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Grand Exit Poem

  Carolyn Gereau

Grand Exit

Somewhere between I-95
and my dignity I got lost.
A moment of disillusion
when pride sits there
next to you, in a brown
paper bag on the bar
which you know you should
pick up but don't.  Regret 
it in the morning.  I only
regret the grand exits I
never made.  I'm always 
wanting to send the last line
as if it's only now ending.
How deep did it go?  Somewhere
past the coffee shake I had
for lunch but not past 
my knees.  Claim somewhere
in there as yours, but don't 
claim me.


We make bright homes
Bright happy homes
with knick-knacks
and vases.  Fake
scentless flowers.

We make bright homes
like we make bright smiles
hiding the cavities, the fillings
lurking beneath
the lips.
"Mom, no cavities"
showing our teeth.

Yell Stop.
Loud enough to make
Everyone stare.
Rip off these lips.
Let my two cavities 
Gleam.  Unacceptable
They say, covering 
the crest kid's eyes. 

Anorexic Dream

I got three tattoos
when I was 16
in places that only
a bathing suit reveals.
I could have my rebellion
and still work
for a corporation.

I covered the skull
on my stomach
with a big generic

Pushed further 
blurred edge shining
like a scar
from a fall
I leapt into.

No Nuts

Cut off my unicorn horn
with a slash that sent 
me hurling
into a bed of tears
two days deep.

Standing between porridge,
and a choosing a banana
split, no nuts.

Despite knowing 
Ice cream that way
was unappealing
to you.
To spite knowing 
what I would 
go through.

Nursery Rhyme

Sally sells sea shells
What are they for?
She's by the sea shore
Who's buying?
Sea shells in a green
Plastic bucket.
White broken handle.
Free shells on the ground.
The sss lisping sound 
of the brandy bunch girl.
Sally's world.
What are they for?

Little Girl

This little girl 
in my back pocket
the action
peaking out
the response
because she'd like
the question
to go sledding
or jump in a pile 
of leaves.
I am 
getting in her way. 


How do I tell you
Possibly say so clearly
the Lines
convincing you
of my motives.
Understand Love
3 years, 5 years
him, you
You wanted my sigh.
me, a cloud.
Too late.  Short.
A day late and a dollared
fate, as they say.
They have such a way of saying.
I have such a way of doing 
as they say.
My private and ridiculous 

Honest Cuts

I didn't climb your tree 
and wait.  Who invented yours
or ours.  Let's go back 
to the first chapter.  I've
been reading for years
but not getting content.
I found your barely legal porno
and what kind of sick fuck gets
off on girls who look 13.  But
really your portrait of normalcy
is beautifully convincing
a masterpiece even, and the blocks
you're on are so neatly placed
I'd really hate to knock them down
and I would, by staying here
for as you put it, my New England lack
of hospitality is rude, which could
be true, but I'd prefer my honest
cuts to your silent deception.

To bed

Lay this down
lay this down
abhor me, adore me
lay me down
to sleep, tonight
goodbye, the pain
lay me down
sweet boy
before you
no more you


It rained so much
I could have water skied
myself down these streets
away from you.
My exit, suitcase in hand
Arm raised in triumph.
When is goodbye real?
Not believing in it, I turned
back to Catholicism
and lost my appetite.
It's maroon how lives
So heavily connected
go on as if one knows
which way is best.
I never liked the 
normal colored crayons. 
Give me the box of 2000
Burnt Umber, Sienna
you saw brown.
A kaleidoscope only 
I could see
made me lonely
made me free.

Umbilical cord twirling between
 fingers.  I can smoke
100 cigarettes without
a craving.  Snicker bars get
me fiercely still I am underweight 
and multi colored.  What was 18
becomes 21 as if 18 never.
I destroyed photos.
13 worse.  Oh, she’s got a quarterback
a Cadbury egg and she giggles
because her desire to destroy 
the world is overcome by the need
for autumn.

Was it forward and not back
Turning wrong moment
Creates farcical reality
Sigh without realization done.
Critical eye, dissection made good
Enough. Not good enough

 Sucked me in and spit 
Me out.  Smog.
Anorexics should switch
with homeless.
You shine up like a new
Nightmare and I before you
must be the condiments that coat
the place you wish you weren’t 
From.  Suit so fair, highlighted 
hair and you woman true,
ms. I do, Ms. Phoenix minus
ash, ms. Class.


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