Smoking in the girls’ room, sneaking a drink, napping
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Today hell has finally frozen over.
Mephistopheles glides by, double-runnered, huffing,
a spark in his eye.
Today God is getting new frames,
has lost count, momentarily, of the angels and pins.
A sparrow falls, dusts himself off, spits, gets back up again.
Today is my lucky day. Heybobareebob.
I am plumb loco with luck, He Who Walks Backwards,
the one left alone in the wagon-train ambush,
tetched in the head, maize boy, too much in the sun,
the one who holds on to the overturned lifeboat,
who crawls like a worm from within the mass grave.
I am high man on the totem pole.
I walk from the plane wreck, stand up in the fusillade.
There is no bullet that bears my name.
I will never be taken alive.
Today it is for other men to be broken into boys,
for others to saw at their legs to survive.
I am Jack be nimble. The world can shut its trap.
My friends, my brothers are the heavy hearts. The mark is on them.
They are scathed, fall chickens, good joes petered out.
No blood is daubed like unction on their chambered doors.
The man going through their rubbish outside
has brought them his sorrow, some vagrant plague.
They are the flies someone actually hurts.
Today the moon makes eyes at me.
Today I know the exact intensity that a woman brings
to the brushing to the left of the rivers of her hair.
When I hold her, the woman, the moon, I see in her eyes
the reflection, the waving arms of the dying and the drowned.
I make love to her anyway, lucky stiff, lucky bastard,
lucky as all get out and hell.