I Fight With These Words

Color my bruises in,
Before I read for you/yours from a podium of light.
Watch the accursed poet fade in that yawning room.
When in splendid exile,
When I am barely dead cold,
Hunt down my missing teeth with the lamp.
Copy these little scribbles on my collarbone.
Hide the bloodied drapes and broken plates.
Come closer, smell me die in another haiku.
Hold out unsigned paperbacks, take a slice of me yet.
Oh, and watch me hold my breath under the sea.

Red scratches are the loving registers of my golden/olden lover.
Black-eyed man.
Broken woman.
Uncooked egos.
Carpet burns.
Splinters underfoot.
We rival now for space in my bed/head.
Don’t wake our/your children for this.
I simmer in the quiet of purple dawns.
I relish the bite of dying ashes in clenched fists.
Oh, and I hide a blade in the cabinet with the cigarettes.

I die/lie for/to you every time I lace words.
To agonize under this nightly art/disease is a comical paralysis.
I fight with these words,
The street urchins haul stones my way,
And I fall off cliffs in dreams.
As I ever have. As I ever will.

When this art is good enough,
When it is nearly sufferable,
With a good house wine and a little more salt.
Hunt down my missing teeth with the lamp,
It must have been a good night.

In Memoriam: Rafal Wojaczek (December 6, 1945 – May 11, 1971)

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