What year is it behind your eyes?
Is your face still young
Still in time
Like a photograph in the back room
Of a hoarder’s upper west side apartment?
Last time I saw you
Your skin was so white
Not even the precision of the makeup artist’s
Brush could hide that blank canvass
where your pigment was lifted.
It was like bleached coral.
Pigment is detail
the eloquence of those continents which you escaped
and shook off into the Coney Island waters
and into the silent screen
during your first double feature.
Do you remember your final farewell to those Polish
nights of your birth?
As you lay there
The boldness of your voice which permeated every other room
You were ever in
it was an amputation
like severed flowers
Somewhere in the back of your throat
are no longer connected to the body.
Is all that remains
When the check is due
Like a rent demand under
before ruin sets in.
The eyes become dead cameras.
The ears become disconnected PA systems.
But when you live in your head
The years all spent
And litter the mind
Like empty bottles in a
Recluse’s living room,
Then gravity never has to
Caress your voice
The one which has been stolen
For too long
Like a preying mantis sizing up her lover
Before devouring him
After his last act of purpose.
Gravity is what left your mouth an empty cave
Where even blind catfish will never call a natural home.
Everything you know survives between the sheets
and memories shatter with the most delicate touch.
What is your name
Behind those drawn shades
that hides you from the waking world?
Is it necessary
Or does that name become a dead limb?
Now that you’ve reached the tundra
Where there are no more compromises
And all absolutes swallow their own tails
The seasons of your passing
Where memories grow pale
Thin and delicate
Before the final thought is dissolved
Like a single piece of paper in the middle of a storm