Providence-In-Arlington-spillwords.jpg
Providence in Arlington

Arlington is famous for the dead.

They walk the streets each day, head in a box,

watch sun shine on the husks,

empty fabric, smoking cigarettes over bridges that fade.

You can see the dead alright, homesick.

 

They look good to me but I may be drunk

on the thickness of fumes that make decay look new,

but we would know us, alive−

we are not double frappuccino latte no whip, progeny

of wounds, cowed, forbidden recollection−

 

−afraid our flowers will wilt before they bloom;

 

−afraid our temple is burnt beyond recognition;

 

−afraid our children will awake screaming; afraid

 

−our light won’t shine under mud and crust,

layers of skin,

mustaches and spaghetti sauce,

no umbrella in the rain, or afraid

that it shines but can only be seen

by the absent, the wayward, the wicked, the bones;

 

−afraid our karma is too weak to see us through

this landscape of the dead,

the lost, the verboten,

of the sailors with no shoes,

the empire with hollow feet,

the cut-out tongues,

 

−afraid for one minute of brain stupefying, hand sweating,

eye swelling presence of delight.

 

The junkies of this world no longer taste their drugs;

they’re hooked on the glamour,

watching dirty fingers scrape white insides,

the ritual of living backwards from pure.

 

Tequila and Champagne−swell gals

but never quite satisfied,

Scotch and Whiskey, Jim and Jack,

lousy one-night stands, those guys,

where nicotine is a razor to our cheek

because we like our pain painless,

antiseptic as our desires,

 

and white-haired men might turn 17 again

if, just to forget, we hadn’t sold ourselves

the pretense to occupy a space

and not relate to ourselves,

our dead, frozen faces,

our unique hatred and naked, malleable lives,

bearing inaudible sorrow, we swim like lemmings

to destinies inhuman;

no one’s watching the children,

 

the last train left the station,

all I see are ghosts in empty homes,

picture frames that are broken;

everyone is a soldier,

it’s just they never know.

By K.D. Rose 

Dead bouquet