Monday, March 14, 2011

Repo Girl

There is a relationship between the requisites of adulthood and those of recovery. Adults take responsibility for their actions and ownership of the consequences. The journey of recovery, in addition to this level of personal accountability, also demands clear-eyed detective work. Recovering from injuries sustained when you accidentally stepped in a bear trap you must discover how, and even why, you set it. Blame is a useless exercise, but the ability to retrace until one arrives at the cause, this is critical.

Sitting at a bar, blood transformed into rocket fuel, lifting into the stratosphere of my second major manic high, I heard a woman say, “To find the right person you have to be the right person.” At the time I never held a thought longer than thirteen fifteenths of a second, and yet, this phrase has clung to me for 25 years.

Adulthood and recovery are also united by the idea that nothing in this life is free. Looking backwards and trying to makes sense of where I’d been caused me to wonder about the nature, and consequences, of bad faith. Thusly was Repo Girl born.

Repo Girl

Slipping through the gauzy film
That guards my luscious dreams
Repo girl is
Method, stealth, and focus
Weather beaten beauty Queen
Proprietress and owner
Of some unfilling station
And café
Rusting under desert starlight
Dying in the day
Gray and faded overalls
Hug her rugged body
Hold her like a tire grips a rim
Golden halo tucked below
A grimy tractor cap
Grips the nozzle
Of a pump and roughly
Shoves it in
To my heart

Bing, and the numbers
Paint on porcelain
Ride on gears with
Chipped teeth, in reverse
Chewing on a toothpick
Scratching her tattoo
She draws out all the love
And faith and trust that I
Have stolen

Bing, and the breath
Of an angel I’d forgotten
Almost before I’d had
My way with her
Passes like blood
Into the pump

Bing, for every candle night
Of gentle kindnesses
Bodies spread like landscapes
I could tread on
Conquer, exhaust, and abandon

Repo girl drinks joe and stares
Elbows on the counter
If she’d stayed a little longer
Then I could have thanked her

Alistair McHarg


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