Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Bad Company

When the body drags the willful mind to daylight,
they are already there, waiting.

They’ve been perched at the foot
of the bed all night, watching you

twitch and bleat and wondering
which of them caused your perfect stirring,

such sweet unease. They love you
in your uncomfortable quiet. They love you

best in your missteps, in the gap between
the train and the platform where you keep falling

short. How gorgeous the scorch marks, tongued
by the exhaust pipe of a ride you were too afraid

to take. Your neck bruised impressionistic
where you let a man cup your unborn breath

before he left you again. And oh, that glass-gouged
knee, prettiest painting in the body’s sorry museum—

a glossy reminder of the night you kissed
a stranger’s whiskeyed mouth to keep the loneliness

from tumbling out and the morning
you lied about it across three thousand miles

with nothing but silence. They love you, Coward,
in your silence. They swagger and fatten

with pride as you muster your heavy
limbs into movement, sit yourself down

at the desk by the window. They know
they are all you have that is good enough

to write. They know in time you will call
each of them by name. So they sit smugly

all day, waiting for their moment of fame,
all your hungriest mistakes.  

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