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AEDM 26: Stars

AEDM 26: Stars

Tammy November 26, 2013 3 comments


And if I were to tell you that all of this is true, would you believe me?



When the First One’s fist

Art Every Day Month, Day 26:  Stars, a Collage, by Tammy Vitale

Art Every Day Month, Day 26: Stars, a Collage, by Tammy Vitale

smashed my eye and broke

the bone below it, all I saw

was white light

and then, red.



When I met you, the First One

was lurking still in the shadows.

This is meant to be sinister.  I had

the broken eyebone and bruised ribs

to prove it.  The untangling was taking

a while.  The First One proved to have

unlimited rope which he kept looping

around anything available – a forgotten

ankle, a stray arm.  I kept finding myself,

figuratively, on the floor, face in the dirt.

Justice has no power over invisible ties.  I

had to find the magic scissors, learn

to keep cutting when the rope retied itself

like birthday candles relighting or stars

appearing and disappearing on a cloudy

night.  Somewhere I’d taken the time to write

what I expected the next time, should there be

a next time, on paper.  In black and white (actually,

it was a yellow legal pad) I figured what I wanted

would be less elusive.  You arrived just after

the bruising faded to pale green, enough

for successful makeup disguise.  The paper

stayed in a drawer.  It was too soon.  I wanted

to play.  Told you.  You said, “Fine.”  I noticed how

your eyes crinkled at the corner, how long

your lashes are, how your hands fit my waist

as though made from the same mold.



The night dispatcher at the police station got to know

my voice.  So the evening I ran to the Magistrate’s window

with protective order in hand, First One in hot pursuit,

she, the night dispatcher, located across a large lobby floor,

called in on-duty officers.  The Magistrate noted,

it being Friday at 5pm, the whole thing was not his

problem, told me “Take it to court Monday.”  In the back

of my mind I starting adding up how many minutes

that might make.  The officers arrived but could not arrest

First One because the order to do so was currently in

another county.  Still, they held him ‘til I could get

in the car and drive away.  On the way out, I bumped

my head against the glass door and saw stars.




In the back of a bar located in Southeast DC

I sat, surrounded on 3 sides by high, protective

but crumbling brick walls.  I was writing poetry

on a glass topped table and sipping my third

wine.  In less than an hour.  By the time you

appeared my stomach was queasy from heat

and unshed tears.  Overhead the stars shone.

Passing traffic was muffled but audible.  A

cricket sang halfway up the ivy covered

crumbling brick wall and I wondered if it might

rain.  We had not yet made love.  Convention

called for pulling myself together but my body

demanded otherwise so you walked me around

the block, stood over me while I stuck my finger

down my throat and puked, held on tight while

I sobbed with my wet mouth and wetter eyes

against the fresh smell of your shirt.



In the basement of your brother’s house

we made love.  My house was being watched.

This is meant to be sinister.  Your house

contained a mother and father.  You are 21.

I am 35.  The room is lit with three candles.

It is June.  There is no air conditioning but

there is a small square box fan on the floor.

I don’t remember the color of the walls.  I

remember your hands, how they knew all the

secret spaces; your mouth, how well it fit mine;

the air, full of wetness getting wetter; how

you stroked me afterwards until we both

went to sleep.  In my dream there was a moon

and hundreds upon thousands of stars.



We are sitting in Sizzler’s Steak House.  Public

spaces are always less volatile.  A lesson learned

from the First One.  Outside the sun is merciless,

so, of course, there are no stars.  This is about one

of the two children that came along with me.  A package,

I told you.  You said, “Fine.”  Over salad and shrimp, I

hissed, “If you can’t help me, just do no harm.  Get out

of my way.  If you can’t do that, then get out of my

life.”  I still had the magic scissors.  This is meant

to be sinister.  I knew exactly where to cut.




There are all kinds of rope.  Some trips.  Some

binds.  But some hangs loosely. glimmering like

spider silk hung with morning dew, as ordered as

a small universe, angles just so.  No chafing.  No-

thing rubbed raw.  Soft.  Like the satin on a baby’s

blanket, or the fine hairs at the nape of your neck.

Ropes that mark safe boundaries.  Ties that connect

earth to sky, keep planets and stars in proper places.

In my hands the scissors turn to fireflies that escape

into the dark and cloudy night sky.

In Category : AEDM 2013, Poetry Saturday


  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    November 27, 2013

    I’m a big fan of your collage, and that story is incredible. I read with awe and debated whether it was true or not. Too profound and “poetic,” I believe it came from your very creative and active imagination. Regardless, it captured and caught my attention throughout.

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    virginia abraham
    November 27, 2013

    This is hard for me to understand…I don’t understand, and I don’t know why I don’t understand. I am totally confused and no one
    is able to translate this and other strange things. Maybe this is your psyche speaking…?

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    November 27, 2013

    Such an authentic and brave piece, Tammy, and so powerful. Out of hurt often comes beauty as you show here with your words and art.

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