Tired Eyes

Susie had such tired eyes
from all the shit she’d seen
people she loved
more than life itself
dying in confusion and pain
after living in misery
and the others, the scumbags and assholes
lording it over her, all her goddamn life
relishing their pathetic little taste of power
rubbing her nose in the shit
the shit we all lived in
Sometimes she wondered how much heartbreak
one person was supposed to see
before her eyes were allowed to close
for the final time

Susie’s eyes had been blue
blue as the ocean
blue as the veins of a junkie
when she watched Jaimie overdose and die
his eyes rolling back
into his sad and beautiful head
and she knew, as it happened
that she would always miss
his broken teeth and drunken lizard smile
but also the way his fat, leathery arms
would wrap around her at night
giving her security and safety
or, at least, a plausible illusion of it

Those same eyes of hers had looked green
green as the hills of her childhood
green as the money she sold herself for
when she said goodbye to her daughter
telling her she’d see her very soon
but knowing full well she’d never see her again
that her daughter would grow up
hating and cursing Susie’s name
never even knowing
if she was alive or dead
and that this was the most merciful gift
that Susie could ever give her

And Susie’s eyes were red
red as the sunrise
red as a knife wound
when she walked out on Vincent
leaving him high and dry
without a penny or a dream
in the middle of the night
Vincent had been the sweetest, most decent man
that she’d ever met in her life
but he’d enough money in his wallet
to buy a month’s worth of oblivion
and that was worth more than any kindness

Susie had such tired eyes
from all the wasted tears she’d cried
for all the men that beat her to a pulp
and the ones who fucked her
and tossed her away
without ever bothering to ever ask her name
for the filth who pimped her out
and for the soulless son-of-a-bitch
who talked her into shoving a needle in her arm
that sultry summer evening
some thirty-seven years ago now
She often wondered if things would be better
if she just ripped her eyes, out of her skull
and tossed them in the gutter
but she knew, she’d still have to hear it
still have to smell it
still have to feel it
so she might as well look at it too

Photo by Chris Arnade.

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