A surly conviction

Sits there by a table covered
in flies that perhaps give him
sweet nothings and coins I
let jingle or leave face-up
to meet touring shoes,
and those too he doesn’t wear.
I have sat here half an hour
pressing my seat into the cold
sleeping earth radiates and I
beg him talk, a supplicant myself.
Wind does not dare disturb him
or his thousand wives awaiting,
the earth shakes itself hot
so as not to have him clothed,
and if we sat here by a river
it would wash me away where
crocodiles would converse with me
until blood performed its storming out

and would turn left, right
to avoid his posture. I don’t know
what he’s thinking, if he thinks
or if the smile I assume is there
mocks me, loves me, or wishes
the white would fall off my skin,
but I do know there must issue peace
into and from those who do not speak.
I dare touch his shoulder, buy fruit,
but not much to insult his denial,
like I could do if I wanted to smell
things others can’t, or blindfolded
hear music in the chatter of insects,
and I leave him food and turn away.
His eyes don’t move. A mile hence
I notice no jingling and stab my pocket
with fingers hard as his. I have been robbed.

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~ by Jeremy on January 20, 2011.

One Response to “A surly conviction”

  1. Powerful ending. After an assortment of abstract ideas, the straightforward “I have been robbed” really grabs you.

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