emotional toll

Emotional Toll
by kj
Look. I grasp that your heart is a brass, rust-encrusted
bell long since abandoned by the rheumy hunchback,
but if you would let me reach out for a gentle yank on
the blond, ropey braid dangling from your hollow skull,
I think the cathedral folk in Notre Dame might smile
at the exodus of startled ravens from your steeple
as they flap off for telephone wires, parks, & graves
because they, like me, nurse nostalgia for the days
when screaming was the only way to really breathe.

0 thoughts on “emotional toll

  1. Nice pun in the title. Extending on that, I initially felt like I’d rather see bats flying from the steeple, because the poem builds on an insult (“hollow skull”). But ravens are fine – especially since the speaker identifies with their harsh calls. As if what’s really missed from the other character is a propensity for the same. So, the “emotional toll” stems from that person’s lack of screaming sentiments? As if the person being spoken of has gone cold, distant, or (worse) conventional and unwilling to rail at the world? Interesting shift. On first impression, I expected the opposite, and it took me a couple of readings to get on the same page. Sometimes screaming really is the only way to breathe, and breath=life. Hence, if we stop getting pissed off, we’re either dead or worthless sell-outs. I like that sentiment.

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