How The Men Want To Fly! (audio 3:13)

Boy in a Boat Fishing, 1880, Theodore Robinson

I am holding men’s hearts in my hands these days
running my fingers over toughened scar tissue,
tracing the rutted pathways of emotion run roughshod
and breathlessly lingering when I feel myself
sinking into soft spots around the edges

The braille of a man’s heart
is not so different from my own

They come one after another,
dragging their piecemeal armor
on the ground behind them,
rusting and clanging and
kicking up dirt in the breeze,

arms and torsos twisted and pained
from failed attempts to simply fling off
these burdensome hunks of plated steel

How the men want to fly!
To put down their overstuffed attaches
of the soul on the dusty ground beside them
and rise up in feathery lightness

They have set small fires
alongside the road as they go
They have used up their last matches
in incendiary rage

They do not yet know
that armor will not burn,
can never be torn apart with one’s teeth

The neon sign outside my temple says
eternally open,
around-the-clock priestess
They cross the threshold,
leaving the scent of their bravado
outside the door

So tired each one of them is,
exhausted from running to keep up,
to hold his equilibrium in place
and fight the descent into darkness

They turn as I peel them gently,
layers falling to the floor,
Unbound, the men shudder

O Madre! they cry in silence
O Sister! Abuelita!
Virgin! Maiden! Whore!

Sinking, the men tremble,
then melt under the harsh frailty

There are puddles left behind
and in them, look!
The moon has tossed slivers of her smile

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s