From the first section, "Ingress"
.~~( The Jacket )~~.
I called everyone,
Blabbering, blathering, blubbering.
I called everyone and I told them the sad news.
Expressed their sympathies, they,
But that was not that which I sought:
I wanted them to hurt, like I did;
I wanted them to feel loss, as did I:
I wanted them to be me,
And I wanted to be them,
So that I would not have to deal with being me.
Now I’m wearing a jacket
That keeps me warm,
Even though it’s much too big for me.
I’m still a little boy when I put it on;
Still there’s a life where he’s not gone.
From the second section, "Avadore"
.~~[ Avadore ]~~.
~[ i ]~
The woman in the room of that house,
That house gotten to by way of I-10 West,
Then follow the Dead Road
To the abandoned place—
Edge of civilization, brink of cotton fields.
In the room she sits,
A broken creature in a dilapidated structure
With cracked walls and spiders’ webs,
Broken window panes, rat droppings,
Thousands of cockroach carcasses.
Her eyes are gouged out,
She is in the northeast corner so limp;
Dried gore caked upon cheeks so pale,
Hair once luxurious now falling out,
Limbs once strong lie broken,
Useless at her side.
Dressed in a dress, as little girls might dress:
So aged, so old.
In the heat she does not decay,
Only dries to an ash-y crisp.
And alone she sits,
With a story to tell,
But no one to whom to tell it.
From the third section, "Waxing Depraved, Waning Hysterical"
.~~| Jamaal |~~.
I remember well the night I killed my first victim:
It was the fifth anniversary of Mother’s death,
Hit by a car without a tire.
I remember blood on my hands,
splattered along my arms, shirt and face.
The knife lodged in her chest and,
below that, her heart:
the final wound that had taken her life.
A random thought occurred and I sensed a presence:
Reality is fragile,
and everyone makes their own reality that which they choose.
—Leaned forward, kissed her bruised face.
Lay next to her,
put my fingers in some of her wounds
—still warm, and she would be for a while.
And then I left.
Be still, her heart.