I’m guilty
of getting lost
in a good book.

Forgive me, author.
Your intended words
were not the ones I took.

I saw your blank spaces
as empty pages to be filled,
your story’s margins as gardens
for my imagination.

Your toil served as soil –
nutrient. Rudiment
to grow my artificial rose,
to read my known,
my old words
like they were new again.

I penned within yours
a book
which I forsook.
Estranged, I placed
your sweet name
as my pseudonym.

Reading you
was writing
what I wished to hear.
To you, I’d been ascribing
all of my hopes and fears.

Attempts in vain.
This timeless story
always ends the same.
Finding out that all along,
my scrawl fits not the type.
You can discern the printed word,
and everything I write is wrong.

This age is jading.
The mind so barred to change. Its
taught decay is fought.
Every day reach through the chain link.
Hand me a piece of chalk,
so I can spill my brains out on the sidewalk,
hopscotch on my thoughts,
and stamp out all the rot drawn on the pavement.
Jump back from 10 to 1,
smudge the lines again from absolute to maybe.
One leg alighting faintly
to never plant two firmly in a box.

Embrace this pace.
I’m ice, glacier
displaced to the equator.
Wayfarer in the fast lane
making chasers cry for their creator.
Despite irate tailgaters’ brine,
I take my time reading faded 55s
off aged highway speed limit signs.
My deliberate perusing,
raisin’ Cain,
takes out the juice and
reintroduces Eve to the nutrition of the fruit skin.
Microscopic chews.
Zoom in to see my movement.
This tempo brakes the mold.
Say “welcome” to the new sprint.

Knolls of auburn leaves desiccate in the yard like mummies. Their moisture hangs above them, a foggy quilt of souls mourning their flesh and bones. Cold, gray ghosts trudge inside from the wake, again seeking the warmth of residence. Tears condense on the window pane as they permeate the threshold of the living and the dead. The apparitions’ silent entrance is welcomed by the thin, mottled carpet which stretches like skin over the firm skeleton of the earth. You can feel everything here, in sparta. Sense it all. Even hear existence. The analog wall clock clicks low – the joints of ancient time pop cadently as it creeps through the quiet stillness of the early morning. I want to bathe in it, to prune in it, this slow narcissist’s hour: to listen to every twitch of my muscle fibers; to be overcome by the whispers of my own animation; to be able to hear myself live. Give me a peace of my own to disturb. A snarl of hunger rings clarion from deep within my belly, cutting through nothing. My pampered throat craves the scrape of greasy hash browns and the citric burn of orange juice summoned from a brown paper bag – angry fodder. Nothing more serene than to desire audibly in the company of ghosts. Oh, to live amongst the dead.

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