the recoil of you is

stalking me through evergreens

espied with amber eyes and the men’s cologne you favored

the last time I saw you, you wore a faded-blue ruffled shirt

like something Elvis may have discarded, yet dirty in a way

both of us couldn’t scrub free of

I saw the lines of travel in your face, as keenly as my own reflection

a sharing of madness, the opal too exquisite to turn away from

there are forks in roads, splitting survival from living dying

I had long borne the latter; a felted outline in my prescription

you knew this, as palpable as you knew how to con and lie and deceive

we were after all, born on the same day, 11 years separate

few things are coincidence; how broken people end up

standing by the same pool of oil, reflecting color in darkness

I could have met you in a bar, drinking yourself damaged

but neither of us frequented them any longer

you were cleaner than I ever was

maybe it was Protestantism versus the Catholic

or the run of madness in me turned cold, whilst yours

flamed magical

I heard shattering pain in every ounce of you

and I couldn’t help even myself

as you drove off, I wanted to say

words that didn’t exist for splintered people

and for once I was certain

gut-instinct doesn’t trick

walk away, it said

even as you are

lost and wanting

this is a mal road

both of us

two sides of the same

flattened coin

One Reply to “Coin”

  1. And at my inner ear I heard a few lines of a song about advice from an old gambler.

    “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
    Know when to fold ’em
    Know when to walk away
    And know when to run”

    There have been people attractive to me and attracted to me in regard to whom that advice was clearly the best.

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