Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"






He is Gone

Between the Lines

I have been doing well
(Come back, come back)
Life shudders, and goes on
(Come back, come back)
For time must heal all wounds
(Don’t go, don’t go)
And night stretches to dawn
(Come back, come back)
There is a rhythm now
(Come back. Come back.)
That beats beneath my feet
(Come back. Come back.)
It echoes like a drum,
(Don’t. Go. Don’t. Go.)
My heart synched to its beat
(Come back. Come back.)
So everything is fine
(Come back, come back)
All heartaches disappear
(Come back, come back)
And only leave behind
(Don’t go, don’t go)
The rhythm you don’t hear.

– s. Clark

Losing You

I am terrified
To lose the image of your face,
That only heartache will replace
Its contours in my mind.
I am raw with pain,
And reaching for your fading shape,
Praying that it will not escape
The fragile, fickle bind
That is memory.
Is there nothing cannot be lost?
Have I not paid whatever cost
Was set for loving you?
Please leave something here,
Some happy shred of who you were,
One thought to which I can refer
For all the love we knew.

– s. Clark


I dreamt of you last night.
I dreamt you called my name,
And I reached and I reached
Into the void, for centuries
Reached until my fingers pulled and thinned,
Bones cracking, popping out of joint.
And still I reached on,
Ligaments stretching, muscles tearing,
Ribs ripping and separating.
I tore myself apart, spread out into the black
And never, never reached you.

– s. Clark

I Can’t Hold You

I can’t hold you.
The days come, and they go.
Storms build amidst the winter snow.
I shiver as the sharp winds blow.
And I can’t hold you.
The moments swell and fall.
The sun shines down, the robins call.
I fill pages with pointless scrawl.
And I can’t hold you.
And there are other arms
That try to heal me of the harm,
That I can hold to keep me warm.
But I can’t hold you.
The world goes on and on.
The sun may rise, but brings no dawn,
Just vacant rage. For you are gone.
And I can’t hold you.

– s. Clark

Our Years

There were our years,
Stretching on ahead,
Filled with stories.
Sunrises slashed red.
From your first time driving,
To your children
Jumping on the bed.

There were memories
Waiting to be made,
How I meant to take you
Every place I laid
My feet upon.
All the words that
We would come to trade.

There were our years,
Stretching to the sun.
And since the day
Your story was begun,
I have been there,
And planned to ever be.
But you are gone,
and gone,
and gone
And all our years are done.

– s. Clark


I loved you like a car crash
On a road of asphalt fears
Smoking fumes of black regret
And gushing oil tears

The spark you lit inside me
Was the flame that scorched my soul
The pistons all keep pumping
But the wheels refuse to roll

The twisted, burning wreckage
Strewn across the battered ground
Will stop the flowers growing
There for years and miles around

And all the screaming sirens,
Flashing lights, and prayers for breath
Were not enough to save us,
Me from crashing, you from death

I loved you like a medic
Pressing life into your heart
But you are gone. And I remain.
Just pieces blown apart.

– s. Clark

Phantom Limb

The moments that are worst,
The excitement
When at first I glance
Across some guiltless thing
And my mind is set to wandering
So suddenly toward you
And thinking how
I have to show you this,
Or want to teach you thus
The flashing future images of us
My mind has not yet learned
To keep at bay.
The times I’ve turned to say
Some silly thing to make you laugh
Or share some song to sing.
Abrupt imagining
Of when next I’ll see you smile
While simply organizing thoughts.
The times I almost buy you
Something I just saw,
All instantly followed by the raw,
Unfettered pain
Reeling sickness through my brain.
Plunging depths of sudden dread
When innocently wond’ring
Where you’ve gone
And then recall, so sharply
“He is dead.”
Oh, God, the hole.
I feel it,
Like a crater in my mind
Like a void within my soul
Like a gaping wound
Left open to the air,
I am bereft my heart, and left apart,
But I still feel you there.

– s. Clark

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