TG (March 18,1963 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

At This Point

Everything is burning - scorched with flames
sunsets rupture rafters of elevated trains.
At my age fire forges -
a small blue jay's fury due
to a squirrel's imposition, a child
dancing in front of a video
monitor at Target, a man
tearing up a ticket stub
of another lost lottery.
Now more than ever,
everything is burning with my desire
to establish a legacy -
be it justice or honor dashed
with mercy and forbearance; be it
fame and piety or pity and remorse
stacked up against the saints.
I could forgive all cheaters
and dope dealers and athletes
who corrupt honest dreams by marketing
scandals.
Who killed my sweetheart?
She who let me in and kept me a part of her
on those cold winters when we fought off wind and rain
on the corner of Hancock and Ontario
amid the druggies and whores.
I could measure out my life in a video
montage begun and ended with fades of black.
I think now of all those lyrics
wasted in my marble notebook
and my remorse in not sharing them with her
or not offering them to the gods.
After all, everything is burning - the power
of elms, the force of drifts, the spirals of spring,
the seduction of sweat. I can't have life
the way I planned and dreamed, but must
make of it what I can - a broken egg,
a charred piece of beef, a curved wing,
a last chance, a lost resort.

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