Today's poem is by Jeffrey Morgan
If this town had a mascot, it would be the man
with auditory hallucinations
who hangs out on Eldridge; more specifically,
how he makes us look away.
He's so spoken through he's nothing
but mouths and mouths, precipitous
until he shuts them by kissing everything
quiet with a needle's tongue.
Right now he's got the gods sleeping
like lions all around him,
got that good lean going.
I hope it's soft and warm in his invisible wind.
His silence seems to ask:
What have you built with your sadness?
Everybody knows it's easy
to score in this town,
in this country. The canopy of each evening
grows, muffling darkly and blessedly
the day's bright demands.
I watch this man from where I sit
in the fancy beer shop across the street
because I have it on good authority
once you make it
you just have to start faking it all over again.
I'm here to say: I can do that.
I'm here to say: thank goodness
for the very dark beers
that pour like night, smell of coal smoke
and once inside us smolder: the process
like a fire in reverse. Thank goodness for the train
whistle shrieking and connecting
arriving to leaving, the living to the dead,
even if that means in the municipal style
of a devoted citizen, I'm looking away again.
Copyright © 2016 Jeffrey Morgan All rights reserved
from Poetry Northwest
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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