June 2, 2016

Arthur Gottlieb

BETRAYED

i trusted luck
the soft touch
the salesman’s
clap on the back
glad hands of strangers

sight unseen i
blindly bought
hard luck stories
with hard cash

been burnt
lost more than
a few fingers
to fired-up expectations

charred like tiny torches
they showed me the ways
out of this world

i took the words
of liars as gospel
believed in them
like the bible

as security for loans
i accepted love
but was paid off in hate

maybe i bleed too easily
maybe i need a heart transplant
a transfusion of fresh blood

but what i want is
to wrap myself in sleep
like king tut in his tomb
wounds bandaged for centuries
in balmy linen peaceful

under a pyramid of protective
treasures in a kind of
hotel of last resort

so grave robbers can’t steal
all the good intentions
i’ll need to wake with
in the next world

from Rattle #17, Summer 2002