Sunday, October 23, 2011


Image borrowed from Rob Kistner


I lift myself quietly
very quietly
from beneath the sheets
soiled with neglect
soaked with my nightmare

I am again awake
from another long dark night
that began with fear
fear I might not survive it
and ends here in sorrow
realizing I did

I rise
make my way carefully
past the shallow-breathed crumple
that lay milky-eyed
in a heap on the floor
save a twitch of the head

a head which now harbors demons
where nocturnal angels of sweet release
had lain down lush upon it
in fevered embrace
lustfully conjured
by last night’s spoon and lance

still skewered silver in the soured vein

this wreckage is my mother
I stop but for a glance
verifying life
then move on head down
angle to the bathroom
to the scum-brown bowl
to wash my face
lit sallow by the yellowed bulb

that hangs bare and lonely
strange eyes
eyes of knowing
eyes of sadness
stare into the mirror

broken as my heart
a great grief courses through me
weighing upon my being
burning into my heart

threatening to overwhelm
I want to cry out
rail against my misfortune
but there is no one here to hear me

no hero that can help me
so driven by the instinct to survive
fueled by the urgency to flee this blight

I shudder away the paralyzing sense of loss
in this dank foodless morning
in this ruined single room
in this coat-less chill of pre-dawn
I gather up my books

and move

I step lightly through the door
down the damaged stairs
into the hostile streets

heavy with this childhood of strangled dreams
I duck and dodge
in and out of shadows
praying to once again avoid the evil
that lurks and slinks
among the garbage and graffiti

of these crumbled bricken’d canyons
that rolls slow and lethal
gripping cold blue steel

in predatory drive-by
seductive as a smile

deadly as a snake
which if diligence should fail

I fear will consume my soul
deliberately I continue
until at last I find my way
to the building
to the classroom

to my desk
to the only hope
to which I dare cling
• • •
rob kistner © 2011

Posted over on his site Image and Verse
Listed as #13 over on Magpie Tales 88

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