A river of blood runs under the bridge of the rib cage.
I have come home from work with a cracked tooth
the pain of it like a soft flickering of lightning.
See a new moon hung in the frost broken limbs of our maple tree.
I want to lay my face against that moon, calling, “Carol, Carol…”
A light coming on gradually inside this leather box
I call myself.
I am a working man behind on his payments.
Loans taken out in another life eat my liver like a crow.
I can’t afford these words I am saying.
Can’t afford the assurance of men who walk in straight lines
or of those who follow their own desires
toward imagined pleasure or pain.
You tell me the way to heal is first
find the wound.
Go to it tenderly as you would a woman.
Stay with her, giving what you are to what you are.
Nothing stays the same, you say.
Even pain finally moves toward itself.
When self meets self, there is an end
But I say, let all words bleed away.
I hold up empty hands asking you to make them