Friday 10/31/2008 12:33:00 AM

Dirty fingernails. Empty purse. While she searched for a pencil. To draw her picture. The future in crude stick figures staring up at her. Slavery in the clothes of freedom. She thought. I can go back. Or forward. As I see fit. But no matter where I go. There's nothing I can do to stop it.

We are now. As much as we try to be when. We are skin. Quivering on soft, soft bones. That try so hard, but fail to hold us. We are strapless dresses worn to parties that never leave us. Drunk assassins under our pillows. While we indulge the hysteria of happiness.

I paid my fare and got off the bus. Going back again. To retrieve. The nothing I still hadn't found.

Maybe underwear. Maybe socks. Or their praise like atoms exploding. Too small to see that massive explosion. Just something. Not deflated. Since I had left discarded my clothes.

One ladder. One broken bit of wood. Closer to knowing.

She takes off the polish on her nails. Insists.

It was never there.

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