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new year's eve

taking stock
here at the end
of every tooth in this openmouthed
yawn holler howl of a year:

one suicide,
several survivals,
a bare new soul, and a
string of pearls,
one cold sweet morning hungover and endless black coffee, bashful before the beautiful friends of friends,
dim half-familiar and borrowed homes full of tired refugees teaching each other how not to grow old,
a bullet hole in the roof,
a hundred smoky walks in whiteouts and talk of what’s to come,
one whole night spent crying halfdrunk on the floor in the face of our inevitable and fast-approaching movings-on,
a brush or two with eternity,
characterized by the pouring of stars into eyes like joyful mouths, insatiate, awed to silence finally,
the birth of lightheartedness,
the birth of bravery,
the birth of a mileswide understanding or not understanding,
a misfit band of bodies, warm in tobacco wool coats leather gloves handholds and brandnew brotherly love in a soupy two am forest in early November,
a sleeplessness,
a waking-up—to snow, to the absence of snow, to the thought of snow, to the remembrance of snow, to the imminent return of the blinding white cleanslate of snow,
one long night spent in juniper confusion, proclamations of ultimate beauty, bodies applied in new ways, in the dark, down the stairs, injuries that heal but still pose a mystery, in the dewy wonderful grass, swaths of time forgotten, in acceptance of the futility of youth and one kiss which only one mouth remembers,
alone,
a kitchen bloated with sunshine and the lately risen right to eat bacon at three in the afternoon,
new shoes working toward the erosion of an old town, little by little, in dear junelight air,
a blue autumn beach, long and sweet a hundred times over,
warm coffeehouses lit with music,
four am escapades and storytelling,
purging of souls and hearts in a hundred ways: in beds, on foot, balled up on couches, over the phone, tired, crying, ecstatic, at tables, under tables, glued to tables, in pale hospital waiting rooms, in tangled fingers, in puddles, on rooftops, out of barn windows, knee-deep in discovery,
a few secret breakdowns, head in hands, homosexuality escaping salty out of brandnew opened eyes,
precious breathless streetlight baths
falling out of trees
and, yes, falling in love
staring out from late autumn dirt trails invisible cliff from which we saw our whole childhood world this time tall and swollen and sad facing the loss of a part of our soul
the retention of innocence- a small victory-
many small deaths
new siblings and old siblings and long walks on many roads,
lists longer than legs of what is important and what we must love and never let go of,
beds made of floors and other bodies warmer than before,
chasing cars,
being chased in cars,
standing still,
breathing,
waiting,
holding desperately onto a fraying rope, it chafes our hands, in the thin ari, sunlight burning up our hair, our feet brown, our dreams long, our laughs like birds on a wire, snow below us and green before us, all of us, hand-in-hand, facing the night when it is no longer night, in love, in trouble, young and wild, now and forever, before it snaps its trembling jaws and we
wake up.




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