The Winter Escape / Ghost Dance

The Winter Escape

Awaken within the glimmering ice,
far from home, 
sent away from you.
All that is known, held in suspension.
Freedom for you is my demise.
No assertion of my return.

Must survive wasteland plague,
frozen for all that I feel.
The weight of my heart, outgrows Ma’at’s feather.
Every mistake on the wheel
returned at once.
Still I must be brave.

Dispassionate retribution 
comes crashing down.
Flames take our bedsheets,
pictures come down off walls.
Locked inside the bathroom
‘til the water seeps under the door.

Drown the years that won’t come back,
since it started to rain.
I leave with a pocket full of keepsakes
to keep the gods away.

Go to the land where 
street lamps die –
is there any part of me worth saving there?

Just need to make it through this winter alive – 
enough lives left to get to 
Pacific Coast HWY.

Might find me a father out there
who whistles in the wind with a 
good story to share 
and knowledge of the stars placements.

Take me to get my palm read
that will rewrite my destiny.
What if I keep on trying to find you?
If I knew my maker I might even keep my promises.

No longer a subject seeking object.
Drink a bottle that takes me to the bottom
of the mysteries hidden 
at the last page of the book.

A saxophone says it all as the sun sets.
I’ll sleep to the sound of an operator 
inside America’s last phone booth.

Mourning names scratched in glass –
dead but immortal.
Dance in the little space we get
and lay your head beside me.

Rage to live in the light of our sun God,
prostrate and tan.
Sacraments given to the nameless, 
flowers placed in the girl’s hair. 

I become middle-age on the beach 
where it still feels young.
Never asked to come back, 
the gap left behind, forever sealed. 
There is no back or behind…

It’s NOW, and the ocean tide coming in.
Sounds of children playing echoing from 
miles away gives me peace. 

Miles away… miles away…
where winter never comes.

"Illuminor" drawing by Jeff Wolfe

Ghost Dance

Dance and die here today, 
under the light of your disgrace,
bitter at the taste left behind the door.

I fade in stature as others seem to grow.
Sleep illusive, where you could be 
besides this creaky bed?

Hard work will make it to the sun.
Speak again to get fewer answers 
and watch your eyes grow dead.

All the good I lived, like an old coat now,
disrobe, cry for you in the cruel rain – 
empty streets are what I know.

Trickster spirits are the only ones to bargain with anymore.
Always the sucker, 
left at a moment’s notice 
without even a hint of perfume in the air.

Disappear into backgrounds 
going the long way to nowhere.
Drink to being nameless once again 
since you left.
Change my look to become unrecognized, 
ghosts will dance tonight.

Give me another chance to write myself a history,
I’m better at two in the morning 
after a few shots of thinking.
See me for what I used to be 
and not the receding shore.

Perform one more dream 
before I drift away,
climb the tree of sacrilege for nectar honey kiss.
From up there, your outlines 
don’t hurt as much.

Burn an effigy for the gods to see,
damned to believe.
Swore to make it back before it was too late –
age taken my best.
Wondering vacant lots and fields 
turned me quiet and everyone else mad.

My name no longer spoken in the house I used to haunt.
Better that I stay away.
Take enough logs to start a fire.
Flickering light in the night alone.

Ghosts led me in a slow dance. 
They name me and never let me forget.
It’s a detour to get through,
to get past the past.

Body is free to go now, 
off into any sea.
Save the eulogy, 
for when I get back home,
wherever that may be. 
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