POETRY ATTIC: Overpass Dream & Payments Due

// Photography: Jeff Wolfe //

OVERPASS DREAM

Generations spent explaining
the significance of roads
and their alignments.

But only an hour is taken for the
fireball sun above
to set below them.

A startling burning pinkesque
low, to stop hearts.
Inhale the last of
September’s air,
long wait to breathe it again.


A harsh cold comes on fully,
to push atmosphere into
lung chambers.
A boy stands on drastic I-696
highway overpass.

Behind the stoic water tower,
signed with spray-paint signatures.
Behold, the finale of light
that closes night onto day.

Two separate pages of the city.
To stand here is a simple way
to deal w/ “it”.

Traffic below sends
others home to deal
w/ “it” privately.

The kid can do no wrong
in the soft night.
The grass is tired and dying
that leads up to the
broken fence which is not
white or picketed.

The sky says nothing to his shouting
until twinkles poke holes in the black
- now it’s talking but what
does it say?

What there is to know
has been known.
If there’s someone around
to teach you.
No one is around
in this dark night.


Dangerous thoughts left
to settle.
False teachers in light
miscarry the boy
from his very own
personal truth.

Fragments connect
to something bigger.
Until then, his body
dangles over the edge

in front of the world.

Tombstone faces pass along
sullen without notice,
but the boy does not mourn it.
The mystic appears,
out of blankness.

Strangely quiet and loud.
Unknown crevices filled
w/ color.

Dali and dreamlike,
the pain goes.
Colors mix and muddy,
acceptably.

Friendly voice from old days
noticeably absent,
replaced by yellow moon.

Sound is only
in the wind
that carries leaves,
discolored too.

PAYMENTS DUE

Another afternoon
trying to understand
the mistakes in dying.

Of all the winters past
we are compelled to dig
back from middle life
for some new information.

Selectively forgotten strand
back further... 
to mothers
and fathers.
One day the entry goes
unprotected.


Murkier and murkier gray
emerges,
open the attic and the
bats let loose.

Up into the corners hidden deep,
comforts all unsettled.
Floorboards creak under the
weight of protective lies.

Everyone picked a poison –
escaped to a tree house hideaway.
Siblings splinter off in a
broken trajectory.

Barricaded behind locked doors,
clutching the cold handle.
A violent surprise shakes the bed.

1,000 reliefs finally bring damage –
past payments arrive today.
Need to see the daylight again,
midnight wouldn’t let go.

Mother lets loose over lunch,
fragments sharp at the touch.
Each of these fragile pieces
have no place anymore
only to be carried, dangerously.
Bloodline already infected.


Finger backwards the tangled braids.
A mysterious source hides
the old home, the old school yard.
The drape that blocked afternoon’s glare
and outside penetrating eyes.

Inaudible parental voices strain
down steps, past crooked wall portraits
hanging by a nail thread.

Events create ghosts that reappear
without warning – 
there are many distractions
that cause their own ghosts.

Soon, a whole life is haunted – 
a past that will not die.
Escape the sloped driveway at dawn
in November.

Backed away (others left behind)
shades pulled low.

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