Friday, February 22, 2019


Flesh



The women I’ve loved
stare back at me
from a dream,
faces covered in flesh,
no mouth, nose or eyes,
blanks
that still manage
to see through me
and refuse to tell me
the answers.

*****

2 a.m.


The phone on the wall kept
ringing
ringing
ringing
but I wouldn’t answer.
I didn’t want to hear her voice
unless I was looking her
in the eye,
smelling the cigarette smoke
in her clothes,
tasting the peppermint breath
as she spoke,
no more late night calls
to pull me in deeper     
and keep me away
at the same time.
I’m either in
or I’m out,
the phone was
ringing
ringing
ringing
but all I heard was
my own breathing.

*****

A Private Death



Make the most of it
that’s what everyone said,
but the red lights
kept flashing
while the engine died
a private death.
I didn’t have time
for action,
only words
that weren’t heard
or heeded,
plaintive voice,
pained expression,
didn’t make a difference
to the flesh in white
shitting out self-help turds
as advice
and attitude
draped as freedom.
I made the most of it
the only way I could,
by fading away
until I couldn’t hear
the babble
or miss
the soft touch
of what used to be.

*****



Grave



If I fall asleep
will you come to me
in a dream
and tell me the truth?
Will you show me
my sins
in technicolor?
I can’t hear you
when I’m awake,
come to me
while I’m still
as the grave
and save me.

*****

The Lonely Hours



I had a dream last night.
I was walking through a town
that wasn’t mine,
down brick-home lined streets,
people sputtering this way and that,
children playing,
parents smoking,
life proceeding on its axis.
It was late
when I came upon
a young man with a round face
wearing thick glasses
making a bomb.
I watched as he set it off perfunctorily
and his friends nodded
their approval.
Then he built a larger version,
packing it with
nine inch nails
handed to him by his mother.
a group of sullen old men
walked up and stood too close.
They quietly asked to buy some of the nails
for a purpose they kept hidden.
The round faced kid kept working, replying,
“Don’t have any nails.”
The old men grumbled
“We can see them.”
“You’re wrong,” was the answer they received.
This group,
that moved together
like a school of fish
shuffled away mumbling,
betraying themselves as
people who were used
to not getting what they wanted.
The bomb maker
set off his creation,
the report from the explosives
rocking the early morning,
setting the sky on fire.
His friends laughed hard
and cheered drunkenly.
The bomb maker’s face
remained passive
as if he couldn’t decide
whether what he’d done
was good
or just necessary.
I retraced my path toward home,
eventually seeing the sun come up.
While I absent-mindedly
stared at the orange-streaked horizon
I almost walked into the road.
Two cars,
traveling in opposite directions,
both stopped,
kindly waving for me to cross.
I continued my walk
thinking of all I had seen
through the lonely hours,
waking before I reached home.

END


Christopher Hivner
 



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