War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

lv (from May Day)

Another installment of May Day, a fictional series of letters from a young woman to her lover serving as a Warrant Officer in Afghanistan. For a backgrounder on the project, click on the May Day icon at the right, or listen to the audio broadcast, writing May Day.

o M,

24 hrs. between the ex at Suffield. ex at Wainwright. flown in fresh from Afghanistan. to give words. of experience. your wisdom. to WOs, their men. the officers. RSMs. in the taskforce heading out to Afghanistan. next fall. kind of like a relay race.“here’s the baton boys. run with it.”

yesterday. your txt. in the middle of rehearsal. telling me you were on your way.

I turned to C. she was doing palmas for me as I worked through a piece of footwork. “sorry but I have to cancel tonight.”

C said, “girl, he’s got you wrapped around his little finger. don’t you think you should get a life? afterall, he’s still Monday/Wednesdaying his wife isn’t he? don’t you feel any guilt… have you no pride. no shame?”

but that’s C. she’s walked alone for so long, sees far too clearly. the crazy man-woman thing. can’t understand. my willingness for pain. just to see you again. one more time. her peace is her food. she just wants to bring up her girl. well. me. I just want to eat life up then spit it out.

and when I saw you walk through the door. looked up from where I was pretending to sleep in my cosy chair. a book on my lap, a throw. and you came over to me, bent over. kissed me on the cheek. you looked so different. so thin. so tanned. and you’ve got a Godawful beard you tell me they want you to grow. just so you can look insurgent enough at Desert Ram.

you smell different too. diesel and desert through your pores. your skin sand blasted and brown-red except for the white band of untanned skin where your helmet sits. the lines around your eyes, soft tributaries of skin. your irises bluer than the lapus earrings you hold out in your hand as you lean down.

and I just want to inhale you. want to scratch the memory of you into my brain. so when you leave again—as you always do—the images, the smells, the sounds, the feeling of your skin, doesn’t fade.

and I’ve tried. really tried. to find fault with you. tried to get angry.
M, why haven’t you written. why haven’t you called. don’t you know I worry about you. don’t you ever worry about me. I haven’t been well…

tried to find all your little flaws. your insensitivity when I tell you how lonely I get.
go to the movies. see something religious ma belle.

your selfishness.
baby I told you. 24 hrs is all you’ll ever get of me. end of story. I’ve got enough on my plate.

your preoccupation. with your work.
so the guys jumped out of the LAV right into a fucking cesspool. Christ it was funny. the look on their faces… blah blah blah infantry blah blah blah the boys blah blah blah did I tell you I’m going to teach…

your life.
ya, and then I went on course to Petawawa, or was it Borden. no I know. it was the senior NCO summer. at Pointe Claire…

your vanity.
(oh I see you checking out the women and they, you… I see you checking out your reflection in store windows when we walk downtown)

tried to get sick of you. so sick that I’ll be glad to see you out my door. talk myself into not caring. that I don’t find you attractive any more (but that’s a lie, you look better every time.) but it never seems to work.

and you always make me laugh. take myself out of me. corny jokes with a French-canadian accent. dumb ass of the did-you-hear-the-one-about-the-giraffe-who-went-into-the-bar kind. and I’ve heard them a million times in all the bars I’ve performed in, but somehow when you tell them, your twinkly eyes, the dimple on the right corner of your mouth, makes me laugh out loud. and I know I’m done.

and when you lace up your shoes. throw your stuff into your little black bag, head out my door again, I’m always glad you’ve come back.

and any hurt I carry. I use it as material for my work. “twisted chica, twisted,” big G says, when I show up for rehearsal and my eyes are all red. from crying. after staying up all night with you and then watching you disappear. me never knowing when I’ll see you again. “you’re addicted to the drama aren’t you?” and I just want to loosen his guitar strings. crazy man. what does he expect? I mean, it’s not as if I’m a dental hygenist or something sensible. I’m a flamenca afterall. and anyway, who is big G to talk? in V, he’s found what everyone wants. lucky man.

so there you are M. through the looking glass again. (and which is it, the infantry or me, your wonderland?)

yesterday, your txt.

24 hrs

and I can’t decide whether lve
means love

maybe next time I see you,
you’ll tell me
for once
and for all.


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled lv (from May Day). It was posted here on April 05, 2009.


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