“THIRTY”

At night,
I aim a compass.
The needle spins
like a glass bottle
on an otherwise
boring birthday.
Finally, this needle lands
on the inglorious earth,
which spins like a record,
skipping back on a track
I otherwise
would never remember.

In sleep,
I wear my pair of headphones
and carefully tune the crickets
of childhood, whom I since
have crushed. I regret their guts
stuck to the bottom of my shoe,
which no shuffling will remove;
And that I still hear them
as a crunch— each time I make a move.

In the afternoon,
I open my wallet
to let the horseflies horde
amid my faded lavender receipts.
Each dollar chews a finger,
leaving a swollen reminder
of how my hands ought to be
put to use.
But the bugs need my body
to feed from
and seed the next generation
of slaves. It is what makes my
mornings possible.

It is with mutual understanding
that by breakfast,
I write.
Nothing distracts this task.
Not even the tiniest bite.
Coffee is my companion
and I sip her
until night—
when I aim my compass
toward the stars
and hope the next track
is something
that will change my tone.

narrative poem written on 11-12-2010 by: on mattkane.com
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