EVERY DROP OF RAIN AS COLD
Every drop of rain as cold
as a kiss on the forehead
of a dead baby in its coffin.
And I’m soaked through to the skin.
This rain can’t afford any more flowers.
This rain drives things in
instead of bringing them out.
Except for the madmen with nothing to lose
and right now I’m one of those.
My clothes clinging like a wet parachute
that candled on the way down
and got hung up on a powerline
instead of blooming
like morning glory on the vine.
I’m a Medusan jellyfish out of my depths.
I’m holding my head up like Caravaggio
to the Duke of Naples
full of regrets that it’s me in the flesh
and not one of my stand-in doubles.
I’ve got the whole of Stewart Park to myself.
No teen agers billowing from behind bushs.
It’s hard to keep a joint lit in the rain.
Just an hour
just an hour
to break the severe discipline
of living in pain
and counter-intuitively go utterly insane.
Never come back.
Never be what you should
because it doesn’t leave enough room for solitude.
For the spirit to forget it’s the spirit
and just lay down in the wet grass
like any other ordinary human in agony
in the crosshairs of the lightning
and spreading its wings as wide as my arms
ride freefall in front of the Confederate snipers
trying to shoot the stars out
like Kevin Kostner in Dances with Wolves.
The first time in earnest.
The second in jest
just to prove that death
is only an evil clown
that people take too seriously.
Despair’s the back door to liberation.
A cold bath on the dark side of the moon.
Joy’s the doorbell at the front.
The happy debt-collector that comes once a month.
Apres moi le deluge.
No two of every kind.
No doves sent out to look for land.
Just this shipwreck at the bottom of the sea
looking up at the sheet lightning
of its broken rigging
making neural connections between
the synaptic gaps in the grey matter of the clouds
like a panicked damage assessment
to see if I went down with the ship like a real captain
or one of the rats who jumped into a lifeboat
and threw the baby overboard
like a cradle in the treetops.
A cold wind burrs my skin
like the swan song of a sadistic lullaby.
I lie here obedient to nothing
because I refuse to die
until I’ve lived what I was born for.
And everybody who’s ever given up on themselves
like a bad drug that doesn’t make you happy knows
it wasn’t this.