the angles of winter from angels to sin

by Steven J. Serafiani

I had driven the 250 miles from LA to Vegas awestruck of the Mojave,
its rugged plains and wind shaped peaks,
its power and beauty,
it was for me and it was mine alone,
it wasn’t the for the old man in the station wagon I passed in Barstow,
it wasn’t the truck stop’s brethren in Baker,
and it sure as hell wasn’t for the fence, the one that traveled with me and mocked me,
telling me to stay in my linear pen,

I took the trip alone, to be alone albeit with America’s spirits that kept my lung’s company,
their packaging also blue,
I was destitute but needed the open air and the wispy cotton streaks,
to get away from my sardine can apartment where four personalities coalesced from different canneries throughout the country to inhabit this tin,
I needed to make sure that blood still pumped and my eyes were still wide,
needed to make sure my brain wasn’t bored with its own 27 year trip,

I wasn’t going to gamble the tangible,
I wasn’t going to get fucked,
but rather to stay at a castle next to a king where Jack would encourage me on
while my bic fucked the page,
I wasn’t going to prove a point but for it to be the point,
to live life as my literary alter ego lives life,
to say,
to hell with routine,
to hell with being a byzantine,
to hell with the same conversations,
to hell with the same connotations,
and to hell with this tightrope, tip-toed and tongue tied existence I
have relegated myself to,

I arrived with bright eyes on the back of a black and gold flamingo,
the city which relies on its faux machismo,
was limp and sterile and cold,
the fawning audience had long since departed,
I understood its sadness,
I understood its plight,
being fastened to a parcel of land,
the young jejunely perched and slowly getting old,
trying to hold on to memories of it’s innocence of blue bows,

Now here I sit,
political pandering emanating from the armoire,
Fante and Ginsberg mad on the dresser,
the hum of generators on the roof below,
a cold breeze caressing coiled curtains,
staring out at a handful of illuminated Hotel rooms across the way,
pacing and drinking and smoking,
wondering if I’m in those rooms too,
a shrinking ice bucket next to a folded chapel with pictures of hands held by rings
a tux and gown side by side,
“Make beautiful memories” it reads,
I crossed it out and scribed above it “We are all alone”

We are all bound by gravity,
bound by mortality,
bound to a floor of green and brown paint like bumper cars,
bound by regrets,
bound to emotions,
bound by the minutia of our lives,
bound by the longing to be understood and to be cared for,
bound by the chaos,
bound by insecurities and lost loves and fears and swirling thoughts that echo somberly,
“I don’t want to end up alone, please, please, don’t end up alone”,

Then I stared at my phone,
fifty three minutes and thirty nine seconds,
I smiled genuinely for the first time in awhile,
fifty three minutes and thirty nine seconds spent with a siren from Chicago,
a relative stranger,
a conversation without judgment, without the pre-conceived and without agenda,
we spoke, we listened and we shared things that only few may know,
for fifty three minutes and thirty nine seconds I finally felt connected,
without knots, without anxiety, without all of the adult bullshit we are all thrust into,

I looked at my reflection across the room,
tributaries began to form,
synapses wildly fired as my hand rummaged through my hair,
random thoughts,
who will be there with me when I go bald?
I should call my sister and tell her that I love her,
I should call my parents and apologize for being such a failure,
I should call my friends and lessen the gulfs I’ve created,
I need to be less selfish,
I want to wrap my arms around that siren and whisper in her ear, “everything is going to be ok”,

I came to be alone,
yet I will leave with the poetry of humanity tattooed on my soul,
I stubbed out my cigarette and grabbed my post-coitus bic,
I married it to the tri-fold chapel,
I crossed out black letters once more and rewrote;

“Make beautiful memories”.

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