promise, from : ceremonies of the horsemen, by pd lyons


indian pipe @ sleeping giant

indian pipe @ sleeping giant

 

prisoners of ghosts haunt the hallways of my own memories
past lives
opportunities regretted
twists and turns
I don’t want to leave only dried hollow husks
blown by my own reluctance to participate in my own and only treasure.

we lived in a time
when women sat beside us whispering on back porch landing’s
interrupted by the neighbors
running down the stairs
hands wet beneath Danskin purple skirts she spoke of how in past or future
it didn’t matter which but another life
I was her child she the mother
knowing I would go on to crucifixion
suckled me with salt water tears
glistening breasts mingling milk
into my hungry hot house mouth.

were there ever other places
other days,
freedom
confidence
a mouth full of meat
a belief in anything was possible.

I stood with someone once at midnight, the midnight
not just a time form but place
a place where midnight
born and lives out its days in each of us.
The place of my mid night sometime in October
out there by the water
breath rising in smoke
dew soaked shivering pirate breath kisses

I called you cypress by moon light,
buccaneer beauty I chose
there in the place of my own midnight
you but not you
rather the you of what you were.

I called you Guinevere by moonlight
lay down with you there
in the pace of my own midnight
among cold Halloween golf course grass
surrounded by stolen beer bottles
by a dwindling hedge barely separated from the street.

The only promise I ever kept –
never a mathematician or carpenters wife.
I have not even now more years than miles can tell – broken that promise.
Sometimes I forget I made it,
sometimes I forget to congratulate myself for not breaking it,
sometimes I try to barter it, threaten to turn my back if somebody doesn’t pretty soon pay me for it.

But I am not the famous rebel,
I am not the muse’s figure head –
quietly steadily I am only the keeper of my own promise
born from misguided Madonnas
introduced by pale white women the place of my own midnight

I have never stopped,
I have never turned back
that’s all I have ever really done
with all that treasure which was my life,
no big deal but still something real, no surrender, no slipping ,
no disparity of one who broke the only promise ever truly made.

 

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