Bench Medley

I couldn’t get the world off of me,
so I tucked myself under a park bench somewhere
around Broadway and sober,
but the days looked the same as they did at home
seeing half-life and life-half—
questioning if the whole of things were really there
or if truth-splintered sat waiting for someone, anyone
to take a seat long enough to carry a piece away;
seeing bands of sky and clouds, rain coming down in pauses
until the sun touched my brow and sections
of flesh from chin to toe.

And I wondered if it was any better here or if I should go back
into number sixteen and one across the way. ​​​​​​​

To separate soul from body, stand with your back towards the sun
until it casts itself across the ground.
Then, you can walk around with it—

Or, perhaps, climb high on rusty fences in July when it burns hot
and the cattle fade into one another in open fields.

Or, take it window shopping from the seat of a bicycle being
careful to avoid the subway;
remembering that hat-wearing days are soul-parting days
when one can drive West at dawn
with the left arm stretched out of the window until fingertips brush asphalt.

This is good practice for the lonely,
for hand puppets,
and for heaven.

This is much easier than peeling flesh to detach the soul.
It never goes well—

You have to use a knife.
It’s messy.
The Wailing of Maureen

She met the walls, she met the floors, and windows in between.
She met the sounds in hallowed halls—
The wailing of Maureen.

A staircase led beyond the known, she climbed so she could see,
the doors blown wide, the smokestack gone—
The wailing of Maureen.

She smelled the stench of memories, she smelled the lasting dread,
the taste of birth upon her tongue—
The wailing of Maureen.

A gable stretched into the sky, one step then liberty.
Unremembered but for her mother’s womb—
Oh, the wailing of Maureen!
Sunrise Posed

It feels slow outside and I draw long on morning.
Sunrise posed, stones across water,
burning through oxygen, now, or that time in Maine
standing with another—
part of yourself, the one you drove away to the high sea wall
in winter.

It felt slow on the shore and you hated what you left.
Barefoot footprints, red beret,
the quiet of memories trailing across sand when
love was faint, fast ready—
to find you in the bend of the day

Sunrise posed, stones across water,
burning, burning through oxygen as you hid yourself
in the sun-mist dawn watching birds fly,
wishing it was you finding freedom—
within a mind unable to yearn
for death.

It feels slow outside and I release morning held.
Shadow prisms, sapphire skin,
remembering the part of yourself
that walked on water—
until she slept with stones and never came

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