local_library Thirsting

by Tanner Boutwell

Published in Issue No. 264 ~ May, 2019

Bedeviled are the uneven alleys of thought

over which my torn conscience has staggered.

Who am I, above streaks of silver water,

limbs of a storm drain, a cracked grimace of reflection?

Leaning all might on the partitions of my memory,

the rhythm of my character, history of my being,

shudders like cable cars to any window sagged of reason.

There, upon all the wrong corners for my impulse to claim,

under the old bag of the sky full of popcorn clouds,

I sign away my fate with desperate leaden hand.

There, through the drift of many jackets,

through innocent suppled strangers,

my cousin of guilt leads a trail of borrowed change.

I hasten to his heels.

For, if I’m to be a poet, am I not abandoned above all else,

whence I should laugh at my thirsting,

silent, forever, as the dead shadow of mime?

Day will break over each tower of my expectation.

Panderings between impossible walls of purpose,

song of forget-me-nots within the duality of time.

Attempting to calculate eternity from bus stops,

straying off, rabid, into the disorient of epitaphs,

whose whispers from our graves scribed the cracks upon our walkways,

how I’m called to bear witness when these crowds here amass,

crossing miles of tombstone in a sullen ballet.

What harping of guilt, what long breath of burden,

to see with uncertain eyes,

only certain of change in reflection of self.

Memories of innocence scrawled yippees over billboards,

flashed neon disillusionment,

like the specter of Starlings as murmurings of youth,

how they fly from the aging mind on the winds of never again.

What rapture of measly sorrow holding traffic in its place,

with its red lights of regret, painted patience of fruition,

to the green lights of greed, and their sleight of hand in time.

Temptation, those windows, through which I no longer bear to look,

mirror my outfit of apologies I had tailored to the tongue,

stitched, with passive patches over holes of abhorration.

Way up, in penthouses, those with silken eyelids,

send laughter down in elevators to my pity on the curb,

but, they only mimic Starlings from their perch a mile above,

still below the rain, and unable to bribe the certainty of which is death.

And I am unable to deface this existential shore,

where an estuary is born from the trail of my tears.

How I envy each tear, offering poems good and bad,

in exchange for my passage, humblest of rites,

for I’ve seen the city through, each clock’s unsteady hands.

Not taking sorrow from me then, for these eyes were truly theirs,

they kissed farewell my skin, floating ever out in being,

I left, so close to silence, back sauntering through the old

and foreign alleys of my mind, where, one day, maybe,

I’ll have cried enough to see.
























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I have traveled extensively. I am a musician and songwriter. I have little formal education, but I dedicate nearly all of my free time to reading and writing.