Friday, May 29, 2009

dust

I.

summer found me grateful that the river was stronger than me, it quelled my fear and allowed me not to speak:

adrift on my back for the moment of peace it could bring me

i found seventeen to be more acidic than sweet. now i noticed every snakeskin curling on the highway, the wheeling vultures; my heart felt the pain that the prey feels, the signed

sealed, delivered, and doomed

torn to shreds in clear view and borne away by claws, i was the dirt and gravel road beneath your old trucks' tires

the dust on your dashboard, the dust on your mirrors

my surprise,
that first love should feel like death indeed

it certainly felt like death to me




II.


i would have been his wife if i had been so lucky; more likely i would have been his whore:
sam cooke's paramour

it seems a harmless dream til the needle drops
and the crackling and dust give way to him:

a voice known to bear powers incomparable, as persuasive as the sliest teenage lover, sweet and understanding, only he promises

to soothe my soul
if it takes all night long

time doesn't mean much to him; he never wants to sleep
and there is nowhere he would rather be

conjured from dust to stir up the coals in my chest
some smoke then finally a flickering orange light

only those conjured by dust can do it
and sometimes
it takes all night long





III.


a silly girl would play with her hands in the dust, but a wise girl keeps hers clean
and i know what sort of girl i endeavor to be

a heavy gaze from blue eyes cannot move me
i know that behind it lies nothing but ash and nicotine
i know now how it feels to be impossible to please

and i am not unscathed
but who could be

on the table beneath thin fingers only dust
from behind teeth only words
made of dust

i feel so old, my soul sifting away
borne by the wind, dust