Friday, December 1, 2006

Opus 77 (Halloween)

for the boy in a small town
was quite an event
with paper sacks
loaded to the top
with popcorn balls, Hershey bars, and hard candy for
winters in Alaska.

the costume making
started after school
and often went on for an hour or two
under the auspices
of mostly older siblings and mothers
while the dusk of an evening evolved into
darkness between street lamps
unknown to city children.

gnomes of the night
giggling and sweaty
crisscrossed neighborhoods
on the other side of town
and breathlessly exchanged information
with devils, ghosts, and
masked faces
sometimes identical to your own,
about the bulb lit porches down the street.

here was your chance of the year
to stop being a kid or a student
and most of all
a life form without parents.

behind the garish mask
with its soggy breathing hole
held to your face
by a thin elastic band
was the you known only to yourself.
a breather of darkness,
the middle of the night you
with the radio by your bed turned on
singing secretly
to the massacred privacy of childhood.

occasionally the boy
would get out of bed
walk to the window
and breathe the secret winds of the night
while listening to the heartbeat of the town.

the daylight world awaiting him
now at bay
would skewer him in due course,
but for now, by the window, in the darkness
was freedom and romance.

with the radio in the background
whispering to him about worlds beyond
schools and churches
and families which claim to be finalities
the boy would cease to exist
but not finally,
as a creature with three names
in a solar system family.

the boy embraced the darkness
like a lover
like a lover.
the boy embraced the darkness
like a lover.