Roy Herman: Stained

I remember the stain, the little blood puddle
in a nook of her back, as if she'd turned and taken
a fastball smack above her kidney. Her eyes
have blanched in a wash of years, but all the cycles
have bled no bruising from the stain.

As if each morning the fireballing sun new-plunked
her with that pitch, it was always fresh red. At least
when I saw it which was seldom. She hid it from me
and the world and herself with malignant determination:
a forgetting more vivid than any remembrance,
a neglect more rapt than any attention.

Except those few sometimes, when her hair would whip above me
like sails shredded in a squall, when she would melt into the moment,
when she'd forget to forget and I could contort enough
to stare my two brown eyes into her great red one.
Yes, like the bridal sheet on the washing line,
I remember the stain.

Or when we'd dance I'd feel it there, warming my hand,
beating larger and louder than her shy, sad heart.
She hated that stain, and she'd hate me writing this.
But forgive me Cathy, for my brain too
is blotted dry crimson. Forgive your aging Adam:
he can't forget the lust, the loss, and the forbidden red skin.