Past Lives

1 August 2016

I am saying that I have been here before.
Maybe last spring. Maybe
those glazed purple days
cold with a vivid naked cold
that set my bones afire
martyrized every tree.

It is the past and I am something.
The cave wall. The murdered palace.
The frontier.
I am the oil field. The scaffold
in the city.
The ghost ship
cresting waves for riches.

I have been to Paris
Leningrad
Haight-Ashbury
Kissed the bearded men with catfish eyes.
I have made prophecies of their greed
I have made ends justify the means.

I see better for not seeing clearly.
That black dog on the road, it is a bear
I’ve seen it dance in chains
I’ve seen it speared, skinned, roasted
Its sabre skull laid out on an altar.
I have worshipped fear.

It is the future and I am nothing
But biology degrading. Corals bleached.
I am nothing but the one bending
to poisoned rivers
in a nuclear winter
past lives packed beneath my feet.

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