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Posts Tagged ‘steam’

His past smells of a ditch

drying up its putrid stink

as stale as the street air.

It belongs to a smoggy neighborhood.

In the memory of tattered rags

flapping like flags on the clothesline.

As if dreams can be scavenged

out of the hilly mounds

of garbage, dumping its gifts

of someone else’s trash turning

into someone else’s fortune.

 

No one cared about armpits

getting wet and sour for hours,

as long as the bad odors

can promise him little money

to buy fish sauce for rice.

Sniffing heaven on earth-

little angel never complaining

about life, about the linger-

of those occasional whiffs

from the broken sewer.

Nor the rising sting of steam

emanating from his broken skin

pierced by the cruel sun.

 

Nor inhaling the dry cough of cars

and buses farted poison.

The way he exhaled yesterday

walking on a pavement slow,

feeling the throbbing locomotion

churn on his empty stomach.

A street urchin squeezing the crowd

like a fly hopping on a hope

above the grease and grime

that smeared a childhood.

 

He won’t cover the past

with today’s perfume

nor sanitize its images

in suds of detergent.

He’s not ashamed

of the scent of his past-

the smell of poverty

that swarmed his innocence

and have walked

the muddy line across

the nook and cranny

of his every bones.

He survived them all.

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You lied to me about baptism. The intoxication

and its sinful concoction sweating from some bottles

whose name sounds like a saint I worshipped

night after night. 

 

I gulped down gallons like the torrential rains outside.

Submerged in the bubble of nameless strangers

in the watering hole. Kindred souls searching

for some kind of salvation.

 

The cloud of smoke, its humid and hazy steam blurred

my visions into hallucinations. Of angels and demons

dancing in revelry. The dirt and grime camouflaging

the filth of the mundane.

 

The surging numbness of a hundred knives dripping down

my throat. Felt like hell on earth, whose flame creeping

a river of fire. Dissecting, invading, lacerating my innards

into a violent storm.

 

A deluge I have cried and my salty tears breaching

these floodgates of the dam. I swam away from this murky tide,

its rampaging waters, swelling a flood into my bloodstream.

Drowned in a landslide.

 

This is not the heaven you promised. You lied.

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