Atlas and Alice - Issue 5

Page 43

Atlas & Alice | Issue 5, Winter 2015/2016

Crux A bruised evening cloud clots above ocean cliffs behind greasy glass in a cheap dusty frame on the wall of this bar. My yearning quota is all used up – to paraphrase Roger Waters – but oh, here it comes again: the turning of the tide. I can hear sweet backup angels singing over stormy seas. The corpse of Joe Cocker’s crawling through an open window in the ladies’ lavatory, and Sunday’s sending texts from Friday. I never want to be sober. I want to be a free man, Icarus, falling with you while birds catch fire and swoop the foamy edges of this pocket universe. Let’s be paper cutouts, like your wrinkled Matisse portrait, crucified in the last booth: a cross-shaped god, a man-shape flying in cross-formation through a blue field of blazing stars because even the cocktail waitress knows the loneliest part of today is the twilight, and I want to be left alone but never all alone. Not on the midnight watch when the bartender dims the lights and pours another round and the house band covers “Southern Cross” for the third time and I realize this boat, tossed on a darkling Galilee, isn’t the ship I boarded. 43

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