Sean J Mahoney

For a moment this afternoon

I am no longer an aspiring poet;
not while the honeysuckle
need untangling and thinning,
not while the thickening citrus
reaches into its sacred heart
and in a raspy tremor unlike
my own, whispers.

I read about my voice once -
the tongue I found -
but that book was eaten
by a quick and dirty dog
and puked out as confetti.

I am no longer a singer;
Lady Day begged me to fold
and chest my young man dreams
while she tied off.
She sirened. Enticed me
to instead embrace numbers,
raw and solid, and a life
of spreadsheets. Rows.

I heard my voice once
but that sound was mistaken
for a sure lifeboat
and dropped overboard
for a distressed damsel.
She drowned anyway
as the wood of the device
argued itself into loose
knots as it sank.

Under the temperance
of the cool night sky
the needles of the moon snake
their way across dark waters
and prop my eyelids while
I'm pissed on -
a shower of brass figurines,
molten innuendo,
and desktops scarred
with ballpoint carvings:
Fags suck good.
Dumb as a hammer.

And irony is delicious.

May the lesser saints
be gloriously painted.
The system is flush with
finger-width loopholes
and cruel invention.
The ink bottle has spilled
and run, run over the palm-sized
photo of my father
who promised me I'd starve
trying to aspire to anything.

Sean J Mahoney © 2013