Ones of Twos

It should
begin in twos:
your worlds – for you, upon
a time, until one
is gone.. and
it doesn’t hurt at all..!
as long
as you’ve forgotten
that there’s no longer
one completely familiar
place… you can always… at
any of all times, come ‘home’
to – to complete safety…
and then
it all collapses
and impales you sharper and deeper..!
each time – like drowning again
and again,
in colder
and colder currents
of blinding, pitch-black snow.

   

   

   
Thereafter,
the fullness of the world:
the last
of your first, in the one
remaining other… would,
on another unexceptional day,
disappear..

 

and
you’d find
you’re old overnight
and may have already
become one – yourself.

 

 

From Book IV

Like Father, Like Son

Down the lines
to slow
estrangement… till
I’d move into
a one-room apartment
close to work
and closer to travel, with
barely a window, hardly a view and
seldom have it mopped, but
have those shirts
dry-cleaned and routinely pressed,
reread escaping books,
revisit reruns and
stranger passing screens among
the angles.. each
wall makes
with the same ceiling.. and
in time, get restless and visit
a whore
or two – which
I’m not sure you
did, but
only get lonelier… to turn
to the reeds, needles and white;
then quit the drugs,
then give up whisky,
then stop smoking and
try
starving
from time
to time to test
how much I can take, though
I doubt I’d be able to do it
as well
as you did.

    
No saints
you and I, but
each of us
belonged… to
a woman, whom
we mistreated
in our different ways, as
they did
in theirs, and
it seemed
that everyone learned
to live
by themselves, though
it’s us – you
and I, who couldn’t
or can’t
care or smile
as much
for ourselves
at
all.

 

From Book IV