Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ROT

So I shambled.
For about a year.
My wounds oozing,
my blackened,
browning teeth falling out.

I was forced
to dab my pustules,
pretend that
I had
a smile
when
I was close
to my family.

It was basically an Ebola thing.
Internally, I was turning into paste.

Inside I was a jar of drippings
from a fat pork roast,
grey and unhealthy,
thick and smelling
slightly off.

One would think
that in the midst
of such a crisis
one would be able
to reach to those
that one had known
for one's entire life
for an assist.

An arm to lean on,
a bicep to clutch
as I stumbled,
dragging naked
toes against the gravel.

But things kept me back,
society and religion
being the small ones.
Fear of rejection
being the big one.

I would scrape
my fears about
in my mental vat
with
a
downward mustard twist.

Paralyzed by the thoughts
of rejection and disapproval.

Knowing there was no acceptable
path for me but the one
I had been
hammering out
for close to twenty years and three kids.

As the mucous and blood
clotted in the back of my throat,
my eyes bled slow,
thick, round, red tears,
I would smile and sit at the big meals
unable to digest
that which was before me.
My intestines
had knotted
twisted long before;
I wasn't ready to claw
my stomach open
and mix it up
with my digestive juices.

I did talk to him about my pain.
He didn't understand.
He said he would love me just the same;
that meant the world to me,
My ears frothed.
I wondered if I had heard him correctly.

But then he left.

And now,
my feet blister and pop,
infected
with swelling layers
embedded with the burrs
and syringes of too many
polluted walks on the beach

The realizations are hitting me.

I look into my hands
and see the veins pushing
the polluted blood.
I fall back onto
my hopelessly bruised ass
and fumble in my wet
shirt pocket for a cigarette.

I cannot feel the Camel.
My bone sticks
through my finger meat,
fingertips shredded raw
from so much
Grasping for
Truth


Everything that I
touch or think
brings me
a flash of pain
I flick the lighter
with the remains
of my right thumb.

My nails have long
since given out
to cracking.
The sensitive flesh
under my nails
festers and throbs
I scratch them open
with a thumbtack
or a car key

Or rub them
into the asphalt
on days when I
wheeze blood
out in the street,
winded,
sitting on a curb
like I am today
looking at the black ink sky
that is probably
smiling on someone else.

With the flame
in the 89 cent
purple lighter intact,
I bring it
to the cigarette
that dangles
from my torn lips.
As I clench
my lips together
to draw the smoke through,
they bleed and wear open
with the pressure.
The few teeth
that I have left
chime a dull note
as they press
into the sockets
of their fallen comrades.

My eyes widen
as I pull the smoke
into my shredded lungs
I feel them fill
with my blood and phlegm,
and that
cancerous, black, sandstorm
that I paid my money for.

Veins in my left eye pop,
weep over the white
over my jagged eyelid
into a tear-track
that has furrowed
itself into
my cheek
of late.

The wrinkles
in my forehead
knot and rip.
My skin is too thin
to take this kind of abuse.

I exhale.

It tastes cooked,
meat that has been burning
in the oven for an hour too much.

I stand,
in a shudder,
jitter fashion.

My knees pop.
My calves balance.
I look down
at my shins
covered with sores
that wink and weep
clear juices
that are hot,
unctuous,
like the cooked juices
of a thanksgiving turkey.

As my brain synapses
through its Rolodex
of pain and regret,
I bring that cigarette up,
spilling ash
across my open, razor torn chest,
I realize one thing:
One truth:
it forces me to focus
through my bleeding
bloodshot eyes.

These losses,


this hole in my dying heart
spins and sucks the life out of me,
feasting on whatever life
I once had,
this complete step
away from all I know,

this welling anger and
sadness
that makes me feel
as if I am spinning
twenty feet
above you
taking lightning blasts
that cause my flesh
to rip outward
the way the
earth rips
in an earthquake,

will all pass.

This pain will heal.
This season will end.

And I am not the only one suffering.