21 May 2014

six parts per million

the pillow comfort of
unlimited tomorrows

the police siren wails
the ambulance chases
they’re at it again

the time is
two sixteen
it’s pm
that means
post meridiem
that means
he shouldn’t be drinking
that means
they’re at it again

the road narrows
by the junipers
by the school crossing
where town gives way
to country
when the asphalt black
turns asphalt grey
and it’s the sad, sorry end
to the three lane

that are really more like
and a half
enough room for how it used to be
but not enough for how it is
and who knows if it’s enough
for how it will become


it is there
where they are at it again
where the blue lights flash
and the red lights flash
and we all know what will
end up
we all know that she’ll leave
but the question is ‘how’ as much
at it is ‘when’





there’s singing
and more sirens
a call
to an alliance
once struck
in the back seat

coming heavy are the
happy feet
the time passed
and passed again
before we were told
by three men
in shirts
and hats

enough alike
to be ‘of the past’
enough insight
to make it last
and the flashing lights went the other way
still flashing
they still had plenty to say

and the day before that
and the day before


he was tall
and slim
red hair and a beard
clinging to his wiry face
his hands
were unsure when he shook
there was no pressure
he had a nervous look
he didn’t quite know what to make
or how to make it

there was nothing
but an apology
for social ineptitude
for the lack of the truth
which was how
he was raised
 and happened only on weekdays
because that’s when
things tighten
that’s when
the male psyche
the life
gets squeezed
out of me


she kept saying
you are more than what they think you are
you are more than what they said
and i’m gonna keep thanking you
until i run outta breath
it’s the way
it’s the only way
i don’t so much ‘know’
as i do ‘wonder’ these days
about you
about everything
why the sun rises
and if that much is a lie
where the sun goes
and why it’s always at night





springtime’ll kill you
         if i don’t kill you first


it was a wedding ring moon
i sang that one before
 in spartanburg

he had a trumpet

hand-made by eldon benge
from way out in los angeles
where his brother lived
it sounded sweet

the low notes
better than any goddamned saxophone

that much i know

is it time to go home?


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