August Spring

The way a palm pressed to fresh • cement indents more of itself than the • wet, hardening substance relents or even gives • any remnants of when pulled apart, nothing • left but trace amounts of disintegrating filth, • grey dust, a bubble burst at surface, • a mess of warmth dispersed among no • one, a moment preserved for another century’s • hurried strangers to rush upon as they • traverse this dark part of town where • shadow-scattering economic boom will all-too-soon go bust, • the way a plan always must, the • way a palm pressed to fresh cement • does is how this feels now, this • letting go of wanting to trust, of • what I could not know, how it • felt to be held by something I • loved more than I loved my Self, • softened myself for in spite of everyone • else’s warning, that hardened with the passing • of breath, the escape of the soul • from flesh, exit strategizing a wound out • of a corpse-costume of worn flesh, sharpens • to a point what breath softens only • so that the truth’s knife, in hindsight, • was wrapped in his mouth’s warmth before • it wrecked into the weathered depths of • my sea-heaving chest, every rhythm interrupted by • the realization of escaped death, acceptance is • hesitating to admit this, and living with • a second shot at life entirely unimpressed • at having been blessed with it, wrenched • from its cavern this flawed ruby wearing • flesh, my heart shattered by a passing • glance, a glimpse within, repulsed at what • it sensed, its passing over of me • an affront on account of my corrupt • circumstances, underwhelming at best, circumspect and unwilling • to chance so hazardous an investment, to • risk getting attached, so like a palm • pressed by a fading starlet to fresh • cement in front of an audience of • fans and press, bulbs flashing limelight’s ending • and orchestrated hands dutifully clapping under the • influence of smiles the actress, in spite • of all her wealth, will never possess, • his presence quickened from my quicksanded attempt • at embrace and fled, his distance measured • in shallowness, how low a touch can • go, just enough notice to cause a • dent, to mark out that one was • here for a moment, showed up and • went, left without incident, no longer moments, • no, now days, months, years, then decades, • then centuries ago, however long this boulevard • lasts, as far as legacies can go • on, I suppose, to show to strangers, • by throwing under their toes, their footsteps • as much traffic as we will ever • know, what two, no more familiar to • each other than we are to you • now, felt then somehow wanted to fell • before the hurt grew tall and loud, • the hurt which always follows a deafening • silence and follows us even still, fills • the parting’s fallout with a heavy chill, • too heady, even amid fall’s autumnal thrill, • to recover from once reminisced over, to • put together again what will not fit • is to grip that palm’s handprint as • if the starlet whose hardships it transmits • through time were willed by an admirer • back to life, only to be denied • over-and-over forever, to live perhaps better than • each attempt before, her act’s pretence at • being better than she was, better than • that former world which adored her, as • if it were her best performance yet, • alternate versions of how we always end • up ignored by those whose affection we • fight for, strange how it is we • let memories unglue what holds us in • place, foundations taken as toll to pay • for what we lose in this race, • taken away, the griefs whose secrets emboldened • by shame no longer fear needing a • break, puzzling though it is, and thoughtless • it must seem, you are the missing • peace I no longer need to replace.