When Love Walks Out The Door

Like a hound at the door,
it waits to tear you apart,
and you open the door
to savor the rush
of your blood down your face
and over his teeth
and sometimes it's a relief
when he walks out the door.

And you heave a sigh
that could fill the Grand Canyon,
and a tear drop falls
that would starve a seed
but all is well
when love walks out the door.

But light breaks clouds
and birds know the way south
to warm their bones
and sometimes
flight is all you have
when love walks out the door

I'm driving the car
like it's on rails
with your voice echoing
in my head and nothing else,
not horn, not jeers,
just the deafening sound
of when love walks out the door.

Paint me red,
'cause you've done it before.
The black and blue across
the kitchen floor,
and the sanguine smell
of the nuptial bed
and the sigh of relief
as love walks out the door.

When tears lose their heaven
and rose petals fall
the sky is stark with
the fingers of death
and the bleak white stillness
of cold time and life
and a bird crosses the sky
when love walks out the door.

The wheels turn
and the petrol burns
and the piston pushes you down,
down, to make the wheels go 'round,
and the drive is unending,
and the time you're spending
is all for naught
as love walks out the door.

It's his, it's yours,
the things you keep,
the things you toss,
it's all a part of the beloved loss,
so drink your tea and look outside
as the garbage man
carries it all away
as love walks out the door.

Stop.

On the death bed it lies
and your mother cries
as the orders are carried
and the last breath rises,
and you see you'll be late,
do not resuscitate,
and the pallor falls heavy
as love walks out the door.

With pen to paper,
you ink the lines
that have bound you tight,
and made the night
a little easier to bear,
but when it comes,
the chapter's fierce,
and leaves nothing in its wake
but the ringing silence of
when love walks out the door.

The tears burn paths
of rust and pain
down the cheek he once kissed
and your mind rushes in
where angels tread boldly,
and they look to you
knowing the release of
when love walks out the door.

Sticks and stones
and the rock in your ring
and the sound of his breath
on the phone aren't enough
to hold your life together
as it runs down your hand
and onto the floor
when love walks out the door.

With slings and arrows shot
and the lamb helpless,
harmless, and hopeless
as numbers are mounting
and victims are counting
and the outcome looks doubtful
when love walks out the door.


It was sometime in 2000, and I was driving to work in Los Angeles. I’ll never forget it. Everything in my life was perfectly good. There was no heartbreak. There was no cause for pain. It was just a regular morning. Tori Amos was playing on the stereo, and the first lines of this poem came to me spontaneously and they kept coming.  Luckily I was on side streets where there wasn't any traffic.  I was still driving when I wrote "I'm driving the car like it's on rails" but then I pulled the car to the side of the road and kept writing, scrawling page after page.
 
As the words came, so did the tears.  I heaved out my breaths and my face was hot and wet. Then it just stopped.
 
At the time, I didn’t feel as if I was doing the writing. It always felt like the words came from a woman – a ghost – who crossed into me and used me to get them out. It just might be my favorite piece, ever.
PoetryBronson Page