in the Dark Vol 6 Edition 5
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They built a Wal-Mart at the PX in Bosnia with eight-foot-wide
isles, all primary colors and industrial design, a box in the mud packed
full and sinking. And we come and we march through in our camos and
gear, strutting and cocking and drilling and spinning wildly, out of control.
Geese to the rows, flapping and pecking for fallen breadcrumbs.
The corporal turns and looks down the tunnel of an M-16.
Bill's. The pudding cup he was holding hovers in the air, suspended
by sheer force of will. "Yeah when I was in Guatamala," Bill says,
"I'd take a two-day pass and turn it into a full-bore bender. Blow
a month's pay on booze, drugs, women. They've got 14-year olds there.
Whatever you want. It's too cold here. Too cold."
At the checkout line, the corporal picks up a paperback without
looking at the cover and runs his gloved fingers over the raised letters
of the title, each contact with a ridge sending charges of distance through
him, the fresh revelation of each shape drawing him further on, but he
places the book back on the conveyor belt before reaching the last letter,
the incomplete title still hanging in the air. You've got to leave
some mysteries unsolved, after all.
Late at night she dreams,
comfortable and content above poverty; free of Darwin's iron bands
but underneath, seething at the mediocrity that crept upon her.
All is not as her dreams had it
& someone had to accept reality, so the dreams, they fell to dust.
(we'll call it growing up)
But quietly she mourns the dreams
& lifts them out of their dusty photo-album graveyards, dusts them.
Quietly she holds them up to real life
And not so quietly tries to reconcile the visions.
When the moon pours down from a scattered-diamond sky
and the world is a black-and-white photograph,
Late at night she'd dance with her dreams,
but it's cold, and dark, and what would people think if she were dancing?
It's mediocrity on her shoulder in the cold night, whispering nothings,
those nights when warmth is belonging,
those days when money, house, 2.5 kids seem as natural and necessary
as the sun.
And so pass the faerie ethereal dreams; they never stood for the light
they were dreams, and magic, and inspiration, living in the happy land
So distant from making a living, and so they stayed there.
That's why she bitches & moans & waits for the gloom to lift,
for life to come dancing once more from moon-dusted fields.
So speaks silently,
the middle-aged wife.
I. A tattered pastel ribbon
weaving into even dawn
out across the East River --
translucent bedcloth covers stars,
and cheap electric replicas
that stud the urban sprawl.
II. Streetlamps fizzle, blink off
like regimental fireflies
abandoning another attempt
to mimic day all night --
if you like flourescences.
III. Pentecostal firetongues
shine off metallic roofs,
shoot pink through pallid
exhaust fog, and language
into streets each morning.
IV. These corners disconcert me,
skyline sharp geometry
cuts through the stories
in the clouds, carries
this island too proudly --
I'd rather walk amongst trees.
Mother Goddess, I pray for your light,
The night is too bright with these human stars.
Mother Goddess, I pray for your wisdom,
The earth is lain bare by human knowledge.
Mother Goddess, I pray for your silence,
The wind is lost to human voices.
Mother Goddess, I pray for your love,
We are lost in our human things.
So, I will sit in the dappled shadows,
And wait for your light.
So, I will rest in the grass,
And wait for your wisdom.
So, I will study the ancient tree,
And wait for your silence.
And I will wait for you, Mother Goddess,o
To remind us of your love.