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SN Mrax Jul 2019
The city thunders, groans, drones, whizzes and whirrs, squeaks, honks, gusts, rumbles, wheezes and rattles.

The light leaks through, not just light,
presence, all the windows coming in through your window.

The others snore, talk in their sleep, ("Take off your shoes!") take up the bed. Join them again and you might wake them and then they will want what they want--always thirsty.

The bed creaks. Mattress springs sproing. The pillows are hard, or squishy.

It's just a little too warm.

Dinner was a chemistry experiment.
It's still bubbling. Foul barbecue sauce--
So much for comfort food.
Mouth tastes like medicine.

A plane flies overhead...

Soon the birds will start singing.
Yes, there they go.
I have traded my dreams for these unsettled nights.
I watch over him, back to the world, having lost so much of myself, within and without,
satisfied still that I made out well.
SN Mrax Jul 2019
In this night, I'm not alone.

I feel the crowd pressing around me, shoulder to shoulder,
back to back, squeezing.

I feel the discomfort, the dread, the hope: "Maybe
it won't be what I sense it will
be. Maybe it won't be that."

Others may be sleeping, but we're moving together, conscious or not.
It might not be so bad.

It's dark and some are sleeping. We shift and move together.

Like it or not, we have some destination, together.

You sought to protect your children, but you brought them with you
into this crowd.

We many dread, but we don't know what, for sure.

And yet we know too much--we see the outlines from here,
silhouetted against a faded dawn.

The past and future come toward us,

inexorably slow,

almost in stillness,   soundless,

SN Mrax Jul 2019
I'm a giant tonight,
stretched out in a chair from the 70s (and one feels it)
ribbons of red, flies can smell it,
white face and ankles,
closed eyes, a droopy expression.

Universe, I breathe you.

You have exhausted me, extracted from me
at last; now, at last
you will let me
SN Mrax Jul 2019
In a half-round room, the air cooler thunders and drones.
Someone snores gently, someone else shifts restlessly, now and then.

The day was hot until a downpour came.
The roof is still standing.

This is a poem about an uncomfortable, unremarkable day.
A day of love, a small child.
Another day of married truce.
A day of distant familiarity, distant warmth, fading and waning,
trembling hands reaching
into the closet for the bandaids.
A day of impatience
mostly set aside,
leaving room for hope
to re-enter,
with its needles
stabbing slowly,
hour after hour,

So then hope is set aside,
The needles continue anyway, though dulled.
One does not sleep, as usual.
The little child sighs, and shifts; sheets rustle.
The drone intones.

I remember the mirror and color that once kept me company; I can see it there outlined in the dark.

Through the window, a line of lights in nearby windows.
There are those awake in the light, and those like me, awake in the dark.

All is well, well enough, all will be well.
All is distressed, rough heart, looking up at the dark,
the great absence, which has
generously filled this leaky, dented cup
time and time again--from time to time.

I have a path, again, at last.
My youth leaks away.
I drink from the cup of love--it keeps me awake--
and it isn't long before my mouth
finds something missing.

So I write a rough poem.

There was a man, my patron saint--
I twanged the strings and we both cringed but then
I couldn't unstrike the sound--
so we kept cringing--well.
Fortunately that's far away now,
and the echoes have faded.

Who I am, who I pretend to be, who I think of myself as, how people seem to see me--these flash in and out,
like card tricks almost. My self-belief is probably
the least real of them all, though made up of truth.

The tide ebbs now (yet still pregnant with current) but
only one thing has changed: I no longer despair.
The earth's call to my body now is natural.

And now the time for thought has ended,
taken away by the little child.
SN Mrax Oct 2015
how many more times
will you have to break my heart
before it is finally
the right shape
SN Mrax Feb 2015
the kiss of death is sweet, swoon black river drowning
afterwards you are not the same, drained
light as a shade and heavy as a stone, or, later, chasm
the rest can see you when you're not there
and you find you fade from the day.
you seduced me by calling me a ghost--
so strange how we know before we know.

once death was both hidden and seen, a higher vision, a kind guide
but now he seems a cheap, deceptive *****... visiting everyone,
staying with no one, leaving behind nothing and less than nothing.
SN Mrax Feb 2015
a few weeks after our love affair ended
my husband and I were walking through your neighborhood

and in front of a coffeeshop, holding on to the rail,
an old man had his pants down, ready to poo

and the customers looked on over their late night coffees through the large glass windows, expressionlessly

once out of earshot, he and I giggled wildly
as I asked "do you still think it would be glamorous to live downtown?"

I don't remember what he said,
I was thinking in passing of what the old man felt

soon the subway station where you drop off the women
you're sleeping with on their way home

will be awash in cherry blossoms and the scent of a food truck

my husband shakes his head at your seeming prowess,
but a bird in the hand beats two in the bush.

I dreamt you were a **** officer--you know, one of the relatively innocent ones--you aren't of course--even though you couldn't read my face--

I no longer feel you, yet you're frequently in my thoughts, usually on the bus, on your way to another one, talking to me,
and I go through my slim repertoire of ways to nicely say go away
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