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been digging for my heart
it always seems out of reach
but i’m reading the chart
i’m talking to trees

not too sure of the politics
can’t keep up with the fuss
got this coat from the lost
& found, i get looks on the bus

we all glide thru the city night
we’re all taking this trip
we’re all using the same hard drugs
but we’re trying to quit

gonna grow my hair long again
find a wavelength i trust
buy a new quilted cardigan
find someone’s mother
to ****
Dawn breaks on the quiet countryside.
The nightlife ghosts shuffle away to their daytime hideaways.
The strand of oak, bough of pine,
crevice of cypress.
The final inhalation of night.

The early bird janitorial crew wakes and makes sounds
to each other as the sun spreads across
the quivering Bahia yard. It drinks up the dewdrops
and straightens the fenceposts with kindness as it finds error.
The sun finds me, too, naked again, on the porch
and seeks to stretch my skin taught against my frame.
I scrape a toe callous across the brick of the porch step.
It is Wednesday the nineteenth.
It is 6:27am and I am grateful to be here.

As the morning mist unravels in the exhalation
and the crows set to work aerating the soil,
my attention drifts to the breeze and how I can nearly taste October on it. A red-tailed hawk observes this scene as well,
unbothered by the fettering mockingbird,
patiently waiting for the over zealous rabbit
or the confused field mouse to make itself apparent.

The girl in my bed routinely suggests coitus
on mornings such as these, with crispy autumn leaves drifting down outside the window. Which begs to be painted, white chips peeling in the dry fall air, but she says leave it --
she likes to pick them out of the flowerbed
after we ram the bedframe against the interior.
She likes to keep them.

Instead, this morning she’ll settle for bacon and eggs without much complaint. Although she will leer at me murderously
from behind her mustachioed cup of creamed coffee. She won’t tolerate my advances afterward, either --
insisting on her lateness, or mine,
or the cat pawprints
on the hood of her car.

She’ll hum through my comments
about the sunlight, the dew, my personification of the hawk.
She looks over the top of her phone when I mention ghosts, but happily returns to scrolling when she realizes I’m full of it.

And so, then, off we go.
Each with a bushel, and a peck, and a hug around the neck.
The quiet morning has been ruined. Although I tried, I failed to grasp it in its totality, failed to convey to you its extreme beauty.
It lies at our feet in shreds.
I know I will never have
a morning like this again,
not exactly like this,
and I’ve let it slip away.
take me down to the river
bathe my body in that brown water
caress me as i writhe and shiver
i promise you hell cannot be hotter
so bury me deep in that southern wet

because last night i found her lying
in a pile of white sheets on the floor
the sunset kissed her ribcage
but it wasn’t heaving anymore
her hand still gripped a ripped page
a receipt from the drugstore

i thought i’d get to be happy this time
i thought good guys had it made
but i’ve only been inching
toward the razor’s edge and
finally i’ve been shaved
and mama i am not happy
i’m starved out and paper thin
i’m alone and sad
and scared and crazed
i’m a ghost in my own skin

so drag me to that ******* river
down to that soft and ******* sand
hang me high from that
big shade giver
the way we always planned
the one that held us as we sat
for hours on warm afternoons
hoist me up and
cinch it tight
above the honeysuckle as it blooms
let me swing and meet my lover
send my *** to that restful night
lie back and watch me swoon
here's a quick one, after not being able to write for awhile. i didn't fiddle with it too much, trying to open the floodgates again.
i still remember her braless
in the summer sun of Vilano beach
she's just wrapped in my undershirt
and glowing in the Spanish wind
she still lives in the tunnels
way down below my heart

we couldn't find wifi
in her apartment so i knelt
at her alter in the whirling dark
but she kept me
at arm's length and touched me
only with her fingertips as if
i was particles in a braille warning
her fingerprints smelled like menthols
i can still taste her skin on my teeth

i slipped just as she caught her footing
she stood silent and true on the raised edge
she said she was looking for something to
hold onto, "well, what about me," i asked
but her fingers just formed rings around my eyes
to dam the water there she cut the string
that was always between us
she laughed as i was on my way down
through the vines i saw her rising
toward the ceiling

and now any time i make love to someone else
she comes to me projected on any bedroom or
back alley wall she opens my chest
so the Spanish wind can escape
and shows me the places
she inserted the blade
we used to lie awake at night
in the winter months
i kept a warm water bottle
at my feet like it was the old days on the frontier

we used to bet against freedom
and the people out there
"i bet i never make it out of here alive"
and clock the psych patients pacing
with the shards of
bathroom tiles in their hands

or make promises to it
"i'm gonna drink up all the freedom i can find out there"
"i'll snort all the dirt road dust
that the watermelon bus kicks up"
"i'm gonna mainline it directly into my vein
so much that my head gets heavy
and i swing back
and aspirate my one and only dream
and ******* into my blue jeans"
david badgerow Sep 2021
i'll never give up longing.
i'll let my hair grow long like a prince
and tangle with the leaves in autumn.
let the pinecones fall around me like dead money.
i'll let fall become winter.
let myself become a crusty savage in a cave.
i'll let my teeth clatter against my tongue.
i'll let winter pass unburdened.
let the nights grow long and deepen.
i'll let the slow inertia of sleep come heavy.
then i'll let spring.
i'll let the tangerines ripen on the bough.
i'll let the afternoons stretch long and hazy in front of my feet.
let the fleeting birds find me on the lawn.
i'll let pollen collect in my bellybutton.
let the dragonfly light on my finger.
i'll let my jaw unclench.
let myself be shattered into fragments.
i'll let myself forget the bad stories.
let the rain wash away another year.
i'll let into my raincoat.
let my throat open and sing.
i'll let the breeze take my voice away in the field.
let myself become astonished.
i'll let the smell of the summer mist
enter my nose and stain my cheeks.
let the ocean impress me.
i'll let the sand bring me under.
i'll let myself cry on a mountaintop.
i'll let the sun guide me up a tree.
i'll let rage and calm and joy come together between us.
i'll let my body writhe.
i'll let kindness unbutton the fence i built there.
i'll let this impossible planet get lost.
i'll let america forget my name and orphan me.
let the elastic mirage just lazily dissolve.
david badgerow Sep 2021
we had a lot going for us
i had found the glue
the secret that holds all things
together, it was you
you were my perfect place
where the outside noise
couldn't intrude

i swam to you
and you swallowed me whole
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