Submissions for the 2nd Leonard Cohen Anthology ends on September 1st

900+ Leonard cohen ideas in 2021 | leonard cohen, leonard, adam cohen

Send in poetry, essays, artwork, articles, emotions, inspired creative ideas that came from reading or listening to Leonard Cohen. This is a follow up to Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen in 2019. “Before I Turn Into Gold” will include a few pieces from the original anthology, revised work from me from the first anthology, artwork by Geoffrey Wren, submissions from our blog & through our e-mail at feversofthemind@davidlonan1

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All of the poems (revised) from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen by David L O’Nan

A Hallelujah for a Midnight War

I can feel your skin breathing in orbs
kisses that feels like surgeries
and the money dies off when you are greedy
and we step right into a Midnight War
Millions of Judases in the wilderness
The sick and the crimson
In torment, so petrified
One breath, chokes

In chaos
the hammer smashes in the glass
We are hidden behind these walls
a combustion in bones
and all to become vapor
In this Midnight War
Where the glitter turns to ashes
breaking from the chairs, a howl
The spectres and the stars
Looking as one
Like in a mirror of night

We have been forsaken of riches
They loot the diamonds from the heart
And the robbery is simplistic
we feel translucent watching the seas
The Midnight War cripples
And the waves clash together in an

The virgins spin down
with chapped lips
and breeding, hungry eyes
You are numb to touch
A revolver, an allergy
The flaming of whips to erase your mind
The pearls, they fall to the fire
the path is a torrent from fibrous roots -
to the vines of cherries
Angelic songs
Obliterates, to my auditory invisibility
In grief, in pain
Praying in puns

So, Midnight passes
And we are back to 1 a.m.
Time for the blossoms and the honey
woven into the fabrics of Earth
tip toes the demons away
White horses begin to gallop -
wildly around the curves
and suddenly your eyelids open
back to the reds, blues, orange in the sunlight, surrender
hear the hearses beginning to putter
the gas kills off the energy

Ripped Off My Jean Jacket 

As the symptomatic leaves begin to fall
I watched noiseless waterfalls -
drink in the deranged and lame
Our bodies are blush,
decorated into these parks
by the stabbing strokes of a paintbrush

Brush away these harsh devils
Wiped away all of my tattoos
My head is clammy and sweating
Watch the stars penetrate the heart
From the moon,
I have become the decorous
the ultimate gentleman -
to all that is blind
whip-in the inhales
And shoot the arrows to the waves.

If I am uncovered,
if truths are found to be false
I will carry myself like a casket
and image myself as the lifeless wooden doll
I collapse
to the thundering faint, to the floor
I ripped off my jean jacket
the wild, the seeds plucked to be reborn

Long nights listening to this same rain falling
the owls are silent in their hoots
the traces of our footprints -
are known to be crazy
we are picking the serpents from our boots.

So, is this the white noise?
I live in either gray or electric shock
an impulse is easier to swallow
but sin takes time to regurgitate.

Oslo in the Heart 

It was 4 seasons in Oslo
Where they greased the wheels for our eyes
when they bleached the brides
my skin has turned to purple veins,
locked my mind inside a wall of chains
all the Norwegian women bled like rubies
over a beach of shells
Candlelight on the bones inside the moon
cooking the peasants in a witch's ritual.

Oslo was in my heart
when we wed
Winter crosses full of wet lead
tuning my mind to a dripping paint
and rippling vapors whip in every corner.

Oslo was in my heart that day
we danced a fandango
through the avalanches lay bare sleighs
the mountains had broke for all the old anger in the stones.

Oslo nights in wonderfalls
heartbroken men and shallow women calling
for the moneymen to come from the big U.S. city
the commercial life
the vacations and all the models
bankruptcies in graveyards
the drifting of the wind.

Shenandoah Tramps

You walk the streets like you are still in Tabriz
You miss the Iranian Summers
While fumbling full of wine
you feel the prickly goosebumps from the breeze.

And we begin to walk with a squint
as the sun masks the city
eyelids bouncing,
and quivering drunk lips.

You desire the kiss when the night stirs
dressed in scarlet red
looking for that efficacious effect
We are like the stars in the sky
celebrities in meteoric flash

We are just lost
from the waste to the lakes
trying to unlock the code
to flee us from the beams of Heaven's Gate

We can wish on these wine bottles
throw in the pennies for a little luck
we can invent beauty
out of the contagious Shenandoah muck.

