Late-Night Lucid

What you discover
after —
after the battered “Yes, okay”
to your heart’s direction — 

is that all of your guns
that once shot enemies and fools
are now trained and aimed
at you.

One Last Chance
to apologize
to recant
to come home.

So you write another poem
as familiar bullets 
speed toward their mark.

*

“Quick!  They’re coming for you!
Call down your god!”

Oh, buddy, if you only understood.
My god runs towards me,
bayonet in hand,
trying to scare me off,
see if I turn.

“Some god!”

Yeah.  My god.
As I take a run at him.

*

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Game

You know that game
where you walk
around chairs to 
music?

	“Musical chairs?”

and one is removed,
leaving someone standing?

	“Yeah?”

I’m the one left standing,
looking at this dumb game,
this violence-inspired
mirror of the human need
to hurt
and wondering

	“Why you ever 
	started to play?”

Yeah.

	“You think too much.”

*

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Beds

Come make love with me,
my friend.
Show me your self,
	whether you’re fast or slow
	loud or soft —
	curtains opened or curtains 
	closed —
let me know, if only
for a minute or more,
you’re just like all the others
with a few tricks up your sleeve.

*

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Victory

“Stand back, stand by.”

I am about to know

I have loam and rock for a back
and blue-grey sky for a head

honor an orange sun yellow
and gaze purple into ink

rest in love
as I have done all these years,
wake to heartbeats
and sleep with all sighs.

Then 

when unripe Boys rape in dirt
and shoot dark;

masturbate dry pricks
blood-smear voided genitals

kill this body
gorge on dull meat
eat our kind
burn our memory;

then

my arms Earth and Sky
my companion-Sun
my love this man

envelop me
pierce this hell
carry me home.

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Drinks

I studied the bar for possible moods — 
what was the one I felt yesterday,
right after the Manhattan?
Was that CareFreeMelancholy?
or CitySad
mixed with WindSweptLoneliness?
WoeIsMe?

No. Wait.

I sent that 
first one back, 
got a TallBud
and rode AwesomeConvo
and his wingman,
BroLove
into the land of 
FuckAin’tItSolid!

Or was that
the AMF?

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“Better”

“You want me to stay?”

The beginning
that unfolds to an end
I won’t like.

Kill that tale now, 
before it becomes our story.

“No. But thank you.”

“Really?” he says,
eyebrows newly engaged,
the way they rose before,
before this had to mean.

“Yes.”

Then he kissed my hand
like a man does a magistrate.
Got dressed fast —
maybe I’d change my mind.
One last glance back

as we began 
better.

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“Browsing”

Library of Memory,
finger on the spines
that hold together
me.

Oh, I do not like this book!
(Though I’ve read it a thousand times.)
I was too young to understand.
How was I to know?
(I knew.)
One night
sags the shelf
that ought to be
in the Restricted Section
(like the old days, when you had to ask
for the books with drawings).
These spines are warped.
Horrible!

I move on. 
My, this one is beautiful.
Just look at its golden cover:
“Full of greeting cards and fairy tales.”
Here, I learn right from wrong
and begin to build My Best Self.
Things work out in this book
(just like a Hollywood movie).
Grandma really likes it.
I really should read it someday.

But they said I could take out only one.
Maybe this one? Bright and Sunny Days?
And there are other rooms,
futures I’ve never visited,
a place for faith. Philosophy.
I really should…

as I bow my head,
reach for Mistakes
and turn to you.

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