Ligatures

These mops don’t smell too good no matter how many ways you soak
Them, frayed and rattled like the ends of torn tendons, spliced especially
So the silken ligatures slowly dissolve into flesh, absorbed like a child
Takes everything as possible until proven otherwise, stories that evoke
Senses of place in young imaginations are impatient seeds of epics, fully
Flowered when the sun burns the cultivated ground, a harvest reconciled
To our contentment, we can all agree on a balance, what should be is not
What shouldn’t, and should objections open another cavity into our chest,
Beasts will make this hole a home, leave bones of prey and lovers, drawings
Of hunts and conquests, ageless and ancient, no carbon dating will assign
The artist’s pigment a circa, an opus, a period, even a ballpark figure at best
Falls within limits of our ken, a language of thought that dances and sings
With each idea, each fresh soldier still, a weeping mother on his mind
Fading with every deflowering, solace turns to lunacy like an old friend
Both raising an instant brow acknowledging a reference too obvious
To leave ignored, their timing so perfectly coincident that laughter ensues
Unashamedly, bottles of the same vintage opened and turned on end
Until every residue distilled from the old country bears a serendipitous
Remorse at such behavior, the influence of teachers who scold and refuse
To hear excuses, each one a litany on parade, new majorettes in old uniforms
Twirling from the knob end against every other beat, dyed ostrich feathers
Blowing like a cool blue flame against a flat-bottom kettle, its steamy whistle
Begging for relief, searching for shelter from all soul-encircling maelstroms,
Exhausted, treading around and around a hub that is a hole, your wet hair:
A fiery whip and a golden veil, punishment and protection like this will
Mean your journey should continue, it must go on, never without incident,
But surely with no harm or indefinite delay, a lingering of legs entwined
For a season or two perhaps, not much longer before roots dig deep, tangled
In tight knots around our graves before we know it, days and weeks spent
Settling into the past like contents during shipping, new products left behind
When the heavy factory doors slammed for a final bolting, all the chain led
Workers having already moved their families into freshly painted suburbs,
Layered new sod so green and treeless where amber waves grew to heaven,
Where heaven held the hearts of generations, blessed the hallowed ground
With those they loved, toiled to excess, fed the world from what now are curbs,
Stylish hybrids idle in hidden driveways as soccer moms leave their children
At practice, errands and caffeine calling the fiber of their beings to new-found
Malls, especially more caffeine for the special cup, the special words spoken
On nearly every corner, summon blue tooth wanderers into wi-fi wilderness
And espresso breath, hopped up on social networking lest we forget voices
Speak most clearly from the heart when filtered through time’s sacred token,
Doubt measured against decisions we made before coming of age, accountable
To ourselves, mostly, and to those from whom we grew, we consciously caress
The flesh of our flesh and teach them our lives turn pale given all the choices
Of trampled paths, forks with which we cannot eat beneath our kitchen table