i knew when the grey
like a peeping tom
showed its face in the window
to split my skull into fragments
that last night was a bad, bad idea
my stomach fills with the gurgling of
a pint of vanilla and a metric ton of melancholy
while last night’s fire-water burns its slow course
through the veins in my cranium
turning my sleep and dignity to ashes
and everything suddenly erupts like st. helen’s
onto the hardwood floor
this sulphur-scented yellow the color of my shame

coffee’s been the cure-all for everything
from hangovers to drowsiness to broken hearts
this morning it’ll heal all three

but milk and sugar won’t take the sting away
last night he went to denver but he won’t be back
the memory’s still fresh–the call, the tremble and collapse

i’ve never tasted blood, but it guess that it might be
something like this morning, red with pathos
and leaving such a taste like grief in the back of my mouth

that, miserable, i tried to kill with cheap beer and tequila
so that everything today is cloaked with black
like an ancient widow’s mourning weeds

and it all pours out like the mississippi to that sea down in galveston–the waters of a thousand miles finding themselves swallowed in a life, a murkiness greater than itself. consumed, only to rise and fall to heal the earth again, i guess, but it’s ten a.m. and i’m still numb, and any tears are just salt pouring into the gaping wounds you left when you tore him away from me…you say that we are salt to keep the earth from spoiling, but how can we keep the place from rotting when you leave us all to decay here ourselves?

How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD?
for ever?
how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
having sorrow in my heart daily?
how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and hear me, O LORD my God:
lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him;
and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

(psalm thirteen one through four)