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I have been given over
to the company of voices
singing new blues
and asking old questions
speaking well into the night
like two friends
two anthologies of secrets
on the edge of an end
and a beginning
and held in place
by a liquor of choice that
best keeps the spirit
scattered in
manageable fragments
for the words to come easy,
shielded by the makeshift
anonymity of shadows
but seeing just enough
of the light to slowly
edge towards it,
telling the truth
in bite-sized pieces,
no bones, long buried,
to choke on
but a whole, a soul,
nearly fluid
70% water
where all bitterness
and sweetness
is diluted
shaken not stirred
into chaos, then
entrusted to time and
the physics of
a sifted memory:
heaviest elements
at the bottom
while the pigments,
weightless enough
for the surface,
stay afloat to reflect
the moon shining
through the window,
the washing waves edged
in satin and bouncing
the sounds of footsteps,
past and present,
of slamming doors and
wailing sirens and
cries of fire that
had been extinguished
these voices
like vessels docked
on a sleepy harbor
that has seen loneliness
and passion and stillness,
home to takers of
journeys only half real,
the other half a phantasm
where wistful hours
from childhood
riding the school bus
or the train had faithfully
consigned to mind
certain details,
that they might, later,
project them onto
the road you’re on
and surprise you
with how much you remember.

image from the blog Downtown from Behind


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