It takes so much out of you,
not the living, but the space between.
When it’s so cold clouds can’t form,
the sun sees everything.
His hair like burning tassels
of what could have been piled up behind
a bus stop, snow white as magnesium
stacked like newspapers against every door
his body beneath too few jackets
watched only by the few visible stars tonight
and Mercury’s burnt glow, the one time
the absence of a cop car is missed.
He lays down like a fact—
I flag down a cab and feel the earth turn,
enough drinks to warm my insides, vision
not blurred enough for me to pretend
not to notice.
Where is the yellow mane I once wore?
What can silver padded under eyes
tell about history? See, that one will
smash glass on a cold night, find
a form in the fracture, and this one
will choose life as a pale-spectre
instead of chalk or street architecture
I have been both.
the pillars of my body, Samson,
the maleness I was born with—yes,
I was born with—you knew I would
betray and yet you let me play in rubble heaps,
make calls at public telephones orphaned
by their shelters. I run my hands through
the hair of night, feed tangles
of unwanted feeling to the razor.
I’m not here, rather half
underway—becoming can be
its own fixture. Let not this heart
worry about that now, slide in
between the shadows, even
the snowbanks know a certain
kind of seeing.