Louse

By
What if,
at the sight of men prostrated,
in the holiest prayer,
you feel nothing?

What if Bach is noise,
and an orange tasteless?

You simply cannot get it up.

And if your mother calls,
do you leave the room,
and let the phone get hoarse?

The clock ticks nihil, nihil,
and your bed is very deep.

-- But you dream, and it’s a lake you dream of,
where the flowers split the rocks,
and the trees just slouch over everything,
and really where is the nearest bar?

Then you wake up,
and you’re in the bar,
and the counter is sour,
dark, and shining.

And if your dad is buried in the veterans’ cemetery,
you see a hundred
silent mounds,
and you know just what they hold.

And you know who Joan is,
because she isn’t around anymore,
which makes knowing simple.

So if I asked you what of it all,
would your heart be in your teeth?
There’s blood in you,
living blood,
but there’s blood in birds,
out the window -- do you hear them?





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