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Closer

You can’t get closer
to what you already are
As the passions grow
only the disciplined
know real pleasure

Early Spring and I know
why the birds twitter, as
someone fries bacon, as
somebody sings in a cascade
of rage and something breaks

An old determined lady
grips her walker, her
hair wisps of red, as she
strains through the make-up
caked on her face, as she

grimaces step by tedious step
up this relentless hill
And I wonder if this is her
daily marathon of ascent and
not some new found challenge

Beth’s hot—
exotic, erotic, pierced
and tattooed; and she dazzles
you at first, as she casts off
all kinds of self-mortification

Rage, demand, control,
her riotous compulsion to depict,
so mired in her perspective
that she won’t be content
until she discovers you

She knows you’re good to her,
this electric life, this essential season
Her inferiors are dark,
weak, unclean and obscure as she
shrinks from them into quiescence

“You know, John” the head rebel said,
“my men have been protecting you
all week and you didn’t even know it
Now write truth when you leave us
because the best magic tricks

have no magic in them at all”
Been thinking about my brother,
again, his peculiar, shameful, descent
Did he tire of our slow ascents,
step by tedious step?

Beth’s a red-haired tattooed lady
Her light white skin is covered
in tattoos; her body’s a canvas,
a medium for art,
each part another story

What does it take to
restore myself to myself—
to make clear the confusions I bear
over successes in the smallest hard part,
over what I naturally hold dear?

 

 

-May 20, 2017-