Tunnel No End
It took me months to figure this one out.
Going north to Boston, on the Mass Pike driving into
a new logic. I had only been out in the bright world a few years.
Trying to learn the rules. For instance, female and young.
Two things called desirable no one really wanted to have.
For instance, why names meant nothing, when I once knew
Sudsy Pete the Junkie, Carol Slut, and on.
Now I met Jims and Joes and Cheryls
and had to understand them myself.
The hemlocks spired upward almost black like
a Gothic kid’s book with wolves and a bad woman.
Everything on the Pike seemed equally possible.
A sleek dark tube that would be
the rest of my life.
Really it meant north, but it didn’t say that.
Beauty Food for Urban Sweetie
A dime of flame diminishes.
Mint smoke. Lungs ache for its soil.
Do they know you once begged on the street?
begged, with a hand out, all
out of drugs and cigarettes. All eyes.
Fifteen. All eyes and emptiness.
You escaped they’ll find you.
Though you’ve spent all the cash on windowpane
acid (how could you always get it?).
When they take you back you’ll have changed the place
completely. Put faces in the walls. They don’t know. You wave your hand—
a dozen blurred hands follow.
You can scribble on the air.
Wormwood Latte: ECT
So you ran: a nurse had pinned
electrodes to your head. Brushed conducting gel
absently across your temples.
She could have been a mother with a child’s lunch.
Things in your life gather
to Monday, Wednesday, Friday: classes gym shock.
Grand mal seizures and the past
was not. Did you run for that lost time?
It was a hospital: no wonder they found you—
That urn they forced you to throw, still on the wheel.