Saturday, December 1, 2007

No epic so epic

There was a snowfall deep
and quiet in November
when the heat was still such
that snow felt soft to the touch.
When the red-haired girl was,
when the blue-eyed was not,
innocent, but for grey
streaks against the snow-
clouds against the sky-
smoke against young lungs:
they used to cough so much.

Black rubber tar tires
worn through, sliding in snow.
Winter splattered with salt stains
and dirt-caked shoes worn thin;
dear then but not worn again.
Then, when drink was always gin,
burning pine needles,
great mouthfuls of fire,
charred christmas tree guts:
they fought back so much.

Basement party epiphanies:
"Graham, the Bowie Boy who kissed me,
the girls would look on and laugh,
he used to say he tasted honey."
Lips were never that sweet,
soft, yes, and warm, but
smoke black and cracked,
bleeding gums and lips,
dry from electric heat:
they used to know so much.

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