west twenty-first street


the streets howled with me as i screamed
on the phone across the hi-tech stream
bits and bytes, mouth to rae’s ear
“it’s over it’s done now get me a beer”

broken glass somewhere on ninth avenue
cut my boot while familiar buildings on macdougal
made my insanity worse than usual

i replayed over and over the scene of my demise
watching it again inside your eyes
those eyes that lied to me in the darkness of unfamiliar sounds
your voice rang through straight to my swelled
sense of me came crashing down
all around me shards of my shattered ego cut into my gut
kissed my heart shut
with my ego fell long held theories
that people like you
would always seek out
people like me
in dreams of sweet taste, free

and still your eyes continued to betray you
and the thoughts your lips had forbade you
an abyss of anguish spilled out in that look
it broke me down, so for my turn i took
the chance to show what you had blown in me
some smoldering frenzy you left alone in me
out from darkened room into the darker street
my cheeks flushed with rage my head flushed with need

away from the cab away from your lies, your eyes
that said your desire for me was overwhelming
and your lips that said you would not surrender
to it or to me
you would not resume the misery
that always followed us again
no instead
you’ll transport that anguish over to me
and think comfortably
that i’ll be okay with it since i was the one
who’d walked away first from what we’d begun

i only did so to respect the limits
of desire and passion versus commitments
limits you so clearly marked with your phrase
and so fiercely blurred inside your gaze

i won’t see you next time as you suggested
because i won’t have the courage to be twice rejected
i won’t let your words shatter my gut
and closed it shall be, the door that you shut


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