Our city is just a bullet town
Our love will fall like tramps in the rain
with our hands becoming umbrellas
trying to protect us from the downpour
awake our celestial shine with this oncoming train.

And here come the dollies 
and all of the sheepmen
who gather ours fossils
and they use them for swanky chaotic sin
our rose is a misery 
burn the shell right off this redolent city.

The streetlamps are as dim as a yellow puddle
with a hint of chickweeds growing around the blacktop tumors.
And all we can talk about all of the music,
and hum until poetry rifles through our brains.
Studying the fallen art stuck to the limbs of trees
On the edge of what was Calliope.

When all was tame and flowery,
The strong was not frail without a care
Our frames were not broken, just skeletal grey
And we would dine on evening air
and dance to the melody of church bells 
the hymns were our parade.

Drinking Blue Moons

I was burning through the poker chips
Looking eye to the cavernous eye of some demon
I see all the misleading in your passions.
If all your passions are the flaming dollars
and all shoes want to dance for the triumphs

You have a Malibu boy doll home
with wives that sashay in the golden fields
beautiful gardens and thrusting seeds
water this, burning just a little.

And we all want your suits and all the glory
the perfect hair and the ungodly White teeth
Maybe the jealousy lives in all of us
but we know you're as fragile as a toothpick -
when your way begins receding.

Drinking Blue Moons when the red wine runs low
You begin pacing like a war of pistols
when the bombs begin flashing your photos - to the world
we know you, there are truth whisperers

Your flavor of the month decisions
begin to disease with constant new kisses
After dark in powder kegs
love hearts dancing around the bones
to erode them
three sheets to the wind
and your toy world is for sale and crumbling.

Love, love, love
is in the twist of a bottle-cap
Love, love, love
Is putting your head next to the ammunition
the boattail bullets dips you in to the a round of ripples
Love, love, love
Your blondes in black in the background crying.

All the women are there
from all your hidden life messages
to a Lucy, an Alexis, a Leilani, an Olivia
From the bedrooms with White curtains
and all that money -
was never his to begin with
Will he rest in peace in a graveyard of suitcase tombstones?

An Autumn Scarecrow

If my song for you is Autumn
From the roof I shall sing to a soft chill
My voice is an earthquake quivering out
these little sonnets and trails of letters
Coming down faster than the snow

We soon stand still in the early season blizzard
It will blade through all of the farmland
The prairies ruined with guillotined scarecrows
bleeding straw like a hydrant
This is our beauty, this is our moment
Will you say I love you back from this Midwestern view?

And we can warm each other in praises
In the hills of sleet where we shared our first kiss
your hair falls over my body like the stars tonight
And magnetizing our hearts together in our newly found love.

Let us birth the Winter Solstice in the death of leaves
I really never cared much for all the scarecrows
they were nothing but a lie
To keep the dying birds on the street

I know, I know I can love you
At least for awhile in this arctic shift
as my heart beats lazily the colder it gets
Well, do we escape together?
Before all the tornadoes of Spring
hunt for fresh meat
to begin the hunt for a new shelter
Share this breath with me a little longer
before I have to think of the potential hazards.

All of the Miles Between Us

There are many miles between ideals
and many indecisions.
Between the straying women
Riding new wheels
and feeling weightless.

Do I feel artistic,
or just punch wildly and swing around to a phantom touch?
How can I be me?
When I am constantly feeling stalked
by the shadows, the voices, and past scars
the new wheels begin to break and roll down the road.

I see you play the actress
You play with the best of them
Just call you Joan Crawford, Just call you Mrs. Hepburn
I can't see myself in these mirrors
past the steam there you may be
Is it the lipstick or the lie?

Just cradle me
you are my melting candle
Like a mind without sympathy
Hear the wails in the air, 
I'm constantly in a crawl for you
but you felt more secure by naked irises
and secure by the many miles between us.

On Rippling Streets and Possibly Dying

Inhale, exhale, now uncertainty
awoke or maybe i'm a splattered angel to the road.
In feathers like a cardinal in hot August breath
Burning away to the move of a wicked gravitational spin

I'm on a rippling street,
dust swirling like my head
covered in an old business suit, damp and frail
watching abandoned Subway trains moving once again.
I see a 1940's traveling preacher on the corner.
One moment he's for Jesus, the next he's in it for the flames.

