Friendship

Before friendship can save you,
you must crash your rattling, shit-caked
semi-truck pride, release every tender eyed cow
the ones you were driving to slaughter for a low price
let them wander into the tall meadow
of flowering nettles and mullein
she left growing for you.

Before you find friendship’s nourishing weeds
you must first stand alone by a huge green garbage can
whose ashtray is full of discarded butts, and smoke one, remembering
embers passed to you, broke, or trying to quit, unable to resist
putting your lips where your friends’ lips were, taking in
smoke to make breath more memorable. You must
remember breath shared is like smoke.

Before friendship can spread your deepest sigh
you must let her hammer dynamite into your granite
heart, listen well to her story of lost breasts, lost mothers, lost sisters
found names, until her fire sends the fuse aflame, until your heart
explodes into giant boulders and tiny irretrievable shards.
You must let her glue you back together in her arms
into the shape of a hand reaching out of earth.

It is only then that friendship
hooks your hand around its hip, friendship
that is staked in a square around you, small sapling
that you are, held by sturdy ropes on a windswept plain
friendship that holds you tiny while your trunk
gains girth, prunes your bony winter twigs
to train you for a lifetime of springs.

2012

3 Responses to “Friendship”

  1. Fey says:

    I feel a couple sprigs emerging. Thanks for holding on during a long smoky siege.

  2. Glenn says:

    Wow! Just wow!

  3. Ravi says:

    This came from your depths… I agree with Glenn, “Wow! Just wow!”

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