Friday, May 14, 2021

born naked die the same by Keith Pearson

we built our house from rusted car parts and animal scraps. water runs downhill where we sleep. from our bed we can see the city float at night. oh look the light reflects off your skin like the moon off snow. 
let me taste you. did i mention the bag of stars 
i gathered last night? 
they are in the sack on the floor at your feet.
better wipe that down before you drink. remember what frank used to say. 
born naked die same.
kiss my mouth and taste the ashes there.
everything makes sense
he would say
at the bottom of the bottle.
even the goats were cold ice hanging from their beards. every book in the house became food for the fire then our bed. we wrapped ourselves in the last of the skins when it was still warm. we huddled and prayed. 
sometimes there is no escape
from gods bad dreams.
we let the fools make the soup.
 it was years before we lost the masks. 
folks forgot where they left their smiles. 
teeth remained a mystery.
spoons long forgotten fell from the trees.
in time no one cared. 
such things as gestures and greetings 
became rare
like dogs with good manners.
“you cant try to stay you either will or you wont” – the national
they doctored the moon to stay full. 
it glowed for months.
in time people came to yawn at the sight.
wolves grew tired of howling and walked thru the suburbs every afternoon begging to die.
you and i would sit on the porch and watch 
as it crossed the sky.
we never grew tired of the sight.
one day the rains came and washed it away.
while others celebrated and drowned 
in the flooding streets
we went to bed thankful for what we had.
such lovely bones.
broke off a piece of her sandwich
passed it to him thru the open window.
here you need this more than me she said.
he wanted to suck on her fingers.
as he chewed he asked
will i ever see you again?
as sure as tomorrow she said with a wink
and turned and walked away
and of course 
he never did.
he requested she sneak in 
and smother him with a pillow
but she could not bring herself to do it.
later when they were running 
in the desert an hour before dawn 
from six men 
and a burning car
she understood 
how easy it would have been.

Keith Pearson
I live in southern New Hampshire and works with special ed students at a local high school.

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