Why I Left You

Why I Left You

When you had quite finished
dragging me across your bed
like a band of swaggering late-night removal men
dragging a piano
the size and shape of the United States of America
across a tent,
I left the room,
and slipped into the garden,
where I gulped down whole mouthfuls of delicious aeroplanes
that taxied down my throat
still wrapped in sky
with rows of naked women in their bellies
telling me to go,
and I went,
and that’s why I did it,
and everything told me so –
tracks that I knew the meaning of
like the tracks of a wolf
wolf-hunters know the exact colour of
by the tracks of the tracks alone.
You get a feeling for it.
You stand in the garden at night
with blood getting crisp on your thighs
and feel the stars spiralling right down
out of the sky into your ears
like drip-fed needles
saying Get out. Now.
By ‘you’ I mean me.
One of us had to:
I did.


first published in Violet (Bloodaxe, 1997), © Selima Hill 1997, from Gloria (Bloodaxe, 2008), used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Selima Hill

Selima Hill Downloads

1Introduction

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2Why I Left You

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3Please Can I Have a Man

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4Your Girlfriend's Thigh

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5Her Little Turquoise Scarf

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6Her Little Turquoise Dress

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7Her Little Turquoise Breasts

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8A Day in the Life of Your Suitcase

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9I Know I Ought to Love You

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10The World's Entire Wasp Population

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11The Man Who Looks for Waterfalls

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12When He Follows Me into the Café Looking Nervous

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13The Waterfall Man

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14I Will Be Arriving Next Thursday in My Wedding Dress

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15Fun

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16Tulips

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17Vaseline

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18Moon

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19Stars

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20Songbirds

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21Budgie

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22Galloping Alopecia

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23The Room

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24The Angel with Large Hands

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25Sky

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26Portrait of My Lover as a Distant Mountain

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27Portrait of My Lover as a Doll

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28Portrait of My Lover as a Dress

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29Portrait of My Lover as a Flower Arrangement

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30Portrait of My Lover as a Glass of Water

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31Portrait of My Lover as a Goose

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32Portrait of My Lover as a Holy Mother

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33Portrait of My Lover as a Hook

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34Portrait of My Lover's Mouth

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35Portrait of My Lover as a Pearl

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36Portrait of My Lover as a Tutu

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37Portrait of My Lover as a Spoon

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38I Couldn't Stand the Smell of the Pinks

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39Modest Acts of Extreme Slowness

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40Sixteen Reasons for Being a Nun

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41Snow-white Katarinas

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42The Elephant Whose Sturgeon-like Blood

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43Nasty Little Moments on Park Benches

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44Everything He Touches Turns to Gold

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45The Most Beautiful Woman in the History of Lawn Tennis

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46Living, Breathing Lumbar Rolls and Wedges

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47Flank-Sucker

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48Lily Bulbs

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49Midnight

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50Never Trust a Man Without an Elephant

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51Never Be Alone in a Heatwave

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52The Quality of My Adoration

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53God Bless Lower Alcohol Pina Colada

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