Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Haunting Memory

This piece is from (un)SPOKEN. It's been stuck in my head for a while now, as has my longing for another night... at the No Exit, or Heartland... Back on the North Side. For what it's worth, I hope you enjoy it.

Bohemian Parking Lot
With Lake Effect Snow

The acidic flavor of loss
Equal parts bile
And orange juice concentrate
The hazy outline
Of a conversation
With blinding noise
Providing the backing score

This is where the company parts
While the rain comes down
Like a million spears
Thrown by a tiny army of tribesman
Bent on the destruction
Of my temples, if not my soul

Awareness, I am alone
It slides upon me
Draped like a silk sheet
There’s a comfort there
However thin and less than insulating
It may be
The chill spills through me

One pint less and I could likely think
At least join one thought into the next
Without the abruptness
Of rough cutting reality
Inhale the blades of air, so cold
It’s frozen hair to my face in chunks
Adding weight to close my lips

I can smell the exhaust of the car
It’s gone but that’s still here
In the parking lot of Yabo’s favorite bar
This is where it happens
This is where I finally seize the day
Test the fragile bond of life
Throwing myself at its boundary full force

Tomorrow a new day dawns
With the dark heavy clouds
Likely still hanging thick over the L stop
I’ll rise, dress, and coffee myself
There may be enough ambition in me
To shave my face
And dress in worker’s clothes

Walking to my platform I’ll pass the scene
Of tonight’s miserable performance
Only the briefest of moment’s thought
Will be given over
Taken from my bagel and cigarette
The memory will be a haze
And not worth the effort to recall in full

I will force myself not to look into the window
Of the Evanston sandwich shop,
Where you worked
Nor will I look to my right as I pass by
That house where we met
Smoking on the porch over idle chatter
The kind only strangers make with other smokers

The whole of the time I’ve known you will be made
To vanish from my mind’s eye
I will tell myself this lie, until I can believe it
And then I will have died
Or the part of me I most admire will have
Buried under so many wrappers, cartons, and papers
In an alley refuse bin that smells of the rot
I will so keenly feel

But for now I will dwell
I die, as I imagine giving into
A frostbitten death by exposure
And paramedics trying to peel off
The ice solid layers that surround me
I die alone
Because I couldn’t stand to be alone
And so, have driven away those who
Truly matter most 

From (un)SPOKEN, by Dennis Sharpe
copyright 2010

1 comment:

  1. Happy to comment for an opinionated but smart guy :)
    Keep up the good work!