I am destitute and poor,
so ragged, well weathered
and wear my dirt to the bone.
I am dusty of heart and bloodless,
and these stories are etched in my eyes,
oh, they are beautiful scars.
But, be cautious graceful pilgrim,
if you look into me
you will know everything.
My eternity will blind you.
Take comfort in my shadow
and never fear my back,
for I am the Prophet.
Follow me, walk beside me, lead me,
but don't read my wounds,
these stories are only for the telling.
In Rome, big city of gypsy dreams,
I saw a dark-haired girl, a brisk darting sparrow
on the concrete,
two paces behind
the cracks in the sidewalk,
skinny and needy, she turned and frowned at me
two paces in front, but,
the cracks in her face,
so the city inhaled
that long-haired girl with the
young body and old face.
At the edge of the sugar cane field
the white noise of cicadas suffocated the air,
their clatter pushed through my skin by humidity;
it was osmosis of sound.
A crow loitered, smoking with his leather-clad mates
glaring, accusing me for his teen angst,
his wire was thread-bare;
somehow this was my fault.
The edge of the cane field was heavy
from the mud the sky threw down,
but the clouds were still dirty;
my boots protested at the weight of the rain.
And I smiled at the familiarity of the colour
of the land as it sighed,
it stories can’t be told with words;
but my heart knew them all anyway.
As I came close to you and held you to my breast
I could feel the stubble of your long night
coarse against my cheek,
the tears in your eyes made your nose drip,
but you didn't cry, you never do,
you just wiped the back of your hand across your face.
Comforting you with my awkward embrace
your eyes gave me answers to questions I didn’t ask,
so we hugged and felt alone together,
anxious at the reality of now,
excited by the idea of hope.
The radiant sun
which lies tethered
within your chest
softly warms my cheek
as I lay my head
against the comfort
of your presence.
Rest your weary body
Rest your weary body
flesh so battle fatigued, heart-worn and hungry,
lay down within yourself and dream between the lines.
Hold your tempered tongue,
words so prickly, the tangy aftertaste rinsed with a prayer
washing the fermented unsaid away.
Be calm, be settled and rest your weary body,
no thoughts to awaken you except the peace
dancing with joy in your breast pocket
You eat at my sleep
hanging like a giant yellow amphetamine,
a spotlight on my mind as a bright idea in full bloom,
you devour the dark, tattering its edges,
burning the night away from me
until day frays over the horizon.
'Bastard moon, thief of the nothing,
you blister my dreams
and they fester unsent into the night,'
in the light of day they lay heavy behind my swollen eyes,
and my dreams eat me while
the moon eats my sleep.
I broke my shadow
I broke my shadow;
it cracked and fell from the sidewalk
when I questioned its purpose
and it left a thousand papercuts on my knees;
so I bled a prayer
into the sunlight that flooded the open wound in the earth,
and hummed, “Who am I without my anti-me?”;
then slowly buried it without an epitaph.
The coffee table was art
with its linoleum top
and overlapping stains;
the maison its depot
a magnetic place
of mourning conversations over absinthe;
louche swilled with Marxist ideologies
of unsophisticated dogs
relegating the bourgeoisie
beneath their bohemian boot-heels.
The rainbow shadow of youth is
dancing with the halo.
But, the circular strobe is an aging
sliding its thorny clasp
around the crown,
pinching salty sins from
—until an age rusted shadow
noisily sows a corrugated trail
and heavy holes.
holler from street corners
for those wealthy enough
to have others spit on their vanity and
and polish their russet
—and their rusty shadow buffs to a thin
of shiny, translucent sin.
I came to you for comfort, to feel reassured,
you had no answers and hugged me,
the lethargy of reality bites hard you said,
it makes you sleep past noon and wake with a headache,
you'll be thirsty in the early afternoon
and want a hamburger for breakfast,
you hugged me again and told me
there are no answers,
but my heart felt comforted any way.
This beat inside me has changed,
my heart's rhythm runs at a stranger's pace,
knocking within my bones,
tapping a coded cadence
to the caged life beside it.