John Courtney

Rookie (05-22-1982 / Philadelphia)

Black Ice


the street is crucial
to my story. what's
out there now
will freeze
my hidden
voice.

I have a secret
to tell. a white
silence like a
horse against
the night.

west calls east
across my brow,
the lake has its
own direction,
rubber dug in
between three lines
of packed snow.

I ride North
in tobacco cherry,
enter a house
closest to the dark,
her white gown
comes free like
summer, the other
side of the planet
burns.

there are candles
lit throughout
my house, some
of them smell
like my father.

they dance along
a blacktop ceiling,
point out shadows
and push whisper
through the core of the earth.

I walk upstairs
with a woman, her
lips are blue
and she is asleep.

she lays me down
on white sheets,
offers me a smoke.

I discuss myself
with the gods, 'you
wouldn't know magic
if it bought you
a drink.'

Submitted: Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, May 08, 2013
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