Poetry

Caper's Poets

Blue Lantern — William Doreski

Determined to catch me sinning,

you accuse me of attending

synagogue with atheist intent

and of buying heroin to give

to grammar-school kids. No wonder

you once caused a train wreck—bodies

arrayed by the track, a pair

of locomotives locked like stags.

Good thing we didn’t marry

after graduating high school

as your drunken father insisted.

He obsessed on your sex life

and now he drools in the nursing home

where the nurses think he’s cute.

Snow piles up in the alleys.

Rat-tracks simper from trash can

to trash can. Your flat overlooks

the site of a notorious fire.

They hauled a hundred carcasses

from the wreckage. You inspired

that disaster by staring intently

at the people going in and out

of the night club in the basement.

Upstairs, where the fire started,

a lone ghost prowled with blue lantern,

which you read as the emblem

of the life we failed to share. Now

enshrouded in wealth, you regret

nothing but the failure to catch me

in sins worse than yours. You crouch

by your gas fireplace and warm

the palms of your hands and pretend

you’re going to brand me with scorching

I’ll never shed; but black ice

scours the winter streets, concealing

the places where I’ve bled for you.

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Filed under: Issue 3, William Doreski, ,

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