Friday, November 11, 2011

broken places

the clouds were split like the scar of a claw
raked by the moon’s silver venom.
you called me and said you wanted to walk
said you were depressed
and that you wanted to attack the night and talk
about anything that wasn’t being depressed.
since I was the one who had said you weren’t allowed
to walk alone at night you said I was the one
who had to walk alone with you.

that was years ago. the moon has waxed and waned,
becoming a great accusing face,
a silver spoon made to overflow with its own mercury,
melted down in the crucible of our hearts.

we walked a crooked shining silver sidewalk
past a slow stream that wound under a bridge
of bright yellow with streamers flying,
and both of us thought of being kids,
when bridges were castles in the sky
floating high above a night land whose green
and twinkling flow like a river
the color of a peacock’s tail
spelled redemption from all the bloody scrapes
and the throat-tearing shouting matches
that filled our days like the hot sun.

i told you a line i took from hemingway:
that the world breaks everybody
but afterward many are strong in the broken places.

i used to like that sort of thing,
big sweeping cynical speeches
from novelists who knew everything.
now they hurt too much, and the breath
to make the speech comes from a place in my heart
that is too broken for words.

we are broken places, you and I,
and how can we be strong
when we don’t believe in strength?

moonbeams shoot out the ends of your hair
and i hold the sun in the palm of my hands
but all i can remember are three red-gold leaves
that floated to the sidewalk that night,
the silent wind of whose passing
through the river of the moon’s face
silenced us as if forever.

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