It’s true that you can never go home again, to youngness
to hair unbelievable where you’d never now put it
and hair invisible where you’ve grown it at last.
I can see a memory of weather
the warm air of the impossible
lived in by those who know no questions and worry none.
I can see a day that’s never been and would sing for it
if I wasn’t civilized enough to know that men out of baths don’t sing.
On the road outside now there’s a noise like ducks.
Together in step they’re walking towards the end of the night
hardly talking. It’s six a.m. and I’m waking or sleeping
at the point where there’s little difference.
I can smell warm potatoes buttered in their skins
but who could be cooking? I’m hungry
running my tongue around my mouth, up and down.
I can feel something going through my stomach
turning it over, something making color.
I’m sleeping, dreaming of waking.
There’s a birthmark on me, moving when I look for it.
From my chest to my back, from one leg to another
it’s a bird flying from a cartoon cat, a duck out of reach.
On the road outside there’s a noise. Like an explosion now
like boys with a firework in the field, like a black car being stolen.
I can hear a knife sharpening nearby.
Awake every sound has a separate meaning and someone close
is sharpening a knife. I’m smoking rainbows
papers with colored ink made sticky at the edge to smoke with
not bringing gold but lungs rolled with road-tar.
Soon life will become combusted.
When the energy goes, when it’s all been drunk
we smokers of the rainbows will be the last means of travel
and those cranks, the engine-owners, will enjoy us;
it’s true that you can never go home.