Ahem, Requiem

Granted, I’ve avoided this
all along. I admit, I do not
have it in me to scare up
another song.

Does it cohere? the poet asked
when he’d reached the end.

I haven’t the heart to ask.

Wary, you warned you’d stomach
any pain so long
as it gave off the harsh light thrown
to fuel the shy poem’s
hard way home.

Were there no regrets?

Poison, preached that pal
of yours, then mine. True,
though surely by then
you must’ve liked the taste.

(Scratch that.)

All the wracked and wounded world’s
gone bad, a bully waiting
down a blind alley. When the blows
finally whistled near enough,
you sidestepped, and dared
no longer tarry...

_ The poem is an anagram of John Berryman’s “Dream Song #1.”

Mike Smith | Mudlark No. 30
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