The morning grew clear toward mid-day,
no clouds, just a west wind
to stir your memory.
How you thought truth was in you,
how you swore allegiance to companionship,
how you lived in the night
and passed judgment on the light,
a light you rejected, a payback,
a settling, a comeuppance,
how you failed to notice , even then,
that you hadn’t the status to be rejected,
how you slowly saw, slowly, grudgingly,
that rejection was neither of you nor for you,
and how little it mattered.
Later, you try to start over,
still wearing the skin you were born in,
all those scars the only evidence.
Heaven and Hell
are but regions of the heart
with disputed borders
Water and sky indecisive,
light flitting around corners,
thunder mumbling curses,
a low energy kind of day
I recall a day exactly
like this, so long ago,
when we walked between the drops
to the 10th Street Pool Hall
to lay our fortunes down
on the Steepleton tables,
greener than any pasture,
leather pockets yawning.
Entire lives were spent
and measured in racks of nine;
I still hear the clack
between the thunder claps.
In the end, we walked out the door
pockets empty, hearts full,
into the long shadows
of the waiting sullen universe.
We live, not moment to moment,
but in a single eternal moment,
soft and unyielding, like splinters
songs in the heart of the universe,
but by the small almost still
vibration of unseeable things,
now real, now gone,
now magnified to deathless
breathlessness, beyond, finally,
One day, we’ll fly there on
wings of dying, spread ourselves
across the native sky
like phantom snow.
It’s always the same
when I write, always
comma after comma,
there’s even a period now and then.
Never a swan.