with a little something for the soul
to rattle amidst the pain-cage,
i tickle my fingers down my ribs
like a prisoner’s cup clanging against the bars
to echo in the stillness bubbling
like poison from the wound.
i thumb through passages that i wish were truly passages
where a foot could leave its imprint in the soil
and accept the myopia of abortive eyes
to follow the heart like the faltering compass
that never learned to drift south,
and the fevered brain that somehow believes
that it can find panacea on a map.
i tease the tracks like footprints in my flesh
to turn the scars a shade of purity too pale for my ruddy soul,
and watch them fade again
like aphotic light bulbs poised above my head
to remind me
that someone else…
controls the switch.
once below a time
"what’s memory but the ash? that chokes our fires that
have begun to sink.” ~ William Butler Yeats
the memories of my childhood
are like the little stains in your carpet
where your new dog marked his territory -
after you scolded him and shoved him out the door,
you bleached and scrubbed and disinfected
until your hands were raw,
and the dog eventually learned to scratch at the door,
but there were always those spots that perhaps
only you knew about,
where the pattern was a little ragged,
and the fibers were a little stiff,
and even though you knew it wasn’t really there
you could never quite escape the smell.
pretend i am not the devil
i’m not the devil here,
and i’ll pretend
your love’s sincere.
i’ll promise not
to play with fire,
if you’ll purge the cold
from your desire.
i’ll put away
my horns tonight,
if you’ll tuck your wings
beneath you tight.
i know i’m not
in the dreams you hide,
i’m just the man
who’s by your side.
so forgive me please,
if it’s in your heart,
and i’ll do my best
to play the part.
just close your eyes
as my flesh draws near,
i’m not the devil here.
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