I COULDN’T HAVE LIVED IT
I couldn’t have lived it any differently
than it lived me so inseparably
like the moon’s reflection on the water
there’s no point in trying to lift my life
like an emerging face by the corners
out of the developer in a dark room
to see whom I’ve been saying goodbye to
all the years it took to grow into me
all the years I’ve been following myself
like a wanted poster I cut two holes in for my eyes
and wore like a mask into an allnight casino on the moon.
When I look back sometimes upon my life
like a shadow who’s tagged along for the ride
it’s been a long, long getaway to the other side of nowhere
as I’ve lived through these eyeless deserts of myself
from one well to the next
like a slut of water.
And maybe I would have surrendered
if I had found anyone to surrender to
but when I turned around to give myself up
there were no posses in the light
no stool or noose of stars hanging over me in the night.
And everything after that has felt
like the random solitude of the wind
without beginning or end
blowing on the stars
like the heater of my cigarette
to pass the time
and see if I can make them brighter.
But at night the desert turns the mike over to space
and my emotions have a chance to expand
like a herd going over a precipice
or a heart clinging to the moon
like a barnacle on the side of a pyramid sunk in sand
and when I listen to myself
there’s always a left-handed afterlife
living me like a holdup I hadn’t planned.
And then there are times
when I am uplifted by some stray gust of stars
like a dusty fingerprint on the trigger of the moon
I’m pointing like some suicidal holy man at my own temple
trying to convert the thief in me to a new way to steal
from the serpent’s purse that strikes at my heel like a bank alarm
in the desparate attempt of a fading mirage
to prove I’m real.
And then those nights, those long hideous nights
when the darkness hardens like a lump of coal
and shatters me like a windowpane
when I am the least convincing argument
for the existence of God
that I’ve ever met
and the only way that I can forget,
the only way I can keep from going insane
is to live in vain
as if my life depended on it.