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Escape

                1.
Rocks, dust and stars...
Into graceful blankets of night
The hidden fires of ghosts, showers, lightning, haste
She’s a shadow crest, alive now without me
Over the mountains and into Argentina by horseback
Across streams, slippery stumbles, awkward gaits
Pure, up to my neck in these grave waters, crossovers
My perfect guides and I escape
We survive because the muscles remember
There’s salt in the lake, silent like death in sand,
like feral oxygen, like freak luminescence
like tired, work strained hands
Their men are worthless liars,
their women unreasonably mean
He was generous, genial and tyrannical
They flatter her in her bitterness like a queen
In victory we’ll get to write the history
They arrived over the ocean weak from fatigue, hunger
We note their dry mouths, funny talk and coarse lips
while cruel, sarcastic, underpaid bureaucrats seethe

 

                2.
Rock silence, the precious silence of stone...
He’s a man who talks a lot and laughs for no reason
He sees her brazenness, her tenderness,
her loneliness and bitter beauty
There you are at last
You come into the empty room as always
like a tough, singular red desert flower
This building of broken knees, scowls and screams
It was a time of repression, atrocities,
ascendant, plutocratic, ignorant party thugs
Her voice is tired, suggestive, monotonous,
lovely and full of charm
There were many men there
who I wouldn’t care to meet in a secluded place
Some boys enjoy the misery of their companions,
some adults never relinquish that peculiarity
Did they revolt against each other from that distance?
Intelligent, upright, generous, difficult
It ends badly for them both in this desiccated courtroom
with its wood-shine, its books, and its ceremonial papers

 

                3.
We fight back, always up to the surface
“We fought the fascists in Spain, Germany, Italy
the communists in Russia, Korea, China
Don’t think we won’t fight you, rich boy”
He tried to ease her discomfort
We bought it all at once with love, blood, and treasure
If anyone thinks they can rob her again they better know,
she’ll happily cut them up with that knife she keeps
If you lose your father early you may grieve over it
But lose your mother early and your eyes, forever wistful,
your soul ever wild beneath, even in happiness,
can’t hide the deepening scar
I’m my jagged enemy
I went to the sour river to drink alone
in hope that it was clear enough, clean enough for me
but that was forever ago
Big acts of malice, little acts of cruelty
Big acts of trust, little acts of love
The building in sunlight reflects across this lake
If we go fast enough this time, we’ll escape

-July 15, 2012-