Cherrystones

 
It’s early enough to still be late.
As I go back to the refrigerator to get beer,
beer for breakfast, for my supper too,
I can hear a man, perhaps a Turk or Syrian,
shouting in the hallway:
“Let me in. Help me. I want you.”
in a language I don’t understand.

Last night, four hours ago, six hours ago,
I smoked two packs of cigarettes
and stood for a moment in the center of Columbus
laughing at everything that’s ever happened in this recent country.

I sat down to dinner as if a dog fully-dressed.
I barked appropriately before puking on the table.
I saw dances where others heard silence.
I heard lies where others saw opportunity.
I watched the little death go around,
simpering at each table’s corner. Infecting.
I smiled, happy to be alive amongst the simple corpses.
It seemed as though everyone I met was busy breathing.
Heavily overstuffed in velvet worn too early in the season.

In a bar on Lexington I remember thinking of Concord,
of battles fought and the young men there sacrificed.
I spoke of the Civil War to a fat pimp
of a salesman who’ll never get himself clean.
I was counting his pores, one by one,
as he told me he’d seen the series on TV.
That it wasn’t too bad, although a little slow.

Eventually, walking back through the night to 53rd,
I thought about being far away and then I realized you were.
I’m so tired. You are these things to me now:

Disappeared.
In a veil.
The noose that never closes.
Just cherrystones. Only cherrystones.
I write “I love you,” but then I delete it.

I write “I write `I love you’, but then I delete it.

 

 

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