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Probably many someones forgave
my hometown king of used cars
his seasonal commercials.
His chained tiger grown seven years
older every summer.
I never did. And the others—
just this forgetting.
Have a Good Life, Baby.
I’m losing the game I play
that begins before dark.
How far can I run counting
scrub pines to prime numbers
before roadside forests net lights
the way tigers are netted,
before I can’t see
the road leading home.
Nightfall was always the feeling
that came from saying nightfall.
• • •
In a shop near a church
in the center of the city
I blinded myself.
I held a penlight
to my left eye.
I always craved
the red drape I could make
shining lamps through skin.
I pressed its switch—
a spring-loaded blade from within
its heart. Haven’t you ever
reached for light and reached
instead the end,
a bright bayonet?
• • •
What god I loved I loved only for a time.
Suppose at the end of all this were lamps. A gold room
winter readied between trains and the road.
And if we were obliged to abide by decisions made in our dreams—what then?
trouble when the sun sinks?
trouble made snow-bright? trouble in a Brooklyn bigger than our minds?
Faith was never easy—so I never had any
but I can see rupture seam to scar
and call it plenty.
If snowdrifts build by morning I’ll begin a new flirtation
with the ordinary world.
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