Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Charles Goldman - One Poem

Like Our Deaths


Unruly relic hanging in the air.
Disintegrate. No one is watching.
A brick falls, glad to finally
be at rest in the tall grass. Enfold itself in leafy
darkness. Rapture, to endure nothing
but time, among selfless bones.

Here is my motto. A motto.
Gripped tight. Like holding up
a flag against the wind.
The wind likes the flag.
Huge wind hands grapple it.
Fuck you, wind. You hook.

I am here like a bone is here.
Like chalk marks to designate
the new mural. My corona
glowing with germs under light.
I march. People need to be powerful.
But not like the powerful.
They need to be seeds
and scatter themselves

Like servants,
like savants,
who read the final chapter
and saw in it, something which
rubbed their chins.

From the rubble
Hoists a white, quadriplegic monkey. We turn our backs
and count to ten. The return
of surprise devolution is promised
and we are the joy which rubs its back.
And yes, it is really just a monkey,
not an uncomfortable symbol, like our
dead souls, like our deaths.

You have made the water.
The sky is your huge festive apron.
You have spoons! O
meat! The cow's fawning eye
is tasty. Covered in ketchup,
we laugh. The joke is on the cow,
now in the sky.

Butchers have come
to make mince meat of our handiwork.
What they enjoy most is our tears.
We give them a river to work on.
We watch it go and need to play games.

Spend an hour or so coping.
The neighbor is smashing apart his house.
He smashes apart the store, and then burns his house.
He burns a car and his house.
He buries a life in forever deepening soil,
his life, his soil, it is in his blood
like a nagging root.

Too numb to notice a shiny bird on the staircase,
flittering tiny wings. Happy chortle of friendliness. I approach.
Yes, I am attracted. Yes, I am smirking. It likes to sing for its sex.
We could learn from that. We could all learn to sing for our sex.
But we are numb. Looking out, I see a lifeboat adrift in a swift current.
The remedy, blink three times and turn away.
Open up those swollen eyes like big, empty hollows,
like our deaths.

Charles Goldman grew up in the Clason Point neighborhood of the Bronx. He attended high school in Manhattan at The High School of Art & Design. There he was taught about poems and prose by Daisy Aldan. His collection of sonnets, No Fear, was published in 2010 by Virgogray Press. 

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