“The most secure place to hide a treasure of gold is some desolate, unnoticed place. Why would anyone hide treasure in plain sight? And so it is said, ‘Joy is hidden in sorrow.’”— Jalaluddin Rumi
Why can I not forget when forgetting is the cure?
The warm, wet beach hisses and coos, but her allure
Belongs to those who want to rest. I do not want to rest.
“Listen to your doctor,” they say.
“You are but human! You can’t go on like this!”
And the blood tests reveal that they are right,
And so I take my pills and promise to take better care.
But I lie. What good is this sort of health?
The stubborn dream breaks its back on the rock of daylight,
Over and over like a piston on the verge of failure.
Am I to no longer dream?
The other day I had a splendid dinner, alone.
Another patron asked if this seat was taken. I said,
I ate across from her hallucination. I knew she was
She toasted “to us,”
But the words were muffled like heels on carpet,
Untraceable footprints. Who left them?
Yet the clinking glass was real—it cut my lips
And the water and the blood quenched a thirst
That was not mine.
That night I couldn’t sleep. Did I want a snack?
Was it the blinking moonlight flashing
Like an ambulance, the crickets like a siren
And my restless body weaving, honking,
Only to arrive too late for morning?
My eyes are a broken camera. I shutter,
But all is out of focus.
Am I to discard myself, or try again?
I’ve become a hungover photo:
There is an outline of something blood-black,
Unerasable, a horror of semen and tears that recurs
Like the beating of a bat’s wing, up and down
Against the still page that stretches back to birth.
O, would that I could but drown in that moment
Before everything fell apart!
Yes, I’ll tell you why I can’t forget:
I prefer the pain of living madness to the equilibrium of death,
And if this love is incurable
I shall drag it out until
There is nothing more that can be done.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
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