I stare into the hypnotism of a long walk to triumph
I have to face the destruction of regret
and neglect myself in cigarette smoke that wrestles the air -
to the gray we all see in this converging heavens
From this industrial sewage drains to the tobacco fields
the trees lift from the ground funneling energy from the clouds.

I'm on this rippling street
And I think i'm lifeless
a hex to the all the beauty of colour
a hissing in my shoes
they begin to race by you to get to me
Do they see a man, a skeleton, or invisibility?

And the Wolf Shakes

In a camera's view
I am the tortoise
When hidden away I can be the hare
With whistles, dry kisses, and dangerous fixes
I can suddenly be the crushed worm.

I feel the hierarchy of changing
the wind cracks these castles to rubble
And you dream of the vicious
and you dream of the gentle warmth
in the shelters when the wolf shakes.

Eventually, the Winter will slip through
Those cracks and eternally
We feel we become the peasant's meal
The bears begin  knocking and Goldilocks is illuminated
Always hiding like the scared child
When it begins thundering the war sirens.

The bullets, the bombs
Squeezing like the boa even when we run
The parades become eerie and the howling sounds like hell
Tight and abusive,  the frightening smiles and nods
those demons drink in the rain
and leave us all thirsty
with endless clouds still bleeding.

Imagine the harps and flirtations of the angels
only to be tricked by the chivalry of the devil
I see the spit of poison reflecting up -
from the bottom of a wineglass.
And God can be the illustrator when you are fearful
when tasting of the bread and the Holy Bible is a straitjacket
to whisper you back to sanity.

These wars were made for men
certainly not made for love
the damages have painted a death,
for the wash.
Now the washing away.
The floods finally have come.

Wiping away the hoax of the drifters
in these torrents 
to rebuild our trenches
where we can desire to live again
When will that wolf leave.
will the sheep ever get to play?

Leonard Cohen's Ghost

To dance, dance, sway, just sway
with all the Gods, the ghosts, the deities that we pray to.
Restless orbs hovering through my bedroom.
On the walls that they call home.

In their wooden eyes and popcorn ceiling shedding
I feel a leaky roof's carcass form an IV drip of falling rain
On the bed sheets, on my cold Manhattan muscles
with all the holiness, the prophets, and the seers - that surround
Drinking the electricity from my blood.

In my slumbers I see the hereafter
In windows bonded by straps
Paralyze my brain to a schizophrenic trap
Patch myself back with apologies and prayers
the Soul keeps straying to and from this thin layer
between me and the concrete sky

In this room lives the melancholia
Reflections of Orion
and all my visions, Judases, and the disease - in synthesis
My bones fail, 
and muscles endlessly ache
they crack and break 'til I cease to be

Being an old man
dressed in yesterday's fashion.
I sleep in my suit, with another suit for pillows to cushion
The opium that fills me begins to possess me when it becomes night.
I may be left abandoned, yet you want to steal my soul.
You reach from the floor and present my death as Christmas Day.

I have your stains in my DNA,
And your perversions scarred in my brain
I looked to you during grief and hunger
And you, the angel, the woman, the saint - the kiss
Gave me a drink from my flask on the worst of days
I retire away from your memory.
Where can I find the safety again of family?

In New York the rats know you by your name.
And you gamble with them in Central Park
Drink your coffee with the visions of Virgin Mary
the herald angels we Hark!
I begin to dream away a crystallizing of waterfalls 
the moving mountains on my deathbed calls.

My children have all left the buzzing city
I have grown skinny, skinnier every day
with this beard always itching.
The room feels like it's a melting paste.
And I sketch all the martyrs, my family, and founding fathers
And I pray to a wisp of light that shatters against the lamp post.

In all of its fury, I meditate through this path
I confess to a mass of angels lifting away the flames from my soul.
I want salvation 
as I see the jetlines of Leonard Cohen's ghost. 

Smoke Halos in Endless Winters

The infatuation with you was immediate
You complimented me on my shirt
Your tanned skin danced with the sunlight for the Summer
As I sit in admiration for you in the crackling dirt.
I infected myself,  
haunt myself with your routine.
Day after day
the ring on your finger seemed to be on display.
How you cried in your loneliness and longing.
And I wanted to be the shadow that meditates in your soul.

In coffeehouses we roamed
The same crowd of people we knew
I wanted to draw you closer
Your heart belonged frozen to a soldier's march in a sick hue of blue.
Even when he screams
You sat as the trophy on his shelf.

