Eruption

ERUPTION

Your penitentiary life bunks in a dormitory suburb,
hopes mortgaged and remortgaged,
until you owe yourself too much.
When volcanoes are dormant they say they’re only sleeping.
Not you.
You’re extinct.
Couldn’t erupt if you tried: your molten rage all cooled to stone
retaining walls that hold three-by-twos together;
hold you in like a final breath.
The cottage blocks get smaller each year, each subdivision
Contracting in a gasp
Like shrink-wrap over your open mouth.
Until you’re suffocating behind perspex vistas of tumbleweed streets
Dream homes rising like tombstones on traffic-calmed asphalt.
Don’t you ever want to throw the door open?
and just
Race! / Run! / Thrash!
Wake the dead with a fire alarm guitar
Tear your wound open in the local park
Make lights blink on, silhouettes illuminate thresholds, heads tilt
As their neighbour bleeds on astroturf
Dying, but relieved
Finally: skin in this bloodless game.
– Holden Sheppard

Angelo Street

Angelo Street

 

cracked golden leaves float in the stormwater

gonna get the tail ends of my jeans soaked

these cute citizens walk on red pavers

their shades more expensive; muscles bigger

 

and it rains on Angelo Street as I drive

anything I love I hate as much in kind

 

I wait for five to throw back six and wonder

why the holiday pennies won’t stack up

and the taste of all that cheap salt is sweet

until I want to crack my skull on the mirror

 

and the rain on Angelo Street reminds me

that whatever I love I hate as much in kind

 

and I trusted someone enough to spill my guts once

I said it took balls to do something like that

and you curled your lip and said “yes,

but it’s not as if you’ll be needing those anymore, right?”

 

and I haven’t stopped running since

and this tug of war can never end

 

your arms in bed reanimate my cold-blooded heart

but those kisses on my neck crush my windpipe

we lived here together as brothers once

and we will never be brothers again

 

and it rains on Angelo Street as I die

any time I am loved I am hated as much in kind

 

 

Words © Holden Sheppard 2018

Photo “Gold Leaf Rain” © Sylvia Valentine