Body Count - Poem by Rhys Owens
i lost my wallet
a few weeks ago,
while i was sitting on the rainwashed
beach, after my truest love
had just been married, for the fourth time,
and i just realized it today.
that's the kind of man i am.
i had a ride home.
i ate dinner at my family's house every night
except when i found a twenty dollar bill
lying on the grass twice,
once in a dream and once for real.
it never occurred to me to reach for my wallet,
it never occurred to me to change my pants,
for that matter;
my old true love was gone,
and i had nowhere to go.
and no one i wanted to see.
when the fields by the road are bare
and rich with a nudity
no man ever sees any more,
when the rain is a music so lovely
because it's a sound made by no one
so you know that the feeling behind it
has to be real,
when all you want
is to share a drink,
share a car ride,
or a walk,
or a Christmas dinner,
with the one you love.
and they're in another state,
living another world,
that does different things,
says different things,
than the way you used to know,
and you wonder:
is it possible that they move the same way,
that they hold their head at the same angle
and lower their eyes when they walk
with that humble, shy pride
of a beautiful creature
whose image no painter ever did justice...
if they tilt their head in the same way
when they laugh from true joy,
as they did when they were with you;
or did they leave that behind too;
with the notes that called you a different
sentimental name whenever they
came to see you,
knowing you wouldn't be at home...
with the trash they left on your floor,
because you couldn't let go of them long enough
to walk to the can, or even the other can
when you shivered together outside
after long walks in the rain...
it was always raining.
as if that was the whole reason
or the symbol that gets us coming and going,
because of the flow,
the never-ending life that has to dry up
and disappear, so it can come again
more strongly, and more hard.
i'm not one to count money.
i count bodies,
they're more interesting, and more unique.
and they're more quick to go;
money always remains the same
no matter how much or how little it gives you.
bodies give you something more.
it's a dying art,
and i never hurt anyone.
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