Friday, 9 March 2012

The things we do for love

By Tammy Ho and Jeff Zroback

"Not To Be Reproduced (Portrait of Edward James)" (1937/) by Rene Magritte 

I will do as you ask even though I know that as the Turkish barber is shaving my sideburns with a razor, it will almost certainly slip and slit my throat. I will go even though I can already see myself staring in shock as my blood flows to the floor and mixes with the hair. Silence will envelope my world, as the other customers shield their son’s eyes or call emergency services or lay me on the ground and stuff towels and pages from the Daily Mail into my neck to quell the bleeding. But it will be too late. I will have died before the ambulance arrives. Or, if against all odds, it beats the traffic and my blood loss, the EMTs will find a mess that cannot be cleaned up. They will take me to the hospital even though they know perfectly well that once there, the hair, towels and newsprint will cause an antibiotic-resistant infection, and that the doctors will only be able to wait helplessly as my neck swells and smells until it pops into a shower of pus. It will flow everywhere: on the doctor's face, and even in your hair, as you lean down to hug me for the last time—you having just arrived after weeks of worry, as I did not have my phone (and you don't have a phone) and no one knew who to contact. The stench of pus will get in your hair and smell for weeks, even after 100 showers, even after you have saved your tears and used them as shampoo. That is all that will be left of me, a lingering smell of rot and some clothes you won't know what to do with. And why? All because you said I looked like a beggar and made me get a hair cut, first thing Saturday morning.

.............."Because I was hideous in your sight ...

                                         -from T.S. Eliot's
                                                   The Love Song of St Sebastian


  1. ewww... I like it! Magritte is always good to riff off!

  2. I agree with Daniel! Magritte is always interesting - great fun.

  3. Oh you two are back! Loved your previous poems too!


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