If I trace my fingertips along blood lines dripping
from scars in cement
blocks. If I trace them they will run.
If I trace them they will stop.
If I am high off bathroom cleaner fumes,
settling in my hair, and if I inhale just enough
(not too little, not
too much, just enough), and
if I do it all for one crackling smile (yours, mine, who's
to say, really?)
If my layers blow away into worse
than nothing. If I smoke until my lungs are black
as cancer, dry as lecture,
sore as death.
If I hate myself. If I become
If I do it all in the name of the poet's God, a figure
more distant than yours, stone-hearted,
earthly. If I do it all for the sake of my own mistakes,
begging blindly to bodyless feet.
If it's all for a chance to be
beautiful, to be good at something other
than suffering. If I know I am wrong, but the other
half has been erased, eroded by glasspaper sand.
If I do it not for myself, but for everyone
who has ever stared, eyes and hearts
too empty for silence. If I do it for the children,
souls reaching out with
needy hands, snatching words of love from the storefronts,
the billboards exalted on high.