I pull the curtains aside; it’s another sunny Monday. The sky
begins like wine, and I get drunk on it.
There are gravestones outside, both literally and figuratively. The shadows
are like mold, piled up and clinging. The lantern lights no longer
cause them to flee, for they,
through time and will, have become autonomous and living, and now
we are phantoms together; echoing, with taint, shrill.
My life, still angry, still heavy, overflowing and overwhelming. How many times
have I asked the Reaper to come back for his hat? His crown
leaches, sucks in and swallows the love, making my becoming home so dark and cold.
I’ve kissed women. In basements and in sleeping-bags, on rooftops and
in tunnels beneath the roads, in backyards at night, and they all
have moved on, our momentary romance just that –
momentary, an experimental passing, and they meant no harm by it,
but their nonchalance
has put my heart in a brown box
that I keep tucked under my arm.
And the men hang on, care and worship me too hard, linger like stray cats
under the streetlights, or,
their love is so passive, it is barely existent, a lukewarm cup of Oolong,
and they have lain over me, wispy and lithe as ghosts.
Exiting straight through the walls.
My childhood, it is dead. I have spent many years sweeping up the dust.
Holidays spent alone, up at 3 a.m. washing dishes and listening
to Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne and Muse. Adolescence, my young 20’s,
all stained. I know the word Bedridden is no adjective
but a proper noun, a place where wilting souls are thrown. Hours
can be demons, and friendships faint like Dixie belles.
And it all comes true, my fear of fraying, my fears of wading, the ark
having sunk into pillows, the crow and dove dry husks
I clutch in both hands as the floodwaters come. Arriving on lanes of traffic,
exhaust and fumes taking their thrones.
What could I achieve against such ruthless and relentless withholding?
I ride the comet, my legs spread wide and its heat
quite kind, but, I am still on fire.
I watch the people slave, I watch the laborers and oppressed and unseen
fold their shirts in the morning, squeeze from their shoes in the evening, aching
as snow upon the mountainside about to let go.
I long for an avalanche, a complete purging; I think of Job, and
the plural wives of Joseph Smith, and the girls in the Magdalene Laundries.
The total nothing.
An unending Winter that never gives way to Spring.
But, it is a sunny Monday. So, I grieve awhile in the wine.
The trees are green.