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The Friday poem – ‘The Ex-Girlfriends Are Back From the Wilderness’, by Hera Lindsay Bird

The Ex-Girlfriends Are Back From the Wilderness

The ex-girlfriends are back…
emerging once again from the tree shadows…
into the primordial burlesque of autumn
with their low-cut…
reminiscences… and soft, double ironies…
trembling once again into their
opulent… seasonal migration patterns
a corsage of wilting apologies
tethered to the bust…

The ex-girlfriends are back…with their
hand-beaded inconsistencies…
& various unhappy motives…
dragging their heart like a wet cape through leaves…
and they go on hurting…like the lit windows
of a dollhouse in winter…
with a too big horse outside…

The ex-girlfriends are back
but in a romantically ambiguous way…

The ex-girlfriends are back and have transcended
the patriarchal limitations of romance…
unlike the new girlfriends…
still handcuffed to monogamy…
slowly writhing…
with their naughty…post heterosexual fatalism

The ex-girlfriends are back
with their unfounded soviet aspirations…
and anti hegemonic arts initiatives…
draped over a piano on the edge of the thicket
playing the lonely upper hand of chopsticks…
in their vague tropical displeasure…

The ex-girlfriends are back…
and the post-girlfriends…
and the ‘lets not put a label on this’ girlfriends…
all of them at the same time, walking out through
a beaded curtain of water…
like too much Persephone and not enough underworld…
wearing nothing but an arts degree…
and the soft blowtorch of their eyes….

You can feel their judgments come down upon you
like too heavy butterflies…
but there’s nothing you can do about it!
and worst of all
they don’t even want anything…
they’re just standing there…performing many
enigmatic life blinks
re-mentioning Deleuze and Guattari
in loneliness and natural lighting

The ex-girlfriends are back
with their sanity pangs
and various life fatigues…
like a stuffed crocodile exhibit
still begging for death relevance
in the glass case of your heart
But you are the museum director now!
walking talent on a stiff gold leash
& there’s nothing anyone can do about it!

The ex-girlfriends are back
like the liquidation sale of an imported rug megastore
that’s been liquidating for centuries…
getting rich off all that…tasseled goodbye money
as they grind your face yet again into
the hand knotted…
semi Persian wool blend… of their hearts
begging once more for closure…

The ex-girlfriends are back
with their pre-distressed sadnesses
and their…talent
unlike yourself
who is both undistressed and talent-free!
yet somehow still above them all
like the grand arbiter of happiness
laughing in your ermine neck ruff
as you push them one by one
down the waxed farewell chute
of their bad erotic failures


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