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Cripple Creek


No sleep at all. The full moon
Cold light in a January freeze.

Remembering it was January
when things heated up for us.

Went for coffee this a.m.

Sarah Vaughn singing
Broken Hearted Melody
Thought I might break down.

Hate to admit this, hate to give your
narcissistic self that space.

Never called you on your leaving,
never cried,
Never raged.

Because

if the floodgates damming my
secret and ceaseless sorrow
ever broke,
we might have drowned.

You scribbled on me recklessly,
some cheap slate that could be
erased or tossed with impunity.

Yet you remain

the icon I came to love:

Rowdy, rough man-of-the earth,
incandescent artist, wild, rebellious,
beautiful in your lunge at freedom

until you caved,

and Sold Me Out.

I carried it deep and dark,
your offhand betrayal.

Told me you were marrying that bitch
who had served the Great Man
supported him,
endured his teenage lover.

But inside my canyon soul,

like the Rockies we lie down in
cool spring afternoons after school,
spreading our coats on wet leaves
and pine needles
to make elliptical love,

those cliffs crumbled.

'My Love ... My Love ... No ...'
I gasped silently in acute agony,
Saying nothing.


Ann Thompson Fabricant



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