Notes on Inherent Traits

Notes on Inherent Traits

I’ve have become you. I replicate your style of tower heels and little black dresses;

I suck Camel Cigarettes till smoke discharges like factory fumes from my lips;

I guzzle down cheap spirits till I’m dancing with paper-thin linen curtains;

sway to the symphonies of Chopin and Haydn till they noose around my sanity;

make love to suave saxophonists who seduce with the raw moan of Coltrane’s Naima.

But still, I’m crushed by the relentless maw of emptiness.

This must have been your sentiment after hearing an old man on his hospital bed

confess, between dry breaths gasping for life, that while sheltering my family

from the creeping tide of war, he coldly exercised their demise.

You must have questioned the meaning of it all–leaving them to fight abroad–

let guilt bathe you in its agonies, even as you leaped to greet the concrete street below.

It’s morning. I let the light of acknowledgement kick start my stalled emotions.

Donning my dusty habit, I take to back-country roads with unanswered purpose

as civic cars grumble past, and life itself fades into shades of silver, grey and black.

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