after a conversation with aimee herman in red bank 08.14.11

purple bruised plum heart stops and starts and the needle jumps
and stays, jumps and stays, and there is only so much of this you
can take before you end up splayed out in the street just before
dawn wiping your eyes with your sleeve and wishing they would just
quit it with the damn paddles. you were just learning how to drown
in dry air when they came along and heaved you up to your feet,
brushed you off, and sent you out into the streets armed with
nothing but a half-crushed cigarette and a waterlogged notebook.
you can’t remember more than half of what was written and think
it’s probably better that way. the city spits you out and you
stumble on, coated with the phlegm of neon lights and sidewalk
conversation the color of crisis and ink is running from your nose
and your eyes are streaming but on the back of your hand there’s
some purpose written and you can’t always live for other people,
but sometimes it’s all that you can scrape by on.


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