At the end of Mercy Street
lies a forgotten wharf.
A single row boat is
The battered vessel is
moored and unwanted
like leprosy -
conducive to an invisible cancer.
Two splintered oars imitate antennae -
receiving distress signals
from no one.
The dinghy will not row towards God.
The boat will not sail past
Bergen-Belsen or Dachow
nor will it glide 'gainst Newton.
Mother wouldn't allow such a spectacle.
Tommy doesn't sleep on bottle caps anymore.
Tommy and Mother are content now.
(Tommy is dying)
Tommy's back is not broken
like a scarecrow -
(for he is good).
His leg is not twisted like a licorice stick -
(for he is cloaked in servile flattery).
Tommy doesn't skip like a river
nor shine like a sapphire.
Kevorkian wise and Barabbas blamed;
he grimaces -
he swallows Mother's red roses;
knowing when he sweats -
(in the afternoon funeral festivities)
he'll smell just like her.
The darkened sunlight -
(which Tommy cannot see)
throws itself between two clouds
marking a dramatic entrance!
Tommy's knees are broken yet
he still dances -
and matriarch approved.
Tommy hyperventilates and chokes.
Tommy eschews Mother's American beauties
and externally regurgitates the
memories he can't
A single groove migrates
the needle into ambient static as
Tommy washes his hands.
Tommy simply washes his hands
(He simply washes his hands)