A million anodynes that should have
numbed to brevity all of the prizes
I never won, all of the happy
endings that clanged harmlessly
off my life: none of them worked,
the hours spent in search of
the next drug-like novelty
wasted, wet ashes on the floors of
an ancient bar, stale beer, and the
prospect of unendurable loneliness.
As I fumble for the correct
chords, my fingertips rebel
and I see how very old
I have become. The house is
silent except for the ringing of
the last note; it whispers around the
window frame, and I pause
to watch it breeze out.
This is a stop that only goes in.
Lora, if with notes I could
paint the mere semblance of
how my arm felt around your
waist, of how my mouth felt
on your mouth, of how my
belly felt against your own,
that would be music enough,
but I cannot force the keys into
anything greater than a heap
of what would love to be order.
Carl James Grindley grew up on an island on Canada’s pacific coast but now lives and works in the south Bronx. His last book of poetry, Lora and The Dark Lady, was published in 2013 by Ravenna Press.