Tom Waits, I Hate You
the way your voice snags
my skin when I'm waltzing
through a coffee shop, for the thousand
crows caught in your throat,
how it rains
every time I play "Tom Traubert's Blues."
I hate you for every Valentine you never sent.
Call me indigo, azure, cerulean; call me
every shade of clue for being born
two decades after you.
I hate you for every cornfield, filling
station, phone booth I've passed with my feet
on the dash, listening to you pluck
nightingales from a piano; writhing
as if it were my ribcage being played
beneath a moon that is no grapefruit,
but the bottom of a shot glass.
For every bad relationship, every dead pet,
and every car I've wrecked
into light posts trying to tune you out;
for all the lost radios, Walkmans
tossed over bridges -- still the sound of you
rising from water like a prayer at midday,
or the ragged song of cicadas
tugging frogs out of watery homes.
For every lounge lizard, raindog, barfly
I've met; for every vinyl booth I've been pushed
into by a boy with a bad haircut;
for every man I've fucked
according to the angle of his chin
or the color of his coat.
Tom Waits, I hate you.
Well, the night is too dark
for dreaming; the barman bellows out
last call; and you've turned me into a gun-
street girl with a pistol and a grudge
and an alligator belt, a pocket
full of love letters
that have never been sent.
This poem can be found in the collection The Air Lost in Breathing.
(thanks to Máquina de Huesos)