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The Seamstress Marries the Broken Man


The Seamstress Marries the Broken Man
by James P. Roberts

Her life is an opera.
She lives in the costumes she designs.
Every actor is a part of her.

When she met him at a closing night
party, she was attracted
to the indecipherable pain in his eyes.

It wasn't as if she hadn't been warned.
He told her right off who he was, how his life
was so very much different from hers.

He lived in a broken castle.  The refrigerator
was broken.  The computer was broken.
The TV was not broken, but he only watched

his own collection of movies on the VHS player
(yes, he still had one of those).  Everything
about him was broken, except his soul.

That shone out of him like iridescent wings.
That is what she wanted when she married him.
And what she wanted, she usually got.

He came to live with her, eschewing his own
possessions for the most part, gazing tranquilly
at her exotic pet fish, her vibrant macabre art,

the stylized creations she made and sold on Etsy.
He grew to love her and, inside, he slowly began
to mend what had been thought irreparably broken.

His mind turned into an open book, written
in a language he tried so hard to make her understand.
He laid himself bare to her . . .

In the night of the knives, she cut him
into thin slices, strips of flesh sewn into her latest costume.
He did not mind, once he knew her passion.

It was all part of the opera and he still longed
to be there, with her, as the final aria was sung
and the thick curtain, at long last, descended.

* * *

James P. Roberts is the author of four previous poetry collections.  Recent work has been published in Constellations and Blue Heron Review.  Poems are forthcoming in Sand Canyon Review and Forage.  He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where he has recently developed a poetry radio show, ‘A Space For Poetry,’ on WMUU 102.9 FM.

Where do you get the ideas for your poems?

I get many ideas from dreams.  Often when I am reading the works of other poets something will click and set me off on a poem journey of my own.


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