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Showing posts from January, 2007

The Populace

I fall in love all day-
So many beautiful faces,
Hanging with day’s-end fatigue
Or broken open in the laughter
Of being young and knowing
It won’t end.
I see the boot-heel supplement
Of longed-for stature,
The unwavering sundry skirts,
Channels of gusting pride
That stirs the dust and dying embers
In my cavernous chest;
This feverish ardor
So devastating
I want to pity them,
So I can put a name to the ache.
And with a fervent affection
For the people as a people,
I step off the train
And tumble through rushes of life
Like a rock on a riverbed,
Then emerge into an otherworld
Of bright-light walled-in human vastness;
Thousands of bodies shining
With style and serenity
Like light rain on stained glass,
A oneness of effortless peace,
All streaming toward harmony of purpose-
Colorful drops of humanity
Blending in a watercolor city.


The last time we argued
Was years ago
And one of the last times we talked.
You’re so heavy it made my knees buckle
Just to look at you.
I wonder who handed you that weight,
The dismal rucksack that you slung
Over your shoulder without question
And never put down;
Lugging it with you,
until the weight of it bent your back
Into a permanent uncertainty.

I can’t believe you chose it for yourself.
I can smell the poison festering in you,
That mass of black sludge
That hangs in the place
Where the left half of your heart should be
And permeates your skin
In a foul haze that stings my soul
To tears.
I know there’s something else
Just to the right.

Twice I’ve seen you
Bending over the kitchen sink,
Sobbing your laments into it,
Your broad back straining
To throw off the weight at last.
The last time we argued,
You became so enraged
That you threatened to kill

So I can’t even hate you.
You won’t allow me that.
I can’t condemn you more
Than you have;

And I have your eyes,
And a strong suspicion

You were hoping for a dare…

Later Days

Like a storm-washed window,
You lived in a riotous haze,
Raging through life
With flushed cheeks
And unruly fists,
Your laughter scattering
Like a handful of rocks.
You must have thought
You were endless,
That you could let life
Trickle from you, spreading
To the end of the highway,
Then hoist an upturned bottle
And rise again
In the shadowless noon.
You never foresaw a later day,
Or ever wondered
What could happen in it.
You never imagined
That you could use it up.
And then the middle of the road
Was suddenly the end,
And all the potential
That waited to create
What you might strive to be
Was left
Beside a dawn-lit bridge,
Among particles
Of reddened glass;
All the color banished
From your ruddy skin
As if drained
Into the umber bottles
That held no reserves
Of time
After all.