Tossed on the heap
I molder under the weight of a thousand gulls
picking at my eyes, coveting my liver.
Just another pile of bones
leaking marrow onto the streets of gold.
What is it about this place?
It’s as if the sun will never show forgiveness,
return to shed light and shadow
into the darkness
where I make my bed.

This back was not shaped to sleep on stones and roots.
These hands were not fashioned to hold the beggar’s cup.
Once, the world was in my hands.
Water ran through my fingers and
whet the seed of my dreams.
Then water turned to sand
slipping through my fingers,
every dream a grain of regret.
Now I carry my spirit like a cross
or a yoke
-anything but the light it is meant to be.

Even the water of Cana has become poison
-injected to kill dreams that refuse to die.
Death is not the release I seek
-it is a distraction-
a mirror I wear around my neck
to reflect the fear in averted eyes.
There is no mystery in this potion
only the numbing relief
serving us equally
without prejudice
at opposite ends of the table.

The illusion of you and me has its purpose
-a cloak for shame
a fog to hide the ugly truth
-we are the same
-from the same womb
-joined in the same graceless fall
-we are the two sides of madness
-we are chained,
bound by madness and fear in the fall from grace.

Bones, backs, spirits
are not made to be broken.
Streets of gold are not made of lead.
Dreams are not sand.
Water is not poison.
Truth is not ugly.
The illusion shows us what is real
-there is no difference
-no razor’s edge
-no one step away from the heap and the gulls.
There is light
and the reflection in between.

*revised from August 2012