Java Verses

Shouting, Roaring, Ranting, Whispering, Singing . . . Verse

Sunday, September 11, 2005

As The Story Goes

I don’t remember the truth of the story at all.
Just disconnected real memories woven amongst
Fiction, which was embroidered by the constant retelling
So many times through the years that I know it by heart
Though I was really to young to remember
It’s almost a fairy tale now,
Without the happy ever after end.

A waterfall made bathing fun
Dusty porch lit by candles
Two rockers creakily guarded the shack
Inside it was dark, often damp
There was a wood stack behind
The cracked wall, I was forbidden to play near it

I remember twirling around falling
Leaves and laughter
Being hoisted up high on shoulders
To better see the starry sky

I remember a screen door that would
Catch a little girl faster than
It ever caught the fly,
Which got in anyways . . .

I remember Mama turning to step inside
Swollen and slow, restraining the screen door
As she glance hesitating in our direction
One hand supporting my secret sister

I remember smiling back with love
And fear that the door would catch
Her as it always caught me,
This was just before he grabbed me

His hand were hard but never too ruff
For a daughters tender skin
Insistent and determined as he took me
For good, this time

She knew I was gone before we ever left,
He threw me down into the cars interior

As I looked back for a final glimpse,
Torn, not for the last time,
Between a child’s two greatest love and fears,
He shoved me back on floor, the glass shattered,
I cried, because I couldn’t see her smile anymore
The smell of his fear, hung heavy, tainting the air.

It could have been diffrent

It could have been different . . .

That night,
I wished that I could have been bought,
Like cheap wine, or stolen
With no questions asked.

Naïvely waiting on an ill lit street corner,
I know, now. . what was thought.

So simple, my well laid plan
Unfolded every night.
An established routine …

I was young, invincible, and invisible
I thought . . . then again . . .
Maybe I just didn’t care.
Just waiting . . .waiting to be taken out
Out of this hellish world.
A holy hell with heaven scents
Fermenting in the breeze. .
Taunting me . . .I wished for an escape.

A just a pack of smokes and my bag,
Was all I’d need to roam
All night, at least till 4am,

Check in time, sometimes delayed
By soft body resembling blankets,
Buying two additional hours of freedom
At the extra cost of risk.

I was almost innocent then.

First order of business . . . smokes
My fumescent fire,
Fighting to steal my life and breath.

I’d wait . . . . .
Till some “older” man
Or woman, but mainly men.
Tired, worn, reckless men,
Took pity on me, or perhaps,
Perhaps something more sinister
Was in their exhausted thoughts . . .

But nothing ever happened.
We each went our separate ways
After meeting in the dark alley
Running beside the 24 hour Stop and Go.

At least this is how it went most nights.
Really, all but one,
I should have feared
But didn’t

He could have been anyone.
We stood on opposing sides
Of the payphones that still cost 25 cents,
Waiting for an hour . . .
I was getting antsy.

Not only did I crave
My nightly fire stick,
But even then I knew . . .
Knew that the longer I stayed
The greater the chance of losing
My hidden freedom.

When he approached,
I hesitated . . .
For a moment. . .
But it was routine,
As always, I rounded the corner
To wait in shadows

Perhaps I was particularly lonely . . .
Or full of angst that night.
Seeking to defy to a greater degree
Than the usual,
No one ever noticed.

So, when he asked me,
“Do you want to go somewhere,
Quiet to talk?” as he
Peeled back his jacket
That cold night to expose
Offerings of peace and pleasure
Stolen and forbidden.

Young and dumb, I followed, he led,
A route I might have taken, familiar ground.

He spoke to me tenderly
His voice resounding sincerity,
Cautiously carting his pain,
Only a glimpse was visible wearily
Spiraling in his earthy brown eyes.
His tan body was all hard muscle
Which required for his survival
But I knew this was just scar tissue.
He used this surface well . . .
Hiding inside his soul.

I watched as he walked a lanky stride,
I saw at once that he was different
From his world, I learned one more time,
To not judge so quickly,
Or at least more carefully.

We smoked slowly,
read with care,
drank with abandon
And talked. . .
As though no one had ever
Listened to us before  . . .
Many, many hours
Above the high school track
Wind whipping our fresh words away.

As time passed, we eased down into
The gray velvet shadows
Faded dank and dark beside my old school
Sitting, laying in the faculty’s
Forbidden outdoor foyer

There he shared his heart
The folded tattered scraps
Singed and saved for years
He gave me all he had left

We almost fought falling in love
If both heart hadn’t already been bought,
. . . And returned . . . broken.

He told me stories,
Told me he’d watched
For days,
Me in my mask of concentrated joy,
Displayed with a purpose . . .
The others were always too near . . . too close
To touch or talk truth

He said,
“You don’t just walk up
To a girl in a crowd,
When your 24 and though she seems older,
She’s surrounded by kids who
Go to class with your baby brother”

His name was tattooed in
Old English across his shoulders
“Leonardo” the only typical
Thing about this turbulent man

So many demons . . .
So secrets . . .
We revealed that lonely foggy night

Holding on to each other . . .
As if we’d loved forever,
And were not just strangers
Sharing the night

I was dizzy, when he first
Placed a hand upon my arm, back,
Then waist, to caress, in that way,
That man touches a woman
He wants . . . I was a girl

We spoke honestly,
This stranger and I,
Baring our cracked crystal
With a trust that denied
Our supposed love of loneliness

As we moved, uncomfortable,
On concrete, his desire
And tenderness shone
Brighter than the moon
Ever could . . .
But the fog was thick.

That moment I recalled my choice,
For do not be mistaken, it was my choice
In one lucid second revoked
Not because of him, or anything
This man did, right or wrong.
He moved softly away, biting his breath
With difficulty, holding his head with dignity.

In our frenzied of need
My new “womanly” underwear
Were ripped . . on one side . . .

We lay there, talked, awhile yet
In the fog, under hidden stars

He had been to prison,
And was back, recently,
To haunt the night, stalk
His disowned family,
Who refused to see him,
He ready to run, again, from his past,
A ticket to California, one-way.
He begged me to go, I wanted too. . .

We toyed teased out a teetering plan
. . . Of impossibility

But, our iridescent dreams were bound to fail,
I was short on time . . .
Like the child I was,
I prized too many possessions
I could not leave behind,
The emblems of my former life,
The ink scrawled pages the held and bared my soul
There was no time to sneak it all away,
That way. . . that night, before day break.

Like the Latin gentleman he was,
He walked his foundling
As far as he dared,
Desperately whispering warnings
About guys like him. . .
Who had hardened vile streaks.

As I snook home from our halfway point,
Clutching my side, enveloped in shadows,
That even streetlamps couldn’t pierce,
The winding sidewalk reeled.

I slipped behind the haggard hanging wooden fence,
Crawled drunken in my silver patched window,
Floor solemnly creaking, announcing my arrival to adulthood,
If only to me . . . just before 4 o’clock check in time.

My mother,
She burned her bra in the 60’s,
Proclaimed her loss innocence with flames,
The smoldering cotton declared her new maturity

But not I . . .
I simply struck a match
A burst of sulfur
Lit a solemn funeral pyre for
The pale blue polyester panties,
Pretending to be satin . . .
Sent an acidic smoke signal
Into the rising sun
For it reminded me too much,
Of myself . . .                            

It could have been different . . .