Thursday, July 21, 2016

On Despair and No Way Out


Silver roots as pale as unclogged arteries
dig deep inside her cold flaky scalp and accent

motherhood’s worn face, worn hips, and worn-
out father buried somewhere along the long time ago.

Her squints creak like heavy decades of swinging
the A-B-C’s of hope: a hard-scrabbled scribble

memorized inside the sounds of sharp consonants
tongued between hoe and back and a stooped-over life.

There’s no way to wash off a despair as long as no way out.
Stiff and rusted as pioneer-hope, she just keeps blasting

another ramble, imagining it’s always sooner or later loss
and a failure to feel what’s different between them. It tastes

like somebody’s else’s last-ever kiss; it’s crazy, weepy,
vengeful as a need left out to dry and turn into never enough

time for the kind of love children crave. Once upon a time,
her lovers could run through her like drunken bachelors,

their stories all weather-beaten lies, translucent as folklore –
still, the names they cooed, her soft skin, the too blue sky.


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