menopause ready to rumble
plaque buildup and repressions
anxiety, regret, some depression
the past, the future, sheer panic
tension, disoriented expectations
ice cream, sweet junk addictions
griefs, hurts, disappointments
bad habits, cliffs, fear, falling
the eating of all my emotions
gluttony and gorging ghosts
turbulent raging blood glucose
sleepless nights, too-busy days
nerves, toxins, worry, age
unwelcome rapid-fire change
lack of trying, trying too hard
loss of control, culinary excesses
no longer fitting into my dresses

—Terri Guillemets

A lesson

Death teaches us meaning
      of the word sudden —
one minute there, one minute
            not —

the blackness, the blankness,
the emptiness, the silence, the void —
the most palpable, oppressing nothing
      there ever was.

—Terri Guillemets

Couch

I long to be close to
where your beating heart
was among its last beats.

I sit on the couch where
we spent your last night —
but cannot bring myself
to be on the cushion where
life was fading from you
and you laid against me.

I didn’t sleep, for vigilance
you didn’t sleep, for pain —
so tired, so dazed, so lucid
so knowing, so loved —
so gone.

—Terri Guillemets