AXIOM OF THE OUTSIDER
Sometimes you surrender to your destiny,
a scratched-torn cardboard suitcase, black
as your shadow, places where travel seems
uncertain, these dead-hour porches, parasols
snapped shut like the lips of your dead lover.
What hardens in you keeps you hungry,
though your tongue can no longer taste
bitter coffee or recoil from a salted cracker.
These are, in fact, the last days of your spent
youth. Look at the tattered map, if you must—
those lines converging can only spell trouble.
The road ahead turns as dark as your days.
—from Rattle #22, Winter 2004