my mouth runs dry, from the light. I sweat, and I stumble, and I curse,
eyes screwed shut against the pressure of the light, screwed tight but
the brightness still bores in--sharp--smelling of ozone and other people's pain.
I cannot stop the foul, weary flood.
I cannot help the fallen, who will bleed where they fall,
who will grow cold where they lie. I cannot help.
life throbs away, slowly. And, swearing and trembling, I sink
into a dull orange night. I open my eyes
and fever pours out--red, almost soundless and scented with
jasmine. I gag.
I cannot bear the ebb.
I drown in a viscous, gentle solvent.
There is no ragged, buoyant breath. There is no faith on which to float.
I breathe without motion. I stare in the dark.
I may see, I may feel.
there is a moment when
the slightest hush
might gel the air.
there is a kind of jaundiced
Copyright John D Porter © 1996
[List of Poems]