Trying To Say
Watching the window morning fog thick with water,
just close to covered in midnight's unheard rain,
leech-leaking on the latches, same as
four-square bus opening on the 95 and 97 routes,
I'd trace scarce-read messages as
children's fingerpainting, flick by in the
street lights and CCTV cameras.
In a cafe with the wooden chairs and the five
euro breakfast plate, I'd rub the coffee
stains out my head with hurried thumb;
try to cover it with new coats of facepaint,
the crushed conscience of Friday night and remind
of whenever I tried to drink up courage, I'd just
end up face down on tables like the Jack of Hearts.
On Sunday with the Mass bells, crumpled cans of
cider-ale and ice cream litter, woke up red
stars and hearts pinned to coat sleeve, badges
of idiot wind pronouncement; green eyes catching
gold flake notices, farmer's almanac for your
facial expressions incalculable as an hour's
cloudy skies, confessions did little for me.
Conversations We Didn't Have
It does no good to harbor illusions and strange fantasies,
no good to heart nor sense, stresses breaking spirit
as faux-suede shoes cracking in the Irish rain,
the little lines first showing in innocent hand turns and
shortness of breath, self-committed robberies of voice,
becoming lavish feasts of defeated hours.
Then why did we take the honeyed wine,
the sleeping pills in handfuls to help dreaming?
It was unnoticed features, once-bitten tongues
turning over to marinate in the blood six times
as dejected, crinkled pages of a Human Rights
textbook; the moment to make small gestures having passed,
listened instead to the echoes of dropping pencils,
the fizzle-crack of an opened Club Orange.
Wanting to say some apologetic reflex, unmanaged
even that smallest of dignities.