Daily Archives: January 11, 2017

A Memory Of Song

A man sitting in bed
on the second floor of his house
thinking about the stairs
as if they were a cliff to be
descended…

a man sitting on the floor
of his kitchen, frustrated with
plumbing, exhausted
after a day of wet dirt, crumbling
wood falling on his face — memory
of cave-ins, avalanches…

a man still sitting in his car
an hour after he was supposed
to be home, staring into the stalled
lines ahead of him burnished to red
by the sunset, simmering inside, 
imagining sunsets over a prairie…

a man holding a gun as he crouches
behind a rock, trying to pretend
he isn’t too old for this posture, feeling
the weakness inside, glad his freezer 
is full and this is for the show of 
other men…

Somewhere behind all this a man
singing, dancing, weaving,
speaking in tongues.  

He raises
one arm to the moon, pivots toward
Her, faces Her without losing his rhythm.  
He returns to his original direction
without losing the thought of Her.
He loses nothing
in either the pivot or the return,
but as for the memory of song…

a man sitting up in bed,
astonished at what he 
has dreamed until he
sweeps it away in worry
for the moment…

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My Hand On Fire

Are you truly so surprised
to learn that my hand 
bursts into flame
a few times daily,
and that I have learned 
to shut out the pain
and move on?
You shouldn’t be.
This is old hat
to many
who are
torched so often, 
so casually.
We learn it early and well
or we die
young, curled up
in our own ashes.
Do not mistake
apparent ease
in handling it
as a form of
acceptance.
We still
hurt, we still
now and then
scream with the hurt,
still have problems
with grip and 
feeling — and for me
at any rate, woe

unto those who offer
to shake my hand
while still holding
a burnt match, for

I will accept.