Halfway (2004)

Halfway between the cancer
and the constellations
is the road to Golgotha;
and skull-ward I stumble
with only my will,
hitched to this skeleton
like a tired old pony
that has carried too many children.

but still it pulls me onward
towards the last known location
of the truth
until once again I stand
on a hill far away
and take it all out from it’s hiding place
all the insufficiency
all the insecurity
the cliched fear
etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

It takes two hands to hold it
like the toads I caught
when I was young
but sadder
and deadly
this crumpled ball of trying
and unrequited effort.
I can’t carry it anymore
it’s all just gotten too big to fit in my arms
and it’s long since turned my lungs to lead

but you told me you wanted it anyway
and I trust you
your arms are full
and someone’s nailed them to a tree
so I take my little world
and put it in the wound in your side
my hands go in so guilty-deep
but when I draw them out,
they are empty
and clean

what alchemy is this?
what science, what magic
that could take so unforgettable an ugliness
and sunder it from me?
for it is gone,
gone beyond recovering
swallowed up in the power of your dying

and I am a child again
fresh from the bath on a Saturday night.

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