There was a line of men like me
some had love in their mind, others were just bawdy
Many admirers left blushing
at the parties and in the silence
And in the New Year's trips 
I was hanging on to my sanity
from the tip of your lips I wish mine were.

And I would cry for your nomadic footprints
That I lost and battled myself to find
And every time I thought you have found clarity
The green pebbles from the red,
Then you became a borderline aurora
My body thrown in the piles of dead,
just another audit for the cemetery.

You would come home in tears, a distance
My arms still open many months for your embrace.
After months of your endless nights and dark mornings
The smoke halos above an Alaskan bay.
I'd hope for the energy of my heart to be revived 
I wanted to charm your broken one from the ashes in your shoes.

I would hint annoyingly trying to drag out a smile.
And you would hide behind a mask of newspaper
I would write you poetry, and I bled out my blues
I would ask for a dance though I didn't know how
I would gladly try even if my legs were be broken.
If at the end you were the ultimate prize.

I would've danced my tears to a drought
I would've lifted you up above the clouds
And touched the wings of the angels
to revive us from the Earth's shutting crust
And the younger years become a dusting.
And full of those hearts stuck paralyzed.

The strings of years form on my forehead
A husband and a father
And I know you are around
I still feel the fighting of those ghosts
I feel you are battling them also
though the nomads walk begins to slow.
The footprints of Winter now have a home.

The Shrinks and Street Heroin

From the morgue you seem restful, finally
Your blonde hair, blue eye German swirls became languished
From the battles of Berlin and Cologne
You walk like the death of magic.

The rain dissolves in your palms and fades
Fall in the puddles of your narcissism and hatred
your reflection as withered as your health
the death of the superego and the icy stared pupils.

The needles came from everywhere
and you collected them all as if they had value
and all your shrinks kept pushign you closer to the brink.
Your fashion became flooded
like the blood in the plunger.

They inject the dye and lies
And you swim in a coma through the streets -
of this dying city.
While all the boys would watch you like a sunset
You quietly regress as the opium drips from the tap.

Soon you befriend the devil
But you say you hugged Jesus
You've brought flowers for the enemies
And you dreamt up an artistic sewer.

There are weird, wicked & wonderful snails
That lay on the concrete in  your heart
And they just want  you to feed them the freedom
From the points of lust in needles
With their many injections and ejections.

So let us travel to your voyage
The withdrawals and we surround you like all the pneumonia
Pounds, pounds your lungs
Pounds, pounds your breath
baby, baby, baby
the palpitations, the scarring, the stench
Living life like the jagged nails on a bench.
become dispensable.

Not bathing in oils anymore
sleeping naked on the bathroom floor
Your shrink now has an unlisted number
No longer the fresh breeze
in your decay of all art and poetry
the mortality surrendered
Permanently in my doorway is your dark shadow.

An Ode to Tessa While in New York

The juveniles gathered around your blinds
They studied your silhouette to memory
Dancing like Ann-Margret around the room
The candles burning around a 1985 waterbed.

On New York city nights
one of the college boys in the alley
Looking for a clue and a view
You'd walk out slightly drunk,
smiling at crowds of boys
with eyes that were up to no good.

Riding a green bicycle to the Jackson Hole
your scent of sweet cigarette smoke and perfume,
leads the path to a perfect follow
Maybe I will come down and have a drink
While you chat about the news to some hipster folks
I see you flirting with them all. 

Everyone laughs until we bruise
my heart just jumps like a petrified fish.
I have to walk by and say a hello
Although, there were more handsome faces in the shadows.
I hope to at least be more hypnotic than the stained spoons -
in this diner.

You say "I am Tessa, but I believe you already know that"
I introduced myself, she said "I've always liked your artsy hat"
We drank coffee 'til our stomachs bled.
And I was as shy as a detached bubble.

You carried the conversations, lead my hand
Picking flowers out of the cracked sidewalks near Brooklyn
Lead my hand, as we joined silhouettes
As the other jealous hustlers sat in the rain.
Lead my hand, through other diners with scent of burnt coffee.
Drinking our time away we would be catty, flirty & bitchy
Tessa,  you really enhanced my greed and need 

In nights I swayed with you
Nights we cried into each other's chest
Nights we drugged ourselves to nightmares
Nights we laughed until the extra strangers left
Now, in New York here I am
Long distances between the walks in all the boroughs
All the pigeons, drink at cold waters
the Statue of Liberty looks plagued.

