An Old Enemy Leaving Town

tonight i returned & found you gone
your death spoken casually
on tongues of survivors who live
where home is closed til 2 a.m.
& mothers keep children
from polluted water.

they say you
drank yourself to sleep with
    A CAPFULL FOR THE DEAD
    AND THE FELLAS UPSTATE
a toast to asphalt children
crossing the east river drive
to dance dark green water
at river's edge
in spite of undertow warnings
& because of them.

once after scars had healed
i heard you speak proudly
of our violence
& knew you were alone.

we deserved much better for you than this.

warm summerwine settles in dust between cracks
that once threatened
to break our mother's backs
& wolverines who dwell the pavement
flock to me now with palm & tarot readings
offering full pardon for felonies
we've forgotten.

& they will never understand
why we liked dancing so near
the edge of that dark green water
on the east side of harlem.

by Stewart Brisby

Comments (0)

There is no comment submitted by members.