Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bitter medicine

Codeine Christmas Eve

Tires on Lakeshore Drive
sound like damp skin peeled clean  
of an endless adhesive bandage
unwound to reveal no visible wounds.

A dull razor riding along
the contour of patrician chin
that juts into Lake St. Clair
below Vernier Road
taking the utmost
care to avoid
nicking the thin skin
of exposed neck
stretched tight
above Windmill Pointe Drive.  

Menthol splash from the curling sheet
off Canada
swept in to   
soothe abraded estates
grown lush and full
from the stubble
of French ribbon farms,
a bracing slap in the face
to sting flood-lit Mary’s
and Joseph’s, huddled trio’s
of prostrate wise men
warming their hands,
thawing their myrrh
over drums of burning pallets,
a lava flow of colored lights,
bulb after bulb homing in
on a targeted neuron,
rendering the season
in crisp pixilation.

Bygone Rx stringencies
demanded both a wink and a nod,
“A bottle of your best, Lloyd”
to nurse a pertussint cough
persistent enough to draw
mothers and fathers attention,
exacting draftsmanship
demanding persistence,
devouring pencils like pretzel rods,
easier in the end
to render the wandering
magnetic pole
in a half-hearted sketch, only
beginning to limn dim icebergs off the starboard bow
towering over the deck
where they rearranged the chairs
and prescribed a double quelling dose.

Tires on Lakeshore Drive
echo across the years
the faded sound of a late night drive
trailing a falling star,
wallowing in frankincense,
swaddled in self-righteousness,
wreathed in dull-eyed oh woe is me. 

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