Human Wreckage (Part 4)
I can’t walk out on this feeling,
The fat lady has just about sung the
Ultimate aria of her own selfish pain and loss.
The duality of my desires schism through my heart
Like a fuzzy scalpel, cutting and tickling at the same time.
I visit the municipal baths site of my hometown,
Find it gone, the pool filled in and grassed–over as if
It had never been; the only reminder a blue concrete
Fountain still intact; no water, just earth and grass,
Filling the basin, moss and lichen clinging there.
I touch the stone; run fingers where as a child
They had been run many long years before.
Contact with the past, bolts in the brain, I am back.
Hot lemon sun beats down on bare skin,
Chlorine fumes stab my eyes, water splashes, crisp
Packets rustle and I see the changing cubicles: cupboards
Of wooden blue slats with batswing doors,
And myself swimming through cold, clean water
Aged eleven and full of life and vitality,
Future mapped as some golden pathway of potential,
As summer goes on and on, feeling like forever.
Above, the rumble of twin engines, a plane draws
A vapour trail, silver cracking the intense blue,
My eyes narrow and tear from glare when looking up;
I see the plane fly away, on and on without crashing,
No engine failure, no loss of life.
And I smile in the chill of the water and
The scorch of the sun when emerging to lie on
The grass or the sizzling concrete surround.
The skies dim, though, evenly cloud over that afternoon,
People pack up and leave before the first downpour.
Don’t go, I say, stay, it will pass.
They pay no heed, they do not hear me, ghosts are habitually deaf,
And soon I am alone as the first cold drops, big as shillings,
Spatter the ground; with shivers, the past recedes
I am back here; the pool is filled in and grassed over.
Modern rain, dirty, acidic, with trace elements of carbon monoxide,
Mocks my reverie; a junkyard dog cruelly barks laughter
In a distant scrap-yard of ruined machinations.
Copyright © Tony Bush | Year Posted 2005
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