The steady lights of the city
corral darkness around themselves,
you kick the sheets, first cold
then hot, life is not a railroad,
life is not dead buffalo
dragged up a cliff by Indians,
life is not gum stuck to a desk
by a teenager who will amount to nothing,
you get up, go to the bathroom,
crawl back in bed like a zombie.
Fifties music fills my head,
the night table turns into a fossil
and I walk on an empty Long Island
a thousand years ago
when you could still distinguish
the sound of the sea,
now we try to hide the heartbeat,
the bravery of not following the crowd.
If your pillows burst their feathers, you collect
each and every one of them into the gravity,
it’s not something I would or could do,
the words would choke me, should choke me.