My words don’t have mouths any longer

my words don’t have ears, they are blinded

beggars lost on a street in Aubervilliers

the blighted tenements weeping their encasement

I see them there still, gathering waste

just as I pull errant wool from barbed wire

and stuff it into your pockets to make you laugh

I live for your laugh even as we both

are expert at sorrow

I live for the feeing of belonging that I have never

found elsewhere

though good god I have tried, I have tried

in the arms of those who used words like water

I love you, I love you, I love you, spilling from their

foul mouths like poison, no, no, no I said to myself

you do not love me if you can hurt me thus

because love isn’t about harm and cruelty

it’s not about abandonment or leaving a person

rent in half, bleeding out on a side walk in a busy city

nor is love about indifference, or getting what you want

you don’t own love, you can’t hire it for a season

love won’t conform to your ideas anymore than

I can gain back lost years where I myself gave away

trying to find belonging like it was a stray cat

the feral in the desire, losing itself to the debris of

people who care, who do not care

for the world is a lofty tower of selfhood

and if you need outside of yourself, watch out!

I always needed you, even as you became

man in a high castle, even as barriers grew like

thorns in a fairy tale, too high to climb beyond

my longing for you and for those ghosts of old

walking the deserted streets of Goussainville

the stink of jet-fuel still permeating its betrayal

graffiti climbing like plastic ivy inside abandoned ruins

that dreary emptying feeling

has built me piece by piece, a shadow reflection

of something approximating real, spray painting

over last wishes with one final nail to keep others out

though I am not real, I am a mirage on hot tarmac

glistening falsely, I proffer hope like deceitful salesman

will stretch his sunburnt arm out, jar of snake oil

balancing on his untruths. You can drown

in 2 inches of water, someone told me that once

and I have been lying here, drowning in 2 inches of water

far, far too long and practice is eventually perfect.

I want to come home, I have wanted to come home

longer than any novel, any run in the seam

of my dry skin, I have wanted to belong in your

surround even as I attempted to find my own way

my own people, people who would help build

a home, a place to belong, that anchor forged deep.

My words don’t have mouths any longer

my words don’t have ears, they are blinded

words lost on a street in pas-de-Calais

where the cliffs edge is a terrible jagged grey

and hopelessness hangs violent on every corner

the scourge of deprivation coloring days

like some kind of communal despair flooded the well

where no one knows who the woman is

who stands shivering, saying nothing

her eyes turned upward to sleeping gods

rain pouring down so hard

you cannot tell where her tears and

the downpour fuse or how

she stands so still, for so long

as to meld with loss

as to become granite.

5 Replies to “Granite”

  1. Reaching the last line
    (feels un-right to say “the end”),
    breath escapes
    thought comes
    “Oh, yes, breathe
    Yes, breathe
    Not like stone.”

  2. It is like I was there with you, or living a parallel life, through a glass darkly. “I live for your laugh even as we both are expert at sorrow.” 🤍

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