(13th October 1961 / Accra, GHANA)

The Vandal Confesses

Our hammers. Our sticks. This furtive
sporting life. Oh, our gasoline. Clothed
in low-rent autobiographies we slouch toward eviction
like dying brickworks. Outside

is day, a nice big one, floor upon floor
of well-mixed cocktails, and beyond the smog line,
a dissimulation of small birds. In darkness,
the city is a basement. We hunch in its hallways

like Goya's cats, low to the ground and brindled
with enigmatic rashes, stiff in the joints.
Glued together with rye, or blow, or glue,
we are a regular family.

*

Newspaper boxes, billboards, SUVs, Coke machines,
all is lost but for their breaking. We itch
and prosper heavenward on bands of grit and smoke,
our names, unknown, a bloody racket,

car alarm, nothing personal. We rip it up
alright. The trouble's not the tear-down,
it's the stall of afters when our hands hang.
The asking each to each what's next as we lean

inside like crummy tables. No wonder we don't feel
so well. Look here, soup is crawling
out of our bowls. The midtown Scotiabank's topmost
light has turned that cloud the colour of Cheezies.

*

There is a tenderness in things. In things,
ruined. As if, freed from functions we bend
them to, they are newborn to the prime
unalphabeted world. As though this were possible.

It doesn't matter. Burn it. Glass sparkles
my hair, my skin refined with ashes. I've pinched
what tools I own. Material things,
which have no soul, could not be true objects

for my love. Will I see you soon, candled
in the streetlit chalk of some immoderate place?
We could stand in wreckage and adored,
where nothing ever fades before it falls.

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Edgar Allan Poe

Annabel Lee

Comments (2)

I see the inner beauty but I have been corrupted by western media and society to also look for the physical beauty
Beauty described with compassion... One beautiful poem.