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elegy for a year :: jay deshpande

by on October 11, 2015

I’m going to get drunk tonight, in my home, by the side
of my own side, like a fishing village preparing for winter.

I’m going to unite myself with the hair of every former tenant
of my disconsolate thirty-year form. Something stifles

through the tender-grass. Strokes the pond on its hot slept heart.
I reach for my ghosts like Horatio. When I wake up again,

the day will have a saddle on. Even though it’s not yet sun o’clock.
Flashback, new years: my friend drops the hatchet on the hatchet

on love, and I can’t ignore the clacking in my shirt pocket
any longer. I reach up with a hand of milk: inside I find in threes

the small cool stones I meant to leave on the shelf of a memory
of the persons I lost. It’s what you do when someone’s family tree

falls in the forest and no one is around.
April rises like a giddy burn, its fists of one night

trading badges with the constables of the next.
I want to be shorn again as much as I want to never go back.

When someone lets me speak my anchor-song to Central Park,
spraying enormous air over the summer-ready company,

I feel briefly guilty. The crank I turn the world with
is such a hot thing. It uses the lungs of others like a coal-engine.

And it is for this reason that tonight I will be alone.
With my madness. With my menu of hors-d’oeuvres

with dug-out cores. And when I wake up again
to the tune of another year older, a clock in the sink,

I’ll see me as the remarkable being at the center
of a flat myth elephants think of as they sleep

on the talkative plains. I’ll be there among the tusks inside of me.
With the thing I hold that holds the thing I need.

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