Monday, October 24, 2011

Learning to Speak ★★★★

He isn't here,
the boy who occupies my thoughts,
so I sit idly,
in his newly acquired
seedy downtown apartment.
Whether a testament to his foolishness
or his tenacity
I can't be sure.
But I can feel the crawling potential.
To be useful I sort the bags of belongings,
an unasked for intimacy
I am only fairly certain he won't mind.
His possessions tell a story
of figuring out how to get by,
of transience and a life spent
rushing then waiting,
dislocation and miscalculation,
of things and people lost and misplaced,
and only ever what you can fit
in the back of a car.
Two toothbrushes,
three bars of soap,
unclean socks,
scraps of paper in piles.
But he still holds steady to some things;
his guitar,
his books, now in unsorted stacks,
a photograph, a butterfly necklace.
We learn what is important, in time.
This sort of life
seems in opposition
to my own constant forward push.
Still we feel each other out
delighting in this intoxicating,
strange, uncertain, and eerily familiar other.
Even aware of these shaky foundations
he can smile at me and say
we are good for each other.
And we,
the lost children, the vagabonds
the changelings and astronauts,
we are learning.
And we can slip away
into the streetlights and muted music
of the six hundred block,
reveling in our precarious shared existence
and every breath we are alive.
Here we can feel the world at the tips of our toes
unfolding before us,
our fingers interlaced,
standing at the chasm,
the destitute and exiled
kings of St. Petersburg.

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