YOU TALK TO ME
You talk to me about sorrow and pain
as if your mouth were a wound
that couldn’t be healed with a kiss
and your heart were a vast abyss
with a worm theory at the core
of an apple like this we’re living on
that circles the sun like a planet.
An ice-storm breaks the branches
of your candleabra
and I can hear the sound of smashing glass.
You pull the night down
like an executioner’s hood
over the skull of the moon
as it raises its ax over the hills
and my head rolls across the living room floor.
But I’m not trying to outhink you.
What you feel is what you feel.
I’m not saying it isn’t real.
The stars aren’t looking down upon you
and the candles aren’t trying to make a point
by knapping their flames into spears.
I’m not trying to teach an army of snakes to march
in good order toward some emotional victory
over the things that make you cry.
And there’s no window on the way
to replace the one you broke
that’s dying to give you
a different perspective on your fears.
We’re all afraid
of what we don’t know how to love.
And if you’re suggesting suicide
I’m sorry you’re such a stranger to yourself
you don’t know whose doorway you’re standing in
like the emergency exit of a bad guest
who just showed up for appearance sake
like church bells extolling fake farewells in your wake.
But Orpheus isn’t trying to sing
your way out of Hades again
or trying to charm death
with his prophetic head
to let you go.
It was wrong to look back the first time.
And my music isn’t a valium for savage hearts
when the beast rages at its own wound
like an infuriated Maenad
and tears at its flesh
like a voodoo doll insane with pain.
I’m still working on how to make
a graceful entrance
with my back to the wall.
I’m walking from precipice to precipice
like a feather on a tight rope in the fall
trying to get through it all
as if it mattered that I did.
And I don’t care
what direction I’m headed in.
Any moment I could be downed by a crosswind
and as far as I’m concerned
death can make a bow for me if it wants
and if I lose my balance
I lose my balance.
I’ll take the chance.
And if I’ve been falling for years
like Icarus in tears
as you intimate I have been
then maybe if I fall long enough
I’ll grow wings
and rise above my shortcomings
like geese returning on a spring night
without wax and string
to hold it all together.
You can sit down on the ground
and wrapped in your deathshroud like a bat
have a good cry if you wish
then take eternity home as a shortcut
across your wrists.
But when I meet my ghost on the path
coming the other way
and look it in the eye like my afterlife
we both sit down together
on the sure-footed earth
like a mountain with a good view
of its own reflection
and have a good laugh.