Purgatory
Sean Farragher

From the Book of Byzantium

I am released from purgatory.
Nothing can save my stellar eyes or how
whirlpools dissolve about my petrified sleep
I watched her breasts from the edge of my chair
I saw the movie again in my mind that old
Burt Lancaster in Atlantic City—Susan Sarandon
cleans her hands and breasts with lemon juice.
I smell the acid as it leaks on my tongue.
I imagine the thrill of her first touch,
how she lifts them, cleans her lives

I am a social nightmare waiting for resolution.
You think it is easy to watch and not be able to feel.
I cannot laugh. You can, but not at me.
I am released from the bonds that tie my lips
and I am never lonely anymore as I imagine
the sun and the trees of the cliffs,
when palisades singed by autumn turn sienna
as in old days, reminding myself I am not frivolous
in wanting to escape that dangerous highway.
I love being an outsider as you move away
call me freak, bastard and I slumber inside you
washing your brow with vinegar and salt

You are the last irony. I love you and hate you.
I want to make you come about and be bold, fair—

Love is simply lost
when you break out
space without white
or black or any between
value that is moral
at least it seemed right
when I watched you make
love to yourself completely.

When I learn when our paths cross
you know I am watching—
say you can feel my eyes, and know
who I am and where I lived.

I became your father, you said
simply as we drank black coffee,
resumed our final escape.

 

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