Black mare in the background,
A personal opera’s decrescendo
You are dust,
And to dust you shall return.
Eras fade, gold dulls to plastic.
A crown is just a hat.
You, an old woman.
Watching Ridle Baku takes me back
To cobblestone streets
Strangers speaking in mysterious, angry accents
Asking, “bist du Amerikaner?”
A few blocks separated us,
A chain and barbed wire fence
And MP’s wielding machine guns
But on Saturday’s my parents took me out to the market
And I wonder if we ever passed by each other
Two children in the same city
The city was yours, is yours.
I was just a tenant.
Standing in ancient shadows.
I never knew Arizona didn’t have castles
Until I left, and I missed them.
I got a Mainz 05 scarf when I was 18.
A year before I watched you play for them,
And score against Leipzig.
And the city cheered.
Your city cheered.
And all at once I realized how much I loved Mainz
And how badly I wanted to call Mainz home.
How badly I wanted the city I grew up in to feel like home.
My folks cut off my roots.
I almost never knew that
I’m just four generations removed
From fighting with Pearce.
Six from being born into genocide.
“Ar scath a cheile a mhairean na daoine.”
I was placed on dead men’s shoulders.
Great men, terrifying men.
But they’re not here, where are they?
That’s a weird question, here.
I don’t pray enough.
Hardly ever touch a rosary.
Most others don’t even consider the act.
But that’s all there is for the last of us.
If there are any.
Unless we’ve all outlived
The last American Irishman.
You’ll **** yourself up, you will, you know it.
Staring at paintings of purple women,
Through indifferent eyes; flames will be lit
Just so you may feel something. And what then?
You, you, you, and the cross you say you bear.
Not nailed, but rather tied, fettered, and bound
To the wood by splintered brown and blonde hair,
Severing with a cracking, moaning sound.
Love is written large across your stomach;
Not your heart, not your lips, nowhere it should.
Nowhere protected from the candle’s wick.
Nowhere it can turn into something good.
When it’s time, find bravery in your chest.
Do not fight it, just burn with all the rest.
Blood was running down my spine and
All I could think of was if you
would think more of me for this. And
Would you slowly run your fingers
Over my delicate raised wound,
Over and over and over.
I don’t believe anyone that says
They “like” the feeling of getting
tattooed. Feeling the needle dig
Remorselessly into your skin.
Again and again, rapidly,
But seemingly completely at
Ease—confident, collected, cool.
And then there’s the anxiety.
The ******* endless anxiety
Of change. Irrevocable change that
Voluntary scarring and a
Set rate of one hundred dollars
Per hour for a C-rate tattoo
Artist who smells strongly of ****.
And I hate ****, all it does is
Make me anxious. Just like change, and
Like every time I get another
Tattoo. But I did this on a
Whim, without thought of pain or angst.
I had blood running down my spine
Just so you might want to see it,
And maybe think more of me, and
Maybe run your fingers slowly
Over my delicate raised wound
Over and over and over .
Drunk, ******, and filled with glass.
Draping my broken arms around you,
And through pursed lips I think,
“I’m so sorry for everything.”
I meant it. God I did. God I do.
Even with my vices I know
Love is more than pretty words.
More than you, me, more than poetry.
But God we were so close to infinite,
So close to indescribable.
Beautiful, perfect, lovely, flaws and all,
And that’s us, and I still believe
I’ve never looked better
Than I did in my reflection in your eyes.
I became what I once hoped you wanted
Through years passed, years dead, and gone but not forgotten
With paintings of you dried like ink on skin
Through memories pondered, missed, and aged but not rotten
I never jumped off bridges except when i did for you
But still never enough to force moments to their crises
Never enough to satisfy, never enough to understand
But enough to never forget those ****** irises
A funny thought is, they never had a color to me
They were just what they were
Heavens gates couldn’t be so lovely
My world was those eyes, the rest was a blur
A funny thought is, that I am content
Finally understanding what it all meant