February 11, 2015

Contradiction of Contradiction

Can you untangle the fibers
That twist and intertwine,
That overlap and mask each other,
Pressing against bone and rushing vein
To form your mind?

Even as you pretend to discount them,
The things you feel deep in your gut,
The things that wait beneath your thoughts
And grant solace to your frustrated acceptance
And subtly prophesy the incarnation of themselves—
These things too will fade.

When ignorance becomes a comfort,
And you strike out against sense,
Welcome the skull that restrains your mind
And the mind that restrains your soul
But do not abandon pursuit.
The triumph of contradiction
Is a contradiction in itself.

February 6, 2015

Light from Dark

During the day,
The city is all rushing bodies,
Ceaseless whispers,
An assortment of lives streaming together,
Spilling over each other,
Flooding the streets
With an urgent vitality. 

Faces without names
Crowd into the subway train,
Names without faces
Glance at you from pages and signs.
Humanity is restless, tireless,
A feverish burst of energy
Imprisoned by flesh and cloth and lipstick
And the cruel tick-tock of a thousand watches. 

Beneath the city’s asphalt skin
Something low and old and ominous,
Some death knell,
Rings.
But the telephones ring louder,
Echoing through the labyrinthian veins of cubicles
In the city’s concrete atriums.

During the night,
The city is softer, friendlier.
Antique memories pace
In empty buildings,
Letting the streetlight melt
Through the windows
To reflect on their ghostly eyes.

The shadows of the people
Who have walked the now-abandoned halls
Gather in the corners,
Beneath the windows,
Sheltered from
The blinding industrial glow.

Crawl into the shadows,
Lie by the memories,
Feel safe.
Alone, resting, tiring,
Momentarily freed from
The cold metal hands
Of a thousand clocks,
The cold metal peals
Of a thousand church bells.

February 1, 2015

An Unaccompanied House

An unaccompanied house.
Nothing but dark grass,
Darker clouds, withered air
Around.

But the house is warm,
Full of breath and voice,
Full of tender memory
Wrapped in old blankets,
Trapped in the soft glow of lightbulbs
And the stacks of dogeared books.

The rooms are small,
The doors are locked,
The walls keep out the cold shadows of night
And keep in the warm shadows of people.

I stand outside,
Looking in.

I would smile once more
To see one more breath
On the breathless air.