First you catch up with the past

First you catch up with the past
then it overtakes you,
breathes in a need for movement:
autumns all at once.

It cannot arrive
soon enough,
with the rush to escape,
yearning to retrieve

knowing never quite again what was.
Irrepressible phrases, traces
left like accidental knee-marks
by artists embracing the canvas

Bending at the intersection of years where
signature stain, a flourish beyond words,
valleys restored to verdant bloom and rivers
turning cartwheels, laughing as leaves might.

The hours around hours,
before sunset and after
monuments to moments or just
a nod, a shake, a glance.

Hot words

Slather the walls in silence

you will not blast clean
the history of this hothouse,

mote-rich Colosseum, slant-lit
wreaks of phone numbers and phalluses
that would stand beside gladiators,

O slaves, caveman, secret delinquents:
walls were only ever built for naming.

Slapdash conversations and snide declarations,
remnants of these conquests won
in toilet hours

where constipated voices
prize saintly pens from bags
admitting their most hidden thoughts
to all and none.

Smacked by a bigger brush
a stronger hand adds another stripe,
another stratum to this confessional

white-washing verbal filth,
disinfecting moral outrage
humanity’s desperate cries
to the moon, to mankind
to the unwritten places
with the swash of a brush.

Even this, surely, is history.
Even this expelling of voiceless words
and inner furies

unites with history
someone’s history