Sunday, June 23, 2013

Devil Drives


In 1987, when I was 22, I bought the above poster (which still hangs on my wall today, at 47) and wrote the below poem for her. For 26 years, this stranger has meant something to me.

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The darkness drives me far from where I must be
my knuckles bare in bone-white urgency
clutching the stringent moonlit wheel
that turns, without swerving toward mercy

Roadside,
the sweat-stained fools of late
sip their beer and bet on
who I might be

(There are roads running earthwise
undestined for divergence
stopped stone-cold in tracks that
vanish at some point.

Such things I cannot flee:
the vortex forcing me
toward life without lights
my name on each marquee
the search for an existence
that didn't need to be proven.)

This haunted sky, the moon
I will outlast.

Just ask the garden that once bloomed upright
near my back door, cut by my cold hand
and carted away in night's deadness
by babies oblivious to the pain of thorns.

Ask it what prevails, the bloom or bane
of shears and let the silence be your reply, something
to live with, or not.

Bloody, I await what budding may arise,
fulfilled by a fury purely mine.

That is enough.

There is no leaving me.

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