Monday, September 19, 2005

Nights are cold in the canyons

Nights are cold in the canyons

Cross your arms when speaking
of your wives and their telephone calls
in the night, on the back porch,
sobs and crickets carrying on through
until sunlight comes over the garage,

Bless yourself again
for having a family
whose eyes saw you falling?
and whose arms caught
you and laid you in a bed
until another morning
came and the sun emerged
from behind
night and morning low clouds,

Give a man a quarter
for what he needs to drink,
nights are cold in the canyons
where you lost flashlights
and pocket change,

Stop speaking of
former loves
and open every window
and listen to noise
that does not come
from inside your cranium
buzzing like electric shorts
in an old house at the end of
an ugly, washed out street,

Kneel when BB King
plays his guitar
or someone reads
a Frank O’Hara poem
about being stunned
because the lights have changed
and the whole city waits for him
to cross the street
and have his breath taken away,

Play your harmonica
until your lips start to bleed
at which time you’ll be ready
to kiss all the invisible gifts
that makes this life worth sticking around for.

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