Don’t want to live forever, dwelling
spiteful on the bad old days, the kelly green
earth with its filthy nooks & crannies &
everybody dying young of typhus & childbirth
when forever was a decade or else Valhalla.
I imagine all the virgin martyrs reclining
in the rickety golden halls of the afterlife &
shaking their dear old heads at us deeply
hung over on our couches like television
heroes rushing headlong into an oblivion
we do not understand but prefer to a future
where nothing wicked this way comes.
I stand accused of a bunker mentality &
to that I say come find me at my place
out on Pulaski & see if familiarity breeds
something more than contempt. Let the acid
wind play havoc in your hair. Get some
color in your cheeks. I fear I am doing this
poorly. Do you understand what I am saying?
Like you I read stories all my life & was
promised one of my own until someone
told me it was not to be. He dug it up
& dismantled the scaffold that kept hidden
what wanted hiding. Useless. I have made
from the soft & docile creature I would rather
not be—fucked to sleep with kicked-off socks
like white mice on the floor—an implacable
& household sort of deity who has no reason
to go looking anymore. Looking I mean
for the something lost somehow in my small
& crenellated globe though perhaps there is no
version of this world old enough to please me.

Photo courtesy of the author.