rafters lit with strobe lights,
smoke lines,
broken paneled reflections of
thirty years of bottled insights,
throttled insides.
the air is laced with metallic smiles,
a camaraderie that’s degenerating
and sporadic flickers
of someone else’s lighter.
I rock in the center absentmindedly.
I have no business stopping by here.

you watch me with
staggered silence and
constantly,
smile wide and big and
sudden.
I’m impacted           in seconds,
sides of me are split,
flowing, but I stand
idle.
your laugh some
blunted rifle.

you watch me mask my panic
with ten plus years of
a bawling inner child,
unmanageable reflexes
that end in stifled violence,
milky looks and a muted
predatory hunger.
I am wearing
my best calf impression:

slow,
doe-eyed and anxious.
blue tights, black heeled boots that
scuff the floor as I
wander     as I daydream in public;
rub a soft elbow,
sip a virgin seltzer tonic with
cherries and some other
light garnish.
                stay as close to God as possible
watch you with marrow armor and
calculated patience.
i’m a blue-black swirl of approachable
sainthood.
twirl somewhere nearby and deign to give you
open eyes for at least
twenty seconds at a time.

you crack a joke and
my laugh is deep,
loud,
brays right through you
like a swaying knife.

 

“forest fire”

 

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