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The End of Nights Part 5

I published a poem in my collection Inhale the Night called Dark Knowledge. It’s about a lost woman named Leanne who struggles after a debilitating accident. This is the final part of her story in The End of Nights. Find the last episode here. And the first one here.

The End of Nights

endofnights

Image Source: Flickr

She sacrificed
Her body on the stillborn
Altar– Gene had stayed
Because of pregnancy and
Little else concerned him
Or his lies.

Leanne glared at
Incandescent lights,
An endangered species
Like herself.

Her doctor and
The hospital slipped
Out of view, remained
Consistent for a spell of torture
On the whitewashed walls.

“Leanne,” McCormack told her:
“I know you loved him, but let go.”

“I thought he understood…
I fooled myself.”

“Men aren’t saints, Leanne,
The best of them will use you.”

“I knew that going in and
I accepted and embraced it
For so long…”

“He came here earlier today,
But they didn’t let him in.”

“I wish I hadn’t,”
Leanne said mournfully.

“He didn’t say much, but left a
Bill with the receptionist.”

“I imagine for the Firebird…”

“Gene also wants the ring.”

“He can have it,” Leanne remarked
“When he learns to swim.”

“So it’s with the car?” McCormack asked.

“Last I checked, but I had had
A lot of rum before I crashed with it.”

McCormack nodded in acknowledgment
While he checked her medication levels.

“It will be all right,” she thought.
“Winter and my life before have died;
Spring is morning and the end of nights.”

© Ben Ditmars 2015

The End of Nights Part 4

I published a poem in my collection Inhale the Night called Dark Knowledge. It’s about a lost woman named Leanne who struggles after a debilitating accident. This is a continuation of her story in a weekly serial, The End of Nights. Find the last episode here. And the first one here.

The End of Nights

Make Love Not War

Image Source: Flickr

She thought she knew
The gentle man who taught her
How to ride a bicycle without
Training wheels. But he had changed.

The medication and shock
Therapy did not help his
Nightmares or anxiety.

He lost hair and yelled, but
Never hit Leanne. She was still his
Little girl. Memories of war
Could never change that.

But they did. He hit her
With his self-destruction
And she couldn’t stop
His drinking or her guilt.
Explosions only eased with
Alcohol and unemployment
For another month.

There was no therapy
But alcohol and shock.
It helped him forget more than
It cured anything.

Her mother left in cigarettes and tears
And it was hard, but no less
Difficult than his slow suicide.

Leanne held on, learning
How to be a woman from
The Internet and MTV.

Her father rarely left the house. But she
Found couches willing to indulge
Her transience for warmth. Gene was
One of many on the davenport.

“You see,” she told McCormack,
“I grew up small.”

© Ben Ditmars 2015

***

Find the next episode here.

The End of Nights Part 3

I published a poem in my collection Inhale the Night called Dark Knowledge. It’s about a lost woman named Leanne who struggles after a debilitating accident. This is a continuation of her story in a weekly serial, The End of Nights. Find the last episode here.  And the first one here.

The End of Nights

hospital

Image Source: Flickr

She felt the barcode
Wristband and she knew
The softer side of hell
Had taken her –
Pain persisted
But Leanne could not
Voice frustration through
Through the breathing tube,
She wanted sunlight
And a normal life –
Whatever normal really
Was, she didn’t know,
Except, that Gene had
Never been a part of it,
Her past came back in flashes
Of vague light –
She saw her parents and
The men who never
Reached her: some had
Touched too deep before the thrills
Wore off, like morphine drips replaced
By emptiness and air
Doctors and police visited her bed and
She tried sleeping between questions
Sometimes during – Gene
Had taught her that in bed:
Feel pleasure for yourself
And leave the bare essentials
But now his car was at the bottom
Of a lake – she survived somehow
Against her will –
“Leanne,” a voice said shaking her.
“Wake up.”
“What is it?” Leanne feigned grogginess.
“You haven’t slept in days, so stop pretending”
“Gene?” she asked, her eyes adjusting to the light.
“No, my name is Doctor McCormack.”
“Are you here to arrest me?”
“No, I’m here to help you.”
“You can’t help me,” Leanne told him,
As she closed her eyes. The world was
Calmer without color. “I can help you,”
McCormack told her, “and I will.”
She didn’t argue or agree with him.
“I’m going to start you on antidepressants,
But before that, I want you to tell me everything.”
“Everything?” she asked him.
Everything and more.”
Thoughts of everything were
Overwhelming, yet she hadn’t
Cleared her mind enough
For crumbs since Beth and Jeanie
Crashed and left her –
“Leanne,” the Doctor told her,
“Start small.”
“I grew up small,” she told him
With a heavy smile.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

***

Find the next episode here.

The End of Nights Part 2

I published a poem in my collection Inhale the Night called Dark Knowledge. It’s about a lost woman named Leanne who finds herself in several relationships after a debilitating accident. She loves a man named Gene but can’t bring herself to end it with her other suitors. This is a continuation of her story in a weekly serial, The End of Nights.

Find the first episode here.

The End of Nights

city1

Image Source: Flickr

Jeanie texted Beth from
The front seat something
Cunning about Gene –
Tires left the road,
Leanne was thrown
Before the brakes gave out
Like games boys played
It was easier to die
All at once than slow
She found out near
I-675 to Madison, years
Later as the cigarettes
Turned ash – her friends
Had burned away like filters,
Chain-smoked in addiction –
Maybe she was better without
Gene: he was just another vice
And she had more than she
Could handle with nicotine and
Captain Morgan in her glove box
Underneath a registration with his name:
His last text said the Pontiac
Was his but she would sooner
Park it in the lake than give in
To his demands: she knew how
Gene got in the car: his whore would never
See the backseat of her Firebird.
The cruise control was set on 55,
Before the last drop of white rum
Pulled her under.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

***

Find the next episode here.

The End of Nights Part I

I published a poem in my collection Inhale the Night called Dark Knowledge. It’s about a lost woman named Leanne who finds herself in several relationships after a debilitating accident. She loves a man named Gene but can’t bring herself to end it with her other suitors. This is a continuation of her story in a weekly serial, The End of Nights.

The End of Nights

15572502207_59e46868f7_z

Image Source: Flickr

The slip into Dark Knowledge
Left her cold hands seeking
Warmth but Gene had gone
Away – she was distant,
Damaged goods ruined
For the taste of every day
Commitment.

Take the highway to the
End of the night, the Doors
Played on the radio and
She obliged.

The road was much
Better as a man,
Leanne surmised: consistent
With its turns, but dangerous
With speed, exhilarating her
When wet in ways Gene
Failed to understand.

He was happy with his
Whore, because that’s what
She was, regardless of political
Correctness or the modern slang.

There was little left of him:
Reminders on the sheets she
Couldn’t wash: cigarettes butts
In the ashtray she kept burning
For the smell – she hadn’t
Smoked in years.

Leanne grasped the Marlboros
Bought in weakness, yet
Relented underneath the guilt
Her mom had died from emphysema
And a broken heart
But one drag couldn’t hurt,
She thought as she sped
Down the interstate.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

***

Find the next episode here.