Friday, June 27, 2014

A piece of everything

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Bumperstickers In June

A woman’s place is In Control.

Mom is off to work after working all day.
Fifteen and feeling the world burrow its way
out of my blemished skin. It presses against me
like the overblue I chose to paint my bedroom with,
useless fathoms deeped with youth, too small a sail,
too pitiful a rudder, every star a siren of steerage,
the given elements of empire. She will seize the night
as she did the day, for her children, for her children,
the weight of little concern for the days that wait
for what we don’t know, but they will come, they
will come as they always do, they always do.
In this chaos something gathers long enough to
be mistaken for order, some semblance of control
as a pit of writhing vipers, given enough time, will
spell out your name as surely as you believe it is
meant to be clearly written or dearly remembered.

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Nothing is true.

I look to Edna, to Dylan, to Salvador and Ray,
to Kurt and Hermann and George and Kahlil,
anyone who will give me their time, their luck
in finding what wisdoms I lack, which are all
the wisdoms there are. Everything is false if
the opposite can hold together, bind callow
bone to shallow breath, deliver just one young
lad to his future, not a special future, just one
he might call his own for a time. And these
look to me for what they might find in themselves,
something with which to matter somewhere, some
setting sun to cast a lasting shadow beyond, to glaze
windborne in heroed silhouette until night comes.

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Everything is permitted.

If I do this, then I am willing to be held for having
done so. Judgment is a consequence of inaction,
someone once said. Behold the boy that holds the
corner flush with cookie crumbs, radiance reflecting
from the dark realm of facing away from the world
when the smiles won’t stop. This is the price of risk,
to gain a piece of everything for a fleet of moment,
to stand within a tomb of one’s own creation while
the world slips beneath the sand. Tell yourself this:
Not a day, not a night, shall pass that I will not hold it
in some way dear, praise the harsh stars for their indifference,
the wind for its persistence, our forgettable swath through
this patch of time unconquerable until we meet at matched ends.

Joseph Gallo
June 26, 2014

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