Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Poem: We All Fall Down

                                                                                       Inspired by cocorosie's song, Gallows

Judah loved us. His
fingers often  traced
the lines on our
throats, marking
the passage of blood.

He sat stranded
on a tree branch,
his dirt-curls sweeping
across his face with wind
and our breath.

We touch him. Two
pair of hands to unbutton
his coat, pull feet free
of socks like the ebb
of a small ocean, pulling
the tide of yarn back
from his pale beach-skin.

Two sets of fingers to
skim across his milky
collar, turning it down
neat as the line
of our stark fence
surrounding our house.

Tonight the townspeople
came, noose in hand,
their faces tied up
in a swelter of hate.
Their prickly words stick
to his bigamy as tightly
as their hands stick to him.
Flushed, they wrap
round Judah, dragging
him from our home
like the sun being pulled

from the sky, wrapped
in black
and eclipse
and loss
and his beach in
our hands, sliding away
with every wave
and his hair twining
with the bright grass,
slipping between
blades to cradle
his rock of a head
until his breath drains out.

We wrap arms around
each other, but it’s
no good. We lay down
beneath the willow
tree, his sepia photo
wrinkled between
our hands, our hair
clinging to rough roots as
though the tree might
keep us from
the ground. We eat
handfuls of Daphne
berries, the red
glowing as we drop
them into our
mouths and sleep.

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