Since my needs are old
When you lead my hand, to the bars
You lead my hand, by all the Harlem diamondbacks
You lead my hand, to you breathing your last breath -
on the back of my neck.
You lived your life for many,
but to yourself you hid away all your suicides.

Featured photo/art  by Geoffrey Wren 

Wolfpack Contributor EIC Bios:  David L O’Nan & HilLesha O’Nan

Wonderful Artwork from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen by artist/writer Geoffrey Wren

A Deepening Happiness by Daniel Galef (from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology)

Hepatica, Blue, Flower, Blue Flower

A Deepening Happiness

 I woke up happy this morning
and I don't know what to do
The metamorphosis is total. Irreversible.
It is worse than Ovid, worse than Kafka.

I have not lived a poor life,
and have been blessed on sweet occasion to feel bright joy,
Sharp elation, the blue flower bliss,
Even a rare euphoria (with the aid of substances or human substances)
It was nothing like this is.

I tried to write. I could not write.
I tried to swim through the world,
the syrupy matrix of it that has always slowed along like drunken laughter -
from doorstep to 
It was like air.
My friends have begun to greet me as a picture of myself,
My brothers to view me from the other side of their eyes,
My lovers to notice my embrace imperfect,
because it is no longer desperate and wanting,
because it is no longer love.

These are turns that should make me unhappy
but I cannot see them that way.
Those who would love me less for my good fortune must themselves -
not be worthy of me.
This thought makes me happy.
It is an ugly thought.

I went to bed happy last night,
Anticipated a flat stone dreamlessness that was delivered.
I will wake up tomorrow,
My soul burdened with the sins of the world
Bearing seven-and-sevenfold the many wounds I have inflicted on it,
Filled with gravel and the slow fire that can flash without warning -
either white or red,
Or my prayers will go unanswered.

*First published in Snakeskin Poetry

Bio from 2019:
Daniel Galef's short stories have appeared in the American Bystander, Barnhouse, Bards and Sages Quarterly, Rivet, and Flash Fiction Magazine. At McGill University he wrote or edited for dozens of university publications and won the Krivy Award for Excellence in Playwriting at the McGill Drama Festival. He is the official Webster's Dictionary citation for the word "interfaculty" 

Leonard Cohen and Edie Sedgwick at the Chelsea Hotel by Joan Hawkins

photo by ChrisinPhilly5448
Leonard Cohen and Edie Sedgwick at the Chelsea Hotel 
Written on the occasion of Leonard Cohen’s 82nd birthday

There is a legend about Leonard Cohen and Edie Sedgwick.
And it goes something like this.

Edie, Andy Warhol’s fastest rising superstar, was giving one of her famous parties at the Chelsea Hotel. Everyone who lived there was invited.  But nobody expected that Leonard Cohen, the dapper dandy of late Beat-dom, would come.  No one could picture Leonard Cohen—even then—doing the boogaloo in Edie’s apartment. And Edie’s was not the kind of place where a depressed poet could have a serious conversation about alchemy and The Book of Changes, about the magic of women and the Kabbalah, about whether the Jews were a doomed people. And these were the topics that interested Leonard Cohen.

So, there was a little hush when he arrived, wearing his famous blue raincoat, clutching a bottle of ouzo like a talisman.  All the sweet young things parted to let him pass, and Edie trilled her enthusiasm at his presence in her rooms.

Now Edie’s party was not Leonard Cohen’s first brush with the Factory.  He had watched Nico perform at the Dome.  Going back to 8th Street night after successive night, always sitting front and center.  Like everyone, he was mesmerized by her beauty. But he also heard the siren song in her voice, that spoke to him like prophecy.  It was listening to Nico, people said, that gave Leonard the idea he could sing.  And maybe he was looking for Nico when he arrived at Edie’s door. Weaving his way through the crowd, pulled by something he could not name. 

There were drugs and music at Edie’s. And in the manner of 1960s parties, candles blazed everywhere.  Women pressed forward, attracted by Cohen’s reputation as a ladies’ man and by the promise of something broken in him.  But as much as he loved women, it was to the candles that Leonard Cohen turned his attention.  Circumnavigating the room, trailing his long guitarist fingers along the wainscoting, he studied them so intently he scared the glitter children.  Waving away all offers of drugs and wine, needing to stay clear-headed as he mapped the precise location of all the flickering flames, keeping—as he said-- the channels open. 

