Epiphany at Locker 32

(cinders on the heart)

it’s dark here

I can’t see a thing…..

it’s quiet, dead-empty,

even my heartbeat is hollowed of sound,

I don’t know if i’m standing,

or lying aground:

I know where i am

but can’t move or sink or swim,

I feel cold

and i feel old.

yeah, i know, i know. it’s the soltice;

some slithery serpentine’s devil’s kiss;

like a long drawn-out permanent midnight,

the gross absence of daylight……

and these cheap couplets

like leftover stinking thanksgiving giblets,

toxic, confusing, unintelligible myths, i’m

wandering lost in labyrinths.

It’s dark here.

i’m standing by locker 32

and so i play my same game:

where was i when i was 32?

who was president?

where was i a resident?

did i own, or did i rent?

it’s a locker, 32, made in the usa: oakes, pa.

is it still there, do they have a

high school? did the plant close?

were there cheerleaders, now long gone,

except the old waitress who slouches

with red lipstick on her cigarettes

and reminds everyone how she was one

in the golden age of Oakes, for real,

when no one had yet heard the phrase foreign steel?

where was I when 32,

I was hungry then, and thirsty too,

and I was so much older then

like dylan sing’s in memory,

as I crawled desperate towards 33,

but now, although I stand

naked, beat-up, drenched in sweat before

locker 32:

it’s dark here, and

this heart is almost ashes,

barely a spark, hardly heat, and

I can’t see a thing,

i’m empty, i’m lost, it’s capricorn,

and I lament at any cost,

and wish i’d never been born.

when the brain

goes up in flames

the resulting ashes

fall from the head down

and sometimes settle like

cinders on the heart,


if there’s still a beat,

some blood flowing through,

and a hint of heat,

the embers can stir

a forgotten desire,

and the smoldering smoke

can turn ashes to fire.

so I wait, and hope, and pray,

for a cinder to catch

and bring light and warmth

to this now, right here,

and pull me back into

a brighter day.

And somewhere in the

deepest recesses of time:

some unknowable place

where even now and then

confuse each other,

where darkness dances

with light

so that day is night

and night is a

flavor on the tongue;

where someone’s son

can be someone’s mother,

and someone old becomes

someone young;

where light is a thing

only known

and not seen,

and sound can be

wrapped around

and around


so the utterance

of a name

can go on forever

in a blink

never sound the same

flow like a river and

sink like a stone;

in this place

the connection is made

that stretches

into a knowable now,


in this place

souls dance and collide,

become one and split off

beyond physical dimensions,

in this place

maybe within or maybe without,

barely a sound, hardly a voice,

echoes inside my head:


did I hear that right?

am I in the right place?

is there really a road with forks

and choice?

I could have sworn I’d heard

deep from the darkness,

stirring this sack of bones and aging flesh,

one single word: rejoice!

and I’m thinking, is this epiphany

standing before locker 32?

do I smell smoke? I look around

for any other sound or evidence

pointing to the hand of providence,

but I’m alone. the spark

from outside time, that conjures the whole,

kindles the dark, and saves my soul.

rejoice in the day, the light, the breath!

dance and spin before the day begins!

make love to the moon,

walk with laughter,

cry in the arms of someone you love,

sing in a chorus

and thank the stars

and thank each other,

and dream the light so bright

it’ll carry us all the way to aquarius,

and dream this,

this here, this now,

this moment, this present,

this sound of a singular vow:

a kiss.

dream it all while we’re awake,

take it home tonight,

connect the dots and

make new constellations.

the beat of my heart

is a great place to start,

the song in my soul

as old as the universe,

as new as an infant’s cry,

shall harmonize and continue

long after I die.

we have

two gifts

given at birth

ours to cherish til

we leave this earth:

inhalation and exhalation.

take in the breath

and we stave off death:

a dance, a chance

to bring hope and light and love and


we want into our lives,

an opportunity for rebirth and relife;

the exhale is our opportunity to shed,

clear our head,

cleanse and expel

our private hell;

extinguish the karmic


these are our weapons

of creation

of this life, this life, this fine life,

this wine life, this living breathing thing that surrounds us,

comforts and tears us and clears us and wears us down

and brings us up and leaves us lonely and

takes us into the hearts of strangers and connects us,

and loves us and breathes us, and fills us,

and fills us, and fills us.