American Sigh : Switchblade Mornings

Across a breathing indigo field where horny fireflies glow, then vanish …

I have been here before

The way the light shines in
through that window over there
turning the room
the color of a ripe tomato
the spiral staircase
that winds to heaven in the corner
and the chandelier hanging
like an immortal heart
from the ceiling
I have been here before

This is Beethoven’s bench
This is Galileo’s tower, leaning
This is Alexander’s stallion pissing, two thousand miles from home
This is my house, break it down

I used to be Prince Charming
but I couldn’t break the spell
I used to be the sky
but I couldn’t hold all the stars within me
I used to be Mark Twain’s moustache
but I fell away like so many pencil shavings
I used to come here quite a bit
but where is this place?

Tell me where have gone
the switchblade, air-conditioned mornings
that smelled of the cheap perfume
of our overnight, runaway lovers
across temporary, skin-jaded linens
before stereophonic altars of Pearl Jam, Coltrane, and The Cure
the love of bodies
the love of human bodies
stinking amongst it all
feeling amongst it all
here in this place
that I cannot remember

When was it?
August or December

The last time I was here
I was on my father’s lap
eating salted peanuts at a Chicago Cubs game
The last time I was here
my exhausted carbon molecules refused to let go of the sky
and backwards poems were written night to morning
The last time I was here
a traveler saw through blinded eyes
yet had nothing to remember
The last time I was here
the bottle of wine got lighter
and there was nothing left to remember
The last time I was here
I stepped apart from my eyes
with no need to remember
not caring to remember

I used to be in the spotlight
that bled on numbered faces
I used to be a diamond hard engagement memory
but someone accepted me on Christmas Eve
I used to be an Illinois September field of corn
but someone pressed me into a tortilla
I used to be the lantern lit in Paul Revere’s window
but someone yawned and blew me away

Across the sawgrass plains and the twilight and the palmetto swamps
Across a breathing indigo field
where horny fireflies glow
then vanish
Straight on until a morning sun burns the horizon
in front of causeless rebels
running from a dying alternative night for the seventh time
down to a humid, sugarsand beach
down to their t-shirts and panties
into an ocean that accepts refugees
starving and hated

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