I ran away from the big city

it called me back

with its melancholy allure and wrinkled cigarette mouth

smelling of aniseed and stale semen

I saw myself walking among the throng still

bright cheeked, slapped by vigor, supple limbed

the murmur of a million souls touching shoulders

rubbing their lives, increment by increment, to fine dust

a mutual hunger lain on them, like wet fur coat

I could see myself opening the door to my old apartment

the ghosts of all who tried before me, fading into dry linoleum

as the newcomers vanquished the past

painting over, believing sincerely such things could ever be lost

building hipster palaces over former squalor and dolor

I saw the raisin ghosts set loose in busy streets

relieved not to have to haunt their former faces

tarred air yellowed with their lifeless breath

a collective orgy of dead and neonate

vying for glory against fetid slop of histories

stinking, clamant body of evidence

pouring its next cocktail of sloe gin and hemlock.

I ran away from the big city

before the needle took me, before the weight of a stranger

breaking into my soul, became a rhythm

before empty eyes proclaiming love, when they should have said a fuck

tore my petrichor innards and hung them, garters for crows

in the slag heap of detritus and violated mornings

I saw myself there; through steamy windows, practicing ways to die

held up by gaffers tape and pins that continually chaffed the breakage

still yoked to the cities dissolute caress

like a green foal will defy the bridle until

its bite is greater and it buckles

until time devours instinct

and we forget completely

the smell of chlorophyll 

6 Replies to “odor mortis”

  1. coming from you my friend- who knows poetry – this sits as a happy moment in my soul – thank you – so much

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