"And now! What did we wish to say, that we were not able to say?" --St. John Perse
"Love is a stranger in an open car" --the Eurythmics
When love is a stranger, things can get twisted.
A girl can get sick, being the McDonald's drive-thru of eating shit.
She may cop an attitude, or hear the cop say
to his partner, "That chick might as well just shoot herself."
That stuff sticks.
When daddy and his strophe wife, the replacement who shoots up Thomas Mann say,
"We'd like you to move out," after just a month of nervous dumbshow confusion,
the mulligans are running out and the road calls.
Where else you gonna go, baby?
When love is a stranger, there are still poets, painters,
failed academics, leering dittybops, locust nutjobs
and grandfathers walking with canes into
the roaring pandemonium of downtown San Antonio.
There are still stricken drunks on pulpit stools
to tell you, baby,
let's get out of here,
I know a slaughterhouse on the south side
where a girl like you could see god in fumed gold Krylon.
When love is a stranger and the bones bend
like spines of books with pages knifed out
to hold some lack-rent new straw man's works,
it's time to get knocked up with an idea,
blood out a new plan and join the shanghaied sailors
at the 12-step dock in the free lunch church downtown.
When some oxford-cloth fuck tells you not to come back,
You come back anyway, you find a new high,
you start scudding down San Pedro with no idea
and no wheels, but a sacred heart, a votive candle,
and maybe a shine-ghost mirage of something better.
Slide into the Olmos Theater,
start tatting together the film edges until you spill
out with the rest of the film buffs,
find a tarantula on the pavement on the way home and say,
"I will not die here."
That's when you pick up some pride, some Spanish
and some mom and pop Texican deliciousness
before doing the dishes to pay.
it doesn't have to be this way.
New friend Jake tells me that til it rings my ears.
He buys me the leather jacket I was jonesing for,
and suddenly it's my world too,
holy fuck, I have the right to be here,
and I am walking down Alamo towards the cenotaph
thinking maybe being a live coward or dead hero
are not the only choices that I have.