Monday 2/13/2006 12:10:00 AM

The ladder grabs my wrists. Asking me if I can tell whether it goes down or it goes up. There is its grip all I can say is that it depends upon who's there. What they expect of it.

The ladder runs parallel to each of us. There are no angles sharp enough. Only layers of decision. And the spaces between them where careless feet fall.

I'm not old enough. I'll never be. To lose them. Lock those doors. Drop the key. But it's not too hard to let them do the work for me.

Pull that hood up over your head. There's nothing to hear. And the wind is so atrocious.

Covered in and yet exposed. Don't you see me there under your fingernails. There's still dirt to clean from.

One more night won't prove, but it couldn't hurt.

Your open doorway so abrupt as the idea massaged my throat. I couldn't swallow, but I caught a taste.

Leaving in the darkness. Shaking off your wet paint. You're so pastel and you'll never know it.

I could leave a thousand times and still wouldn't know the color you'd painted.

If alone was a shade. Straddling that rainbow we call life. If why were a hue. Willing to color these outlines.

I lost. I know. It's all I've ever done. I lost. But I didn't lose to you.

That ladder tends to lie about what it needs from us.

And it doesn't give directions well.

You're a tenor at hear though you live in baritone.


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