Poetry by Stephen
We could scribble on it except
They might skin our fingers or,
More likely, burn, burn since
They think fires clean.
I feel the same way, though
About a different blaze, the blaze
Of bodies intimate as a surgeon
Doing the open heart.
That, of course, was our crime.
Yet, back then, some almost took
It for granted: touch like take-out,
Easy to receive, find.
Still, is that any reason
For these pens, this ghetto:
Tattoos for the suspect, a graffiti
Indelible as the fear coming with each
Now theyve decided those infected
Do the branding, with capital punishment
For anyone who refuses.
Some choice, such compassion: the mechanism
Of hatred spilling contagious into whomever
Will play agent voyeur, & inform, inform
Their scared gaze has a stench: brutalitys
Venom whispering, fingering the innocent
As guilty even when there are not symptoms.
Thats part of the problem: rampant paranoia,
Persecution for survival.
So loved one, so heretic, come
Hold me close, just like you used to.
The trials are all over, & though imprisoned,
At least together there is sanctuary:
Wall-less, the walls broken, gentle
As I place my head, my lips
Where you were shaved
(After Brownes Beruit)
I was ten, maybe eleven, ( well who
& not trickin yet.
There was a garden, a great deal of mimosa
& a sky, bottle green.
Somebody else owned it, that yard big as Texas
& all kinds of statues, some winged, some
without arms. I thought I had died.
I mean, who would believe it,
That Id stumble upon this
After sneaking under those shrubs?
I was runnin from the cops
On account of stealin sausage, cheese, apples.
I had a coat with special lining.
Well, we all have to eat you know
& that shop was expensive.
Cut your losses. Move on.
In transits my motto, Jesus,
But that fruit was sweet & Id tell you more
If I could have just five cigarettes.
Then Id throw out this mirror someones
Propped neath my chin, you know,
Makin sure. Aw hell, its still clouding.
Back to the story, back to
Later on someone called me darling,
Really meaning to even.
I cant remember just who or why
& would like to see
cause it was just like bein back
With that mimosa & those angels,
Those angels & their wings
Stephen Mead is an artist/writer living
in northeastern NY. His home page with resume and
art samples can
be found at absolute arts. Stephen also
has several title pieces of ebooks incorporating image
and text archived at scars.tv.