Rhapsody 14.

Purple air, an innovation of whatever tactic I’ve tacked
to the back of my shoes, skinnier now, my shoes a little looser
than what they used to be, my belt one notch tighter.

This air is a mixture, rebuffing blue with red slid
across rock and avocados blushing in the grass,
embarrassed to be dropped, shying from voyeur glances at their fertility.
Unscarred, they are edible, soft, mashable full flavored,
shunned if marked, distastefully brown, fibrous, dry.

But, I come back to myself, a broke boy in many ways,
internally sutured, offering what I can, discarded as I was,
walking as I do through shopping centers overhearing
babbling vagrants, thick beards under spaced eyeballs bulged with blood,
faces grinned off walls and sidewalk cracks gray as their foreheads.

A steady theme leaked by steady life, recognizable
by easy light, clouded sheets and flat pillows, a need
for jobs, lazy schedules, deafening birds, streaked windows.
Sheet-rains and seldom thunder eruptions crackling flash aftermath,
I pause, green air assimilating the violet,
a darkness closing, night without pressures, stars without stupors,
never a full or new moon, fractured light in damp coolness.

I forget the faces I don’t mean to forget, the bodies I wanted to touch,
shadowed by every minor embarrassment laced in my recollections,
my quietest moments, hearing the echo of a voice pulsing
realizing I recognize it as being mine when I think
I haven’t changed.

Discussing this island discourages desires to remain,
rename our studio, congregate with the people,
some proud they never finished a book, roped and read
into fast food chains, declining health and disparaged wages;
fewer methamphetamines emerge off our street, waiting for the morning bus.
But I’m in my own world not noticing much other than the sky
or if there is snow still on the mountain.
I digress then: discuss the island; don’t mention its denizens,
plasticity to our tones, a model construct miniature to miniatures.

But there are breeches, my blood remembering the blues of winter
you and I have bound around our arms, bands of our existence.

It is winter again, mocking with greens,
and what it was will never be again on this island,
this misshaped dot in the middle of this planet’s back
folding and rippling on its own food, the fried rock
buried underneath all its visible flesh, frank colors
rocking back and forth from plate to plate, crevice to crevice,
delving through green valleys torquing toward obscured entryways.
I don’t know which is worse or wrong: that I breathe or that we live on something
colossus that breathes and expels its own toxic essences
while remaining marble in a circle on an abandoned street.

About David Paxton

David Paxton lives in Middleburg, FL. He's been published in Poetic Hours, The Flagler Review, Splizz, and The Nocturnal Lyric. Visit his website.

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