Saturday, March 04, 2006

Baltic Song

Even though I put on my rare Gaultier
I could still smell the inside of my mouth

I finally figured out why I write about myself;
because there is nobody.
I finally figured out why I stopped writing.

He looks at the cobblestone and says,
I’ve had enough of this,
enough of the brown brick
bouncing in the sheen of the sidewalk,
enough of the bite of winter on windy streets;
I was born where the sun has enough shame
to drop by.

But I have lost my home;
have you seen my shoes?
There on the Baltic it stayed,
but I left.
Now it isn’t anymore.
The streets look like yesterday
did when it was today,
except it is neither anymore.
Now they just look vacant
like eyes on a Friday night
when they’re too tired to sleep.

My mom used to be tall and fresh, he said,
a vision in short hair and a smile.
(But she was always Catholic.)
And then I lost my hair
and something changed in her brow.

My mother said, I’ll tell you a secret
all mothers know:
I still see you as a child
stubborn, with supple hair.
So how is it I can see the grey in yours,
even under the dye?

This smell lasts forever;
that’s why I bought it in the first place.
But it is weighing on me
like a youth that has grown
a buckle too small.
Maybe one day I’ll give it up,
maybe one day I’ll find another.
But for now I’ve got quite a bit
in the bottle left.


Anonymous said...

Super powerful! Very ripe! J'aime bien! Lovely. A new favourite.

Yeah, yeah, ripe, that is the word.

And uph,
"I was born where the sun has enough shame
to drop by."
It killed me! The very last paragraph is not as powerful as the rest. Kein problem.

Great, lovely, brilliant. Yeah, brilliant is also the word.

Ya Allah it is very powerful, yeah and sincere.


Ton frère Ahmad (and he was not high)

katy said...

dear, this poem is big. it is very very big. i actually only read it in parts this time. taking each line as it's own moment in time and space. it's almost too big. if you compose a book, this should be a section. each stanza occupying a page. let it linger like salt on your skin after a swim in the ocean. let it breath. this, the way it fits here, is too much for me. my favorite thing about it, i must add, is that coalgate can be read and understood as a scent of a verb.

katy said...

scent oR a verb