Thursday, March 16, 2017

Jade Pendant

Jade Pendant

I have a slow leak like a ball of yarn, only
made of being, slowly unravelling itself.
I walk through my house, and I start
dropping things: Neptune’s 900 mile
an hour winds, Caravaggio’s Medusa,
the fact 100 lightning bolts hit the earth
every second. The names of Eastern
deities, a graffitti mural on the side
of a boxcar, Cesare Pavese’s interior
monologues, a piece of rose quartz
I found as a big as my fist. Truths
and half-truths. I try to pick them up.
All the nights I got drunk and didn’t
remember what happened. That time
a homeless woman with a torn coat
called me a stinking sexual criminal
as I crossed a street. Maybe the brain
needs to declutter, so forgets the names
of movies I cried through. And movies
I wanted to see. With every inhalation,
a sad refrain whispers, let me out. I feel
things spilling out of me like an art gallery
modelled after an insect’s compound eye
I never built. Hymns I sang in church
which tasted like vinegar. The seven ages
of man. A jade pendant bought at the foot
of the Great Wall. Names of boys I made
run away from school. A comic collection.
If you insist on staying, grab a basket. Look
carefully. Help yourself to anything of use.

By Chris Banks

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