Friday, March 5, 2010

in the city of public squares



in the city of public squares

We sleep, lament, content, in the city of public squares,
Where I saw my spirit trapped, snared by torsos
Who whisper of youth as recourse. Of course
I tried to tell them, occasionally stepping
Down from this barren rock where no poems
Grow. The sounds in my ears
Were clouds low overhead.
Emptiness- this is the courage,
A feeling like being choked,
To be locked in this, this scene
Above which I hold no other.
Speak of it and about that
Which they have no knowledge
By the fire, while the train keeps bearing down
On us weighing down what might
Be left to sing in our nightmares.
You knew, and I know, but without caring,
We will walk all night,
Treading water in the red light,
In what is falling through us.
And now, each night, in sleep
The bliss lays heavy- fades,
And thought never comes, the dancing
Lights of gray and white.
That’s why you taught me tears.
After weeks of strain and sickness
I didn’t find what I looked for,
Not knowing what it was, yet
Knowing I will lose it if I learn
What I know. But for now,
Here, in this city of delicate surfaces
Aware, this once, as I will always be,
Among the dead packed immaculately
Away, there’s no despair that could quiet
You. Through innumerable choruses
Soaring higher than we could ever climb,
The thought of pleasure pleasing
Flesh and bone opens with a yawn,
And the world goes on
The way I always felt it would.
Again, waking at dawn,
The sweep of it, taking courage
From silence, your silence
Letting drop my bright eyes, accusing.
Little did I imagine then
These images remain with us every day.
Dawn breaks. It is only the sun
But we carry the weight of middle-aged trees
Diseased along the streets and boulevards.
Here sadness takes on abstract shapes
Light scrabbles at the open door.
I breathe. I am not asleep.
The light screams into tightly held secrets
Of those dark spirits who lie still, still dreaming.