The five senses

Winter came early this year.

Across the city comes the smell of smoke and naphthalene

as boys light fires and sweaters shake themselves out of trunks.

The moon swims among the clouds as I walk the empty streets,

the pavement dwellers are gone, they huddle behind doors

deep inside the narrow streets where moonlight never reaches;

those corners which light has abandoned even during the day.

There is a stench here, the stench of beasts pretending to be human

the stench of old money passed around from hand to hand

the stench of a sleeper class train ride that clings to your shirt

 

I look up at you and you look away

My words fall flat, there are no answers any more, are there?

As I keep walking, my roads wind and twist and turn

sometimes I see you, sometimes I only think I do

your footsteps go away and return to fade into the night

I hear the voices in my head, the voices that are lost:

the solemn sound of the nine am siren on a Sunday

the rippling sound of the stones you skipped upon the lake

your boisterous laugh as you called out my name

for no reason, you said, only because you liked to.

 

 

Yes, I have tasted failure, it’s bitterness has a rough edge

cutting at the mouth with the metallic tinge of blood

I have reached for your hand into the darkness

and have  found yours, reaching out to me

I have lain my head upon your shoulder and cried

your hands have soothed the fever from my brow

I even have gardenias growing in the garden

for the five senses I have mastered, they think you walk with me;

it is my heart that is the traitor,

only my heart that knows the truth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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