The Park

The echo of laughter is the first to go,
Then the sovereign worship of the soul
That holds out hands to help, not this
Scurrilous abandonment of veins
Into which I flush oblivions,
Shifting through the debris of my life
That be as it is, the image of my dead Father
Colouring the mind.

And am I happy, am I satisfied
With what takes place, the hypodermics
The pills, the dead heads, the talisman
of jellies injected, the sores worse
Than death which at least has endings?

But words such as these are fashioned
For the mind, blue with untruths.
Littered about my body like flyers for those
Wanted, my body assailed, my soul pissed
But eager for conversation, the park at night

Filled with shadows that could amount
To anything, methadone, hypodermics
That might take away the bland readiness
Of the mind working, of the mind laud in situ,

And now as the last trail of the moon steadies
I lay down to sleep, the park benches
Insecure as dreams of color and unsteadiness.
Bringing provocation in, just one more sniff,
One more needle as the shadows of the children's
Slide turn into something prehistoric that might
Tumble into dark, an image far too strong to imagine,

Coming without first needing blessings, the lost
Prayer answered without action but with the broad
Smile of God edging inwards, until the truth hurts
And I alone, sentence myself to death.

John Cornwall