You got out

(Part of a new series of poems about people whom I have met, who profoundly moved me).

They said

no it’s not a person, it’s a trash bag, or wad of clothing

as I turned the car around

knowing it was a girl, curled into herself

it was for her, the end of a long night

for me, an early morning drive

into rising sun

indigo girl

her limbs thin enough, to resemble twigs

hair colored black, face still-water of a child

she waved us off

no, no, no, I’m fine here

in the fetal position, on the cement

lying by the side of road exhaust

as predator number 10, idles his car and asks

do you want me to take you home

baby?

I press myself to the window glass

no, don’t get in the car!

he looks angry when she says

I’m just taking a nap, goodnight

his lust drives off, leaving fuel staining like road kill

I wonder

what he would have done if

all 90 pounds of her, in tiny shorts and torn top

had accepted his bearly, concealed hunger

how many predators comb

early morning side walks, hoping

to pick up lost girls?

she’s got sense and she also, doesn’t know

but I do

I was her once

crawling out of an abandoned warehouse

knife wounds, waltzing on my throat

cold semen in my belly

clawmarks designating, my survival

bearly

the car that stopped then

a light in darkness

they took me away, from near death

when so easily

I could have been picked up, a second time

a third,

by hands with bad intention

when you are fallen

people often crowd in, to help you

fall again

like wolves who smell

the coming of blood and

vulnerabilities, we think we hide

I told her

don’t get into a car with a lone man, or group of men

they may not show their fangs but

you are a little piece of goodness

sometimes people who prowl, want to hurt

that shining within you

we drove

she was looking out the window

with her unslept eyes and the residue of last night

still high on her pain

and for the first time in my life

I no longer felt a victim

but one of the imaginary horses, I used to ride

speeding away from slick, sales-man, cough

of curb-side prowler

I wanted to make her better

but sometimes you can only

patch and release

to maybe nothing safer than hope

with a few words

wishing, that when she’s sober

waking without assault

she remembers

you were her once

and you got out

 

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L’enfant sauvage

CruciformLast night I felt fire

inhabited my chest

my breasts burned as if they had caught a heavy sickness

I tore my clothes off and feeling the tile beneath my feet I stood

feeling prickling across my hot skin

watching the electric storm rake dark sky

wondering my part in anything if at all

or why

some days we feel such clamouring disturbance

deep in ourselves as if someone else

is trying to get out or some displacement, some wrong

as yet unfound pulls our string

what is the mix of this temperament and how

do we stay still when everything is at once uneasy and fraught

an inner lament bound with wire

the hairs on my arms standing up

watching time spin over head

I couldn’t concentrate or think

it was as if all higher function were lost

returning me to who I was

in instinct

crouching naked beneath lightning

like a feral being

nothing in my mind except a longing

to tear through the artifice

strip myself of those conscious things

fear and routine, habits and awareness

I longed to return to that

stark undimmed polar

of reaction and gut

shaping my response

who needs all the books and learning

let us stand once more

stark against thunder

and roar
sate our anxieties and the ever-present woes of our world

on the savagery of relenting

giving over our human skin

hanging it on the post

dropping our keys and footprints

to streak instinctive and returned to wild

across the green

blurring with rain and rush of leaves

gone from our homes

the doors stand

open

and soon

all is wet

all is calm

In claiming my savagery

I find peace

Dominique

photo-2They took away the girl

everyone would bend to touch

her shiny black hair and

brown skin looking like

peaches had feasted inside her DNA

they took her to Hollywood

after a month put her in private school

because the crips and the bloods

fought over her peaches

she turned instead to

white powder and a fine gram

of friendship

her letters became erratic

once she called at 3am

I’m in town

qua? qua? you mean the city?

Yes I’m here! Can you see me?

It’s 3am, where are you?

I’m at the house of some band, they’re number 2 in the charts, I can’t remember I can’t remember

the line went dead

like a cat leaning in to lick its fur

once when working behind a bar

mixing paltry tips and bad cocktails

she came by, her eyes all moon-glazed

with three stingy young men

who looked like they could

bathe more frequently

we hugged and she still smelt

of patchouli and faraway loss

my chest ached

meet me at the party she said

waving with her finger tips

like a starlet biting into pomegranate

I knew she wouldn’t go

turning up wearing my best

pretending my old shoes were new

most of the band

snorting off each others wrists

like cats with cream

I asked

have you seen Dominique?

they offered me a line and said

who?

 

I ran away from camp with a girl

called Selene, the child of an

Italian Viscount

after I called my grandma reverse charge

from the countryside pub

he came up with his chauffeur

thanked me for getting his daughter out

offered me a ride home

my father asked

how do you know those kinds of people?

 

a week later she called

we have someone in common

you know Dominique?

you mean the girl with peaches in her

cheeks?

I grabbed my keys

we met outside as the sun went down

Selene was the kind of girl

Dominique would mooch off

I had nothing to give

my hands were too wide

my shoulders freckle

I didn’t look good with bare legs

or see-through tops

they danced near the stage

like two jars of honey

I knew then I’d watch from afar

girls like Dominique marry

stars and future heirs

still unfulfilled looking for the

next train to take them away

out of their pain

that’s why she always calls

early morning before

the sun has risen

in the same voice

sounding like all the records we played

until they crackled

under scratches

she laughed in her whiskey tone

I stole a rich man’s wallet

I’m calling on his Gold Card

we can talk until the sun comes up

in your part of the world