Monday, October 23, 2023


 The River Chagrin

The river made the sound of audible 

Bleeding as it cascaded down levels

Of shale, unleashed from a rent 

I’ve torn in the tissues that 

Separate the living from the dead


Even here in the shadows of waxing 

Crescent moon I can’t escape

The metallic reek of heme

Dried to a line of purple-maroon

Lodged in the eaves of my nails 

In the darkness blood is the color

Of a bruise

And water is also the color

Of a bruise

If only this river was just water

I wouldn’t have to choose

Between living an ever elaborate lie

And dying straight away

Upon the sharp barb of self-inflicted truth 

Every stone I threw was a finger

Too skinny to plug a spurting dike, 

A stitch placed in a melting slab of ice

As if sheer will could hold together all

I’d set on the course of destruction 

I am the man in winter

Condemned to watch the figures

Trapped beneath the frozen river 

Carried away in currents before 

I can show them the way out 


Here on this tiered stone

I am sentenced to witness

A river roaring from a wound

In the world that I created

It isn’t my water

But the river will always be 

Mine to own  


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