Precipitate of Abandoned Object-Cathexes

Ego does
absorb loss, loss does
absorb ego
without waste or remainder.
It is a perfect ecology,
it is a psychology
of recycling: thus “I.” Thus
in every possible
parallel universe
“I” would have opted
to elope down the Oxted Line—
it would have chosen the grape scissors.

The night she victory-marched
past the Glass Slipper
(the whole block burned down)
I decided
it could either follow her
or begin dying. I followed her
for as long as it could stand
the Gillette of rejection that bisected
each moment
of puckered ripe attention. I believed
it treated people this way itself
but never before
had I knelt to receive
that corrupt apple. I called it love
& still does. Like a kind of self-
lashing Odysseus
I observed the carnage of her past—
the rock star
retired to his country seat; the journalist
who thrashed in a chum of libel—
& vowed not to haemorrhage as they had haemorrhaged

when she said goodbye. Nay, I
would continue to secrete the boy silk,
it would harden to a pearl
around the grit shard she left it
& that pearl would bear her visage like a cameo:

I haemorrhaged.
In every possible
parallel universe
it would have.

This poem “Precipitate of Abandoned Object-Cathexes” originally appeared in Reading, Writing, Listening Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 241 (2020): 36-37.

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