January 10, 2012

poem 10 of a poem a day for 2012






 jumping the turnstile



palmed to an itch
tucked vested wander
an old movie stub 
falls out of a rarely worn jacket
and you remember 
when remembering
used to be about remembering
how you remembered
what you remembered
when you remembered  
to look both ways
between the lines
between what the stars draw
even in the daytime
when we walked once 
before there were maps
to show you how I  
might seem to have been
interested in you too
or what you said
or at least pretended
or put up with it in a way
that felt compassionate enough
for you to still believe

truth is all black and white
old pre-talkie vignettes
with rag-time 
piano blood-letting playing
with the smell of beer
I bore you 
to tears now
and no amount 
of endowed 
canvassed art 
can scratch
beneath your 
dammed surface
especially seeing that 
I didn't trust your waters
like I used to

I don't remember what 
I wore to that movie
or if we went out afterwards
I just feel the fuzzy stub
look for all the lines
in the sky
all the whys and the curved arrows
pointing the cardinals ways
I sin when I no longer
can read this road map of life
I never once had to look at
to find a way home in

I never asked 
for directions before
now that's all I do
asking for the ways 
back to a home
I didn't live in long enough
to open myself completely to
keep from always feeling
like I had to be looking 
for every treasure
but my own empty 
closed chest of a heart
filled with dreams
that stolen maps of the future
and pocketed of one-way fares
can bring running still
after jumping the turnstile
and leaving a trail
of what ghosts memory
to take a train
to another time
another way to swim
another way to
get over
losing today
to jump on ahead


EJR (c)

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