I wish I could write about rage but I can only write about wanting things
I wish I could write anything about rage
but I can only write about wanting
things I will never have since things
in the past can’t be changed or given
back to anyone least of all me
who already has so much
but then I am lit
and I rage I rage
until I can’t remember
why or how, or where I was
going with my smoky breath
and this poem. I wish I could write
anything about rage, but I can’t
so instead I am writing these unwieldy words.
Maybe they’ll be about rage. Maybe it’s nothing.
I am sitting alone and inevitable in the late afternoon
at the top of the steps of the hill on Cherry Street
where I like to sit, where I am sitting now, again
alone and watching a containership drag itself
across the bay that reminds me why I do sit
here on the grey days: the water.
I have written it before and I will now, again:
the water. I can see it from the corner
of every single block in this neighborhood
and it makes me feel “less alone,”
although, again, I am inevitably always.
This may actually be the last time for a while.
I am moving away from here in seven days.
I want, I do, to be filled by this. Rage.
But I don’t feel anything now, except “less alone.”
Can I write and not feel “less alone?”
It seems I feel simply. Rage.
But what can I say?
I am not in a fit of it now.
I am in the calm, the calm
before. I swear I do feel rage.
There’s so much and nothing left
Simply, I feel rage
and it groans in my stomach like flame.
I can’t hear anything else. So simple,
and yet not at all. What else can I say?
I am not feeling it now. I am not feeling
I am not feeling. Inevitable. Inev-
itable. In even this
moment, still. I know
I feel this rage simply
there is nothing
closed or opening,
There is nothing.
I am sitting here
what else is there to say?
I rage. I rage
so simply I slip in and out, and that ship
hasn’t even crossed my sliver of vision.
Too quick to follow. I am so tired of lust.
I want this poem to be about rage.
Is this a poem? This is a poem if
I say it’s a poem. Is this a
poem? It is if I say. Is this?
It is, It is. Poems don’t need to burst
into flame. I want to write rain runoff,
a downward sloping hill, words falling
along the natural curve of Cherry Street
and dousing themselves in Elliot Bay.
Not every moment can burn. Some
times pass indefinitely. I am unable
to say how long one thought takes
or how much of life is lost to slow
thinking. How many minutes off
my life lost like minutes
for each cigarette or one too many
well anything. Who has time to pay
attention? Let me breathe and think.
I’ve gotten good at absolutely nothing, at
being nowhere. When I was younger
my only hobby was sitting still.
How to say, how to say still.
I don’t have to explain anything to you.
You know, you know but let me be.
The concrete is coarse on my inner wrists,
the edge of the step rounded.
I do forget all of what the world feels like
whenever I don’t want to be here any more
but you you I know life & words
do flame up and now a gust of wind.
This poem was included in my book "I want you to feel ugly, too," which can be read on issuu.
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