When I was twenty my best friend
tried to kill me, he got drunk and
spoke in voices and sent his Army
hands toward me, my neck,
I worried later (when I got away)
that I couldn’t kill him, I mean,
I couldn’t squeeze my sanity through
a pinhole of violence barely small enough to see,
couldn’t make these sad musician’s hands
speak to act for the life of me.
And so it is the way it always is.
A year ago I fashioned myself as
one of the Brooks Brothers blood brothers
and this morning I watched a kid with
a bald spot like the sunrise get 20 years
in a manslaughter, his slammer pajamas
barely hugging his ass, and shit,
aren’t we all in the wrong place
from time to time? I thought of you
and your pretty legs and me and my hopeless
self and how my hopeless hands grip
the open air and leave nothing but
nothingness in their wakes, blades on a fan,
bars of a cell—well, we all make mistakes and
that’s just how it happens sometimes,
everything pathetic gets its naked day
in court, where our wasted selves abide.
Blame no one, we all find hearths
in which we’d burn. And that’s it.
It is the way it always is.
My fingers still don’t work.
So tie that tie ‘round my neck, baby,
watch me hang myself with desire.