City of Springs
When all the light in the city came from a can
they held their hands over, he broke a bottle over his head
and collected the pieces in a velvet purse. Standers
by the way took pictures as he brought forth a sort of cry,
victory over tempered glass. The next morning,
he picked small shards from his scalp, matted with blood.
For years he buried himself in living and reliving.
Telling always master of fortune and deed,
an elevated sense of the semi-accomplished. Sometime
in his late twenties, he found his first gray hair – it sprung
from his palm when the blue-gray wagon pulled out of the drive.
Standing on the asphalt in sudden rain, he felt a flash
of recollection, of backseat indiscretion, impulse revisited.
Never to be visited again. Smoke. In a stone compartment
under the highway overpass, curtains, and the gray came up
like an exponential seed, hulking sprout, strangling the air
and dirt and the very sun that made it. From his bag of broken
glass, he unsheathed a jagged tooth, green to protect its former
contents from light, traced a seem in the couch in the den.
He peels back its floral skin, blue and yellow, faded,
and climbs inside. Dark, coiled towers, he wears the new
beginning like a crown, proud to be beaten, the most
furious of cushion lumps. Years bleed away and the postscript
never arrives. Shut the lights off, if you’re brave, squint.
Once everything’s gone dark you might see him move again.