This soul is a fickle thing,
An inferior picture eaten by fungus,
Cooking at the bottom of a shoebox.
This soul is a bloodsucking girl from Kansas,
With halitosis and a knack for spoon-feeding.
It is a steady itch.
It will outlive you, of this I am sure.
There is a pattern to this madness.
A loyalty even,
for without this disease
there was nothing special about us.
Too much of it, and we offended.
Ever see a man with too much soul?
He died fast,
his buttons, we turned medals.
Ever see a woman with too much soul?
She died very well, and left four kids the wiser.
This soul of mine will make god a special brute,
then make a sainthood of me.
It will shame me before many,
like a wife with a hyena laugh,
so that when we are alone and in the nude,
we will do battle,
and biting one another,
Only because — words have failed us,
and the neighbors own good ears.
For there will be blood,
or something close.
This soul of mine will go missing for days,
To come back at 1am on the 30th.
When the pocket is ripe.
I am dying from the rot above my head,
The large Bolivian family upstairs,
have come here to dream like me.
And as there is never an unspoiled night,
our dreams are useless.
There is no grace in this here place.
A stridency of verbal wickedness they have fetched,
an illicit presence they have become.
A family of holy daughters and poor talkers,
A holy daughter will I convert in the hallway.
Her loud people, I will set ablaze in their sleep.
This soul will pack a bag and spit in your hair.
A bus pass to heaven
Sucked out a window filled with grazing Mississippi cows.
The other boys had souls once,
of an inferior spice.
One man spent his life hunting it down,
in the company of Jesus and Krishna and Mohammed.
Trying to live it in,
to rub it in,
to fold it in with clothes in a box
to move to Caracas,
to become one with time.
Another found it in a hairy white wife,
Then left it with a black girl they called Lequisha.
Another lost it in the war,
On a cornfield with shrapnel and dead shoes.
Another worked it for 30 years at the pencil factory,
And had that lead on his soul and fingernails,
as the candle in his farewell cake died,
newer men with new souls to spend came alive.
There was the one man who traded it,
This was needful.
Of what use were we if we had only but one type of soul?
Another man gave it out in slices, for he had seen god:
For this one animal,
I have only but ample malice.