Daily Archives: February 14, 2010

Passing Through

You say

shame’s like a cracked tooth.
It keeps you wincing delicately
at odd times, but then
you move, you pass
through. You pull
the pain
and leave a hole.

Other feelings, other definitions
float by.  You seize the most
arresting ones for yourself:
happiness, you say, is a dark
choice made in
sunlight; grief an infant
left too long alone
on a quilt in a bare room;
anger a rare bird
of cracked leather
flying blind; love
a ridiculous suit. 

It’s delicious to some
that you are so swift
with this.

You are passing through
and throwing no shadow,
only a description of a shadow.
Solidity offends you. You mold
your boundaries as if they were
fresh from the clay bank,
never to be fired. 

Tomorrow, you’ll say
shame’s a donkey, grief’s
an egg on a ship’s deck, love’s
a new ribbon on an old flag.
And happiness? Happiness
is anger, is happiness. For you,

emotion itself is
simply a blanket you hem and re-hem
so it doesn’t unravel when you pull it
up over your head. 

Horror
is seeing
or being
a man with a pen
in his chest
where he should have
a racing heart.

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