Day Eighteen: ‘Milky Way’

April 18, 2013

Tonight, the moon’s gone gold. I perch atop

my car as a pin-point upstroke flares out

through its fuzzed-out speakers. It’s you! You’re back!

You’ve stepped your pointed shoes through the black door

back from your unexistence, unraveled

your rainbow cloak to bear your strings and teeth

and settled down on grass, down from the cloud.

 

You left for nearly forty years, twelve longer

than you ever breathed, sang, strummed, plucked and cried

through your sweet music-box, for you hardly

did so in your daily particulars.

Look at how they’ve packaged your melodies

in plastic cases, how they’ve martyred you,

your milky way miasma coating all

the rich kids in the hills out west, the sad

kids in their quiet rooms at dusk, the midnight

howlers on the skulk for blue meaning,

and all who’ve seen you in the record shop.

 

And when you threw your stash back with the water

and mother found you on the bed feet first —

the city clocks churning, the poor boy gone —

the moon dried up and cracked in spider webs

and blood-pink drained to stale wan white instead.

The day was done for you, but not for us:

Sweet swirl of treble, low rumble of voice,

hypnotic circle motions transfigured

into syrupy waves that swoop and sheath

our tiny ears — in turn, soothing our minds.

 

We ride the road like marbles sliding down

the surface of a board, like tears from eyes,

like streams in lonely forests, like a set

of big brass strings vibrating in the corner

of your green Cambridge room. We lamp the way.

 

We sing your tales on purple nights past twelve

when streets are slicked with talk and lack of hope

and stomachs ache of hesitance to change.

We gulp your voice like wolves at the kill site,

our mouths burning invisible red and swelling

to puffy strips. We need the air you craved.

We live to breathe you in your starry fill.

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