Round and round the room he went, calling up every bit of arcana he knew.  Wanting to make sure; reluctant even then to spoil the party, reluctant to ruin Edie’s good time. But when he knew for certain, he took someone aside.  A man probably, since Cohen was a patriarch at heart. 

“Those candles,” he said.  “They’re arranged to cast a bad spell.  Fire and destruction. Candle magic is powerful.  She shouldn’t fool around with these things.  Because they are meaningful.  Her friends should tell her.”  And with that the doomsayer of folk music tugged on his raincoat and was gone; in search of Enlightenment or another muse.

That’s where the legend ends.  Nobody knows if Edie’s friends warned her.  Told her that Leonard Cohen, who knew a thing or two about the occult, had read the candles and seen disaster. Or, if they did, what she might have done to outfox fate.

But one thing is known—a matter of historical record.  The night following this particular party, Edie’s bed caught fire.  Edie woke up just in time, made a dash for the door and collapsed in the hall. In a speedball-daze, her friends said. Her hands and arms were badly burned. Her room gutted.  Her cat, Smoke, died.  Her friend Bobby Andersen went to the hotel a few days later and rummaged through the ashes to see if anything was salvageable. There was nothing left.  Just a hole in the floor where the bed had stood.  And some lacey remnants of melted wax.

Bio from 2019:
Joan Hawkins is an Associate Professor in Cinema and Media Studies at IU Bloomington, and primarily writes creative nonfiction and poetry. She is the Chair of the Writers Guild at Bloomington, and her creative work has appeared in Sand, n+1, and the Performing Arts Journal. Her most recent book is an edited anthology, William S. Burroughs Cutting Up the Century (Indiana University Press). She has been a Leonard Cohen fan since she heard his first album at age 16.

3 poems from ps pirro from Fevers of the Mind Anthology & Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen

(a previous version of this poem was included in The Breakup Poems, a collection ps pirro published in 2017)


It took so much longer than anyone expected,
by the time it happened we'd nearly forgotten,
our children are old now, and theirs older still.
I remember that fortune inside that cookie,
be like water it said, and you tore it in two,
because who has that kind of time?
The soles of your boots have worn away
at the place where the weight of the world
meets the road that carried us here.
All those footsteps, all that leather,
all those people we used to be, they cling
like shadows and hide when we turn.
Did you ever think, I ask, and no, you say,
you never did, and we blink like mole people,
emerging from darkness, blind in the light.
Both of us knowing we got it all wrong,
you with your gun, me with my bowl,
you with no bullets, me with no spoon.

Daylight Savings
I spent the night
with Leonard Cohen
we were birds on a wire,
we were drunks
in a midnight choir.
We lost sleep
but saved the daylight,
it was springtime,
we were so high.
We were coins tossed
beneath a concrete bridge,
a fire burning in an oil drum,
we stumbled through
the deep hours,
losing one to foolish whim,
six months will pass
before we find it again,
In the glint of a new-rising sun
we took the uptown train
from Manhattan to Berlin,
there was music
on Clinton Street and you
looked so much older
your raincoat hardly famous
at all, just misty now
like the faded morning sky.
Come home with me Leonard
and I will do unto you what you
have done unto others
I will tie you to my kitchen chair,
and keep for myself a lock
of your hair and feed you
tea and oranges that came
all the way from China,
and pour myself like honey
into this daylight
we have saved, you, and I.

I Was One of Those

I would have fallen for you had the geography been right,
and the decades, even though it took another woman
to sing your song, and others still pierce your heart,
and you had a type and I was not it, the fates would not align,
and (even though) I could not comprehend the tales you told
or the cadence like a missed step in your poetry, still,
I was one of those.

I found you on a shelf in the used bookstore, dark eyes
full of something like soul, or desire, I saw you in the face
of my high school crush who could have been your kin,
so much your image, but he too, loved another, and died
on prom night, a pixilated photograph of his mutilated
automobile on the front page (below the fold, have mercy)
the following day.

We can be selfish in our poems, this I learned from you,
our stories tipping like drunks in search of solace, I clipped
the photograph, tucked it away in a drawer, told myself
(and no one else) that had he taken me to that dance we
would have taken a different road, and he might have lived
to discover how good he looked at 60 in a rakish fedora
and a well-cut suit.

ps pirro lives in a place by the river and blogs with some infrequency at