Shadow

I have a ring on every finger. The wind is blowing from the north.  I got this blanket at the truck stop.  I wrap it around me like a poncho. I drive through Colorado with the windows rolled down. My knuckles are ice.  Cold pain keeps me awake.  At every exit and entrance to the highway, night empties and refills with light. The U-Haul in front weaves two lanes into one.  My eye’s on white lines and snowy mountains shining in the blue descent of night.  You are always in memory. One thunder clap and then another.  I look to the clouds and the moon for a clue.  What key will unlock you? You in memory, in that black leather motorcycle jacket—you roughed it up good. What you did in it was death-defying, legendary. But you were a young man then. Moments were angel-grace upon you. You grew too thin for it when—it came on like a disease.  It moved up your spine, hooked your brain.  The pain in your mind was bad as cancer in the bone, in the marrow. Oh it was bad pain and it ate you. I’m driving through Colorado and you’re dead five years.  I’m driving like a son of a bitch, freezing my tits off, crying. Fuck you. You disappeared yourself. There were pills that could have fixed you. They sure fixed me. I had worse shit going down than you ever did and I am good. The last months you looked dead before you died. Fall-down-drunk, broke-boned, hacked-teeth—we could see your skeleton through your shirt. Your pants hung on somehow.  You had the haggard look that kept people away.  Didn’t you get tired of that–that running gag? Didn’t you get tired of that look? The look we, the living, gave you? We wished for you, but it is a lame effort to wish. All our wishing didn’t pull you up and out.  I’d like to remember your boy-smile, your waterfall eyes, before being drunk took you. Did you ever dare to believe an infinitesimal spark of your self could ignite new fire?  Maybe you hoped a little and lost that littlest bit, and that is what killed you.

Advertisements

One thought on “Shadow

  1. Reblogged this on Clare L. Martin and commented:

    I’m gathering prose pieces for a possible new manuscript. Some of them are on my website. This one is from 2013, and needs some editing but I thought I would share it. When I get ready to submit the pieces to various lit journals I will make these all disappear.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s