Today's poem is by Marc McKee
Memory is a Disease of Animals
This is the shirt you wore
when someone you'd hurt wore sunglasses
in an airport at night
and told the woman at the counter
that everything was fine. Fine.
We are populated by each other
and this is a disease of animals.
Whose means include syllables. Jean Cocteau
would have loved this evening,
it's 1930 in Paris somewherethis is a disease
we airplanes have, chasing bells
hooked into the ribs of the wind-licked causeway.
This is the shirt you wore, right?
which burned in water
like a map soaped in gasoline
calling to matches. These are the sunglasses
upon which such scars of streetlights.
We are each alone. You play a fiddle or a violin,
you make the garrote wire bend resonant
and pretty over a box of shadow.
You get the hot fries from the vending machine
like it's nothing. There is a mouth
on either side of you
but only one leopards your neck.
Take / your make-up / off.
We are in this together. Kind of.
This is a city where you lived.
A girl sits cross-legged with her guitar
beside the last window you will have to yourself,
all is well, all is well then the calm snaps.
A boulder sighs down the stairs.
None of the lights are right
but someone mercurial turns a grin out of the ruckus
and it is enough. Before before
you let your foot push hard against the floor,
the silver-slivered night shivering above you
so you nearly thought it would be beautiful enough
to be enough. This is not hell, the night
laced with neon, neon another version of blood,
this is not the same shirt.
If I started saying Sorry or I love you now
I would never stop.
Copyright © 2009 Marc McKee All rights reserved
from The Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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