Departures

1.

From the fourth-floor studio apartment
belonging to my friend in New York
who locked me in when leaving
for the train to P-Town

I decided to depart via the fire escape
then descended to a floor under
construction where an Italian architect
escorted me with aplomb out the front door

into the pale hall from which I waltzed
to ground external key in hand
to re-enter on my own terms
and phone my friend

perhaps to learn psychology
by living the life not quite
my own and dream the fluid motion
of the borrowed streets in time

2.

The only love is sacrifice,
she told me. She told me,
too, that she loved me.
And that no one else

would have wanted
what I was: small, frail,
half chance all I had
to keep me here.

Baptism of gin eradicates
spirits irresistible to
spirits no one else loves.
How is it we are not quite

who we think we are
and thought we were?
Only from distance it looks easy
enough to be a child.2.

3.

If it is home one does not
leave there. Gravity
draws common ground
and sense to spirit

longing to be whole
and here and known
at peace, not
grappling with vocabulary

and divulging what appears
others' intentions. Walk this way
and sit right down.
Listen to your elders

seem your betters, seem
authority as they present
their sodden ways through means
you cannot codify. Or else.

4.

Free of cataracts,
one lures the caterwaul
to housetops. Rain spells
cease this way: desist

in keeping with a lower
than expected margin.
restraint is how we were
when youth overtook

our better thinking,
our way of moving from
this dot to random others
with appearances of

plot line as if intended
and explainable
to opposing counsel
ready to spring on every word.

5.

Sleeping in the mother's house
yields horizontal peace throughout
the long nights of finding out
for myself how little other love

would form, wanted or otherwise.
Skin unbroken still protects
from enemies outside and
interior selves with no sure names.

Selves with no souls
fell from their once
spirited showing of how
to seem alive in an unwanting world.

Desire takes each one of me
outside and points to windows
that look sore and battered
by mere weather anymore.


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