Parade

You could visit, of course

anytime you wished

I’d drive to some forsaken corner

of some city or town

and meet as strangers

to bring you here

And we’d arrive

to no fanfare or celebration

no ticker-tape parade or

speeches of desolate and abandoned words

The couch has lumps

and discarded dog hair litters the edges

of each room

like dandelion seeds against a fence

But you could sleep there

on that irregular pallet

or I would

and desert consciousness in

dreams of hallucinatory hibernation

My cat would sit

atop your lap, and my dog

at your feet

We could drive, with aimless intent

into the countryside, taking pictures

of imaginary blessings and real afflictions

We could sing, not like angels

but with the voices of the fractured

fragments of this paralyzed pilgrimage

We could drink

my emaciated body no longer able to hold well

under the onslaught of ethanol’s embrace

but feigning a convivial revival of

an absent animus

We could write ashen – but beautiful — words

in some language that fails to begin

to describe

the contortions of thought as it

breaks down at the edges

Perhaps we’d laugh, at some point in time

ill-defined and clumsy as

a staggering drunk outside a locked door

or scream at a barren sky

impotent and destitute and craving

absolution

So you could visit, and we could do

all those deserted things

that cry out for endings and

beginnings but are always

mired in the middle

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