Derelict

 

Find me a nice, large cage with the door open.
Back me out of here with your kisses.
My shoes need laces.
My pants need your finger to hold them up.

   "Dark Corner", Charles Simic

Viewed at that angle, I am
An assortment, parts Eschered together,
The patient and the raging,
My face as cracked as enamel
On the Order of Lenin, red
As that Valentine on the mantle,
The anachronistic stop light
In the Van Gogh hanging in the attic,
But it's not all blood and bolts
In the neck and train-track stitches
Down the brow, there’s a brain
Beneath that field of gray,
Admittedly stolen from everyone
I ever loved, or loathed, or found
Exquisitely strange, an organ
In both senses, bellowing
With the blood of others,
Pulse priming the pipes
From a heart far away,
Knowing only its own anger,
Like fingers clenched in a red
Glove, as the woman drops
Scented stationary into the box
Beneath the sign that says
“Will work for kindness”,
And I pull out my ancient
Book of red cheques and post
Another to the charity that consigns
Excess caresses from the blessed
And go back to swinging my big head
Left and right: the red dress of a late-night
Debutante, the red Toyota with a trunk full
Of umbrage, the red glow on every
Building caught unaware in the sunset.