I can see nothing.Darkness fills the window.
My head feels foggy,
my body numb – like
waking up in bedlam.
I turn on the night light,
reach for a cigarette.
I remember a party,
I remember a dream.
The streets were empty.
Dark, deserted buildings
Although I could see
no one anywhere,
I knew I was being shadowed
“Tick tock he loves me not.”
A woman sings a soft lament
somewhere in the shadows
of my cloudy remembrance.
“Tick tock my heart has stopped.
Tick tock tick tock.”
The smoke from my cigarette
floats above my bed like a spirit,
and softly disappears into that
shadowy space between here
and nowhere, where some woman
is waiting whom I can’t remember.
Things tied with strings, or wrappedwith ribbons, my life, until the package
I married a dark-eyed girl, raised some
children. I lavished them in all the
nine-to-five amenities my blood, sweat
and tears could bring them – we were broke
a lot to sum it up, never broken.
Love, marriage, the baby carriage, OK
by me, both of us – our blue heaven shopping
at the seven-eleven. Anything beyond that
either flat left us or left us flat. We were
OK with that.
The great mysteries, God, existence, destiny,
were moonbeams lighting our home and
we left them alone content with the glow
they added to life in their own opaque way.
Now the man who lives here isn’t there,
not in his head or bed, upon the stair or
anywhere. The dark eyed girl is gone, maybe
to heaven, away from our blue one. Life
lingers on, she lingers on, some, in the
presence of the children whenever
I see them, which isn’t very often.
Rex Sexton is a Surrealist painter exhibiting in Philadelphia and Chicago. His latest book of stories and poems “Night Without Stars” received 5 stars from ForeWord Clarion Reviews, which commented on the “wild beauty” and “joy of this collection … the prose rabid, people hustling to survive their circumstances …” Another recent collection of stories and poems “The Time Hotel” was described by Kirkus Discoveries as “… a deeply thought-provoking …compelling reading experience.” His short story “Holy Night” received an Eric Hoffer Award and was published in Best New Writing 2007. Recent poems have been published in reviews such as Mobius, The Poetry Magazine, Willow Review, Mother Earth International and Edge, recent fiction in Saranac Review, The Long Story, Straylight, Left Curve, Children, Churches and Daddies, Art Times, and Foliate Oak.
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