Sunday, October 26, 2008


Here we go again, another blackout town. A town
Like all the rest. Fact every town’s the same, at night.
And it’s night when I make my way, away from all
The scurrying, screaming, gawking day-hustlers.

The endless footsteps headed down some nowhere street.
The punishing rain like spray of gunfire under the
Cold gaze of streetlamps. The stinging glare of a
Million signs that hang like neon snakes off buildings
That seem to stalk my movements with bullet-hole eyes.

A gathering of dead-enders by a doorway, dry
Under canopy cover to the same motel where the
Desk-clerk shoos out all frowners and loners with grim authority.
GO AWAY. NO WELCOME. The words spray-painted on the door.

Out of nowhere a woman takes me by the arm and speaks in
A voice full of false lust. “You ain’t from around here, are ya?”
Cracked lips curl to reveal bent, smoke yellow teeth.
“Well I’s bet I can make you feel more at home.”
I burry my hands in my pockets, hunch over,
And keep moving.

Steam rises from grates like ghostly pitchfork arms as
I catch glimpses of others who pass by.
Pale faces, sallow faces, faces faded of hope.
No acknowledgement.
Is their life behind those shattered expressions?

A man more resembling a wet dog, half-naked, filthy, kneeling
In the gutter trying to wash but only dirtying himself more.
He catches me with crazed, shimmering eyes and says,
“Cleanliness next to godliness,” rubbing down
Bony shoulders and jutting ribs with a brillo pad and cheap wine.

Another man, this one in a suit with peroxide hair but no less
A beast, shouts mad words over me, spittle flying as he
Shoves a pink pamphlet in my hand, all about salvation and
Ruin. Our ruin. I throw the crumpled papers on the ground,
Watch as they quickly shrivel up, going all soft and blotchy.

Far off sirens pierce thru the blackness. Car horns
Blare, the traffic roars along, their fumes hanging
In the air, pungent, harsh, choking-harsh,
Like death. My death. Her death.

But what choice is there, now?
What’s done is finished. Over. Obsolete.
Gobbled up by an unquenchable past. Got to
Keep on moving. Where to next?

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