…and I promise that things got better. But first, as they usually do, they got WAAAAY worse. This one demonstrates my depression, having left my home, in a very distinct way. I thought that you’d appreciate it too.
I waken to the dance of rainbow skulls
Cascading off the wall of the taqueria
And melting in the river’s rushing stream.
I feel my sorrow’s flood of greenish tears,
The sting and ache of loss, loss, loss, loss, loss…
My garish grief explodes in bursts of song,
And bubbles up in jagged, bitter sobs.
I miss my home, and everyone I love.
I don’t surrender to the whirlwind. Instead,
I toss the cardboard boxes out the door,
And take my students on a winding trek
From lush Sumerian gardens into Babylon,
From Milton into middle America.
Each silent tear is like a tom-tom beat,
And each serrated wail an aching hymn
To dusty gods I left behind in Ur.
The depth of my depression waits an endless cymbal-crash,
Like rain still beating on an Irish castle wall.
My father is a wandering Aramean,
A Hittite shaman of the snake-charm school.
He plays his magic flute every six weeks or so,
To trick the drowsy, foolish passersby
Into believing that he’s tamed the viper’s tongue,
Into the illusion that they’re forever safe
From soft, sibilant, sibylline deceit.
I fought that surly viper, and I won;
I struck its head clean off, and though it grew anew,
I found it smaller and with fewer scales.
Its poison did not penetrate my heart.
When next it bit me, I could salt the wound,
Bind up, and shoulder my wearisome pack
To wander down to Egypt or to Luz.
I do not yield to swift tornadoes; no, I stand.
I stand upon the purple wooden bridge, looking down,
Collapsing all my heartache into a strident gaze,
Still searching for the verdant home I lost.
I long for ashes, and for ancient dust, the mulch
Of oak and maple trees from ’94,
The stark simplicity of enemies
(As though an enemy should make a wall,
Rather than the rich man building walls to cage
His sullen, silent, starving friends turned foes),
The gentle touch of golden callused skin.
Old Midas could not yearn for shining gold
The way I yearn for love in touch and taste,
And Dr. Armstrong’s age-old child’s leap
Across the lunar surface is a solid type
Of how I feel when I hear friendship’s voice.
Then newborn worlds spin beneath white suns,
And burning crosses in the Californian foothills
Feel all the grasping fingers of the rain.
When laughing friendship finds a home with me,
I spin in my true orbit through the dark.