Do no harm, and Do not disappear…

…in which anthem I felt a darkness, and an impulse…in which I heard the rush of a mountain river in the dead of night, in whose sparkling rapids I caught fishes which leapt up and turned above the whirl…to snatch at air before falling back to that frigid, rushing creek…in whose rocky bed I saw the darkest, crushing force…a-rocketing its waters down  canyons in the black of night…a time of gloom we so easily forget, when streams do surge and course…a time we dream, and sleep, and lay abed as rivers run, and do not stop…as I, floating in the detritus-strewn wake of childhood’s venture, when dust motes swam across the kitchen sunbeams on wide sargasso afternoons, recalled that unstoppable and violent child I was, who tackled boys while at his vicious play, and bulldogged heads to frosted ground before the thawing march when I let my feelings pour instead into a girl who sat with me for hours…near a heavy yellowed-concrete sculpture casting  “H E L P” across the shadowed lawn…in the stifling heat of southern afternoons…while a dirt-drenched wizened colony of teens toked weed in sultry air between the dormitory and the trees, where I became a vampire, and, drunken on that girl’s pain, and hooked on trauma, I stared down the tunnels of her pupils, so large and dark I saw the souls of stars: the alcoholic dead professor, the mirror ball confessor…whose addictions I did rotate like a destiny-wheel of whores…my goal to bed them all…though no flash of spangle did spark the pilot light in that blackest corner of my heart, a vicious dungeon hollow…packed with lovers corpses, with carloads of their broken hearts, dried and empty, and folded up like unremembered letters…

…in whose confessions I stayed drunk until I stole away (my worn-thin shoes I lined with acid and with E, until the nights of dancing turned bright mornings on a train, me the headphoned freak before the brokers, in whose eyes I caught a flicker of contempt which fired my way back to a buzzer at the grate, a terminal in the last rusted tenement on earth…where I made my habit of do-not-call…and do-not-call…and do-not-call…my alone-est worst, where I nearly vanished from my skin; so a thin banana was my daily meal, a sugar wave I rode back to Union Square, by then so far nocturnal I’d turned the corner into wide-awake, seeking out the drug of staring crowds, where kids’ laughter peeled out that “dope sick bitch” which rang my ears to pain…

…until I, the self-neglected eye, did see myself, no junky but as sad, my spine like wire at the backs of hanging tees, hollow on my frame…my knees hurting I was so thin, no fatty stuff to pad my joints, my face a skull the day a tiny hallucinated voice came through the car alarms and thunder claps, when a good sandwich and a bowl of soup brought me round after rain broke out…and I sheltered in a diner, where I could not resist the comforts of a meal, and of letting fall the torrent of sensation after long thin months of hunger, the substitute for loving touch…the day I first stepped toward appearing bodily again…the day I knew that no man once broken stands intact…his fissured body still striving to make its way across its little span of time and space before he dies, hoping he does not harm, or hurt, or disappear from view…or fail to perform his acts and incantations…that he may live out his time which blessed enough, he hopes, will let become beloved at least one other, because of him, on earth.


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