In the morning her long hair drapes like black tears over her shoulders,
her Hispanic bones bruised with alcohol and sorrow
so that when she says good morning I am separate and adrift in those empty fields
where once I drove herds into the distant pastures that maimed their long necks
with the wisdom of Jehovah
and if I can say I’m sorry for being who I am I’d say to her how beautiful she is
her body like a stalk of corn
but all that can be put aside so I just say
“You look nice too.”
I’ve been here for awhile,
the world outside whispering into my lungs
as the thorns in a garden where the roses bleed into the firmament
as if what words we have to describe them turn out to be a paradox of ignorance
and poems that talk about the sea.
It feels as if all my wits have been drawn out of me with its opiates and pictures of quiet places
where a man can sit beside the fire
and think not of himself
or how he feels sorry for what he’s done
but that amid the so called suffering there is in the passage
where ideas travel as sirens amid the ether
a thing so much like peace it need never seek either in heaven or earth
the patience to explain in its dark ethos the poetry of the stars.
The beautiful woman who says hello will not say hello again,
she will disappear and become the past
to remain the woman who was there when I made my exodus from opiates
as she is an idea to stand tall against the lotus eaters.
In this place we are all outside the common highways
where men and women travel into emptiness and sing songs about America.
But that’s ok because it’s outside, like carrion,
where we pick at the edges of meaningless dreams and want to meet our maker,
as if it doesn’t matter what happens
or how hollow the chances of paradise
only that in this place if we need love
that longing is the lesson where in loneliness lambs tame manned wild cats
with their unflinching clemency.
So I stalk through all this,
these tired riddles that give love to no one
but build a tower the winds should cast aside
while poets sleep and wander through their own beautiful Atlantis
Keith Aaron Munroe was born and raised in Northern Virginia. He has spent most of his life trying to be a writer. In the past he took care of horses for a living.
Image by Sharon Mollerus, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons