thumbprint on the side of a time machine

my grandmother was hit by a car
on the streets of pittsburgh in 1961
my mother's mother dead at 26
i wasn't there
i wasn't even a thumbprint
on the side of a time machine
though her last breath
may well have been my own

i heard that a group of girls
played hopscotch inside the tire marks
and that you could see the madonna
on the wall of the local polish deli

they said her last words were
"i'll be billy the kid,
you be death,
let's pray together"

today it is hard to close my eyes
and count to heaven
with a mouth full of rosaries
and even harder still
to fly a paper airplane
over the roof of a steel mill
but i have to do something

so let's sing a little song
for the body electric

words that cut deeply
into the bones of sunlight
with death hovering overhead
like a street sign
like a car dancing
without any breaks

doctor bukowski's monster
for abigail

in the sunlight of madness
bukowski's monster
has been turned into
the shadow of a young james dean

the meaning gets lost
caught up in the moment
where stanzas get tattooed
into the golden forearms
of nelson algren's over medicated grandchildren
searching for cool
with a broken flashlight
beamed toward karma

there is a junky born
every minute

read the label
shoot dice
ask questions later
ask the dust for its last dime
spit words at the sun
an eternal hot walker
wait for the photo finish
become a split second god
in another man's miracle

a house on fire
we came here to watch the words burn
golden like shelley's sperm
like cassius clay's draft card
like the embers of johnny cash's
last folsom cigarette

like the senseless dying of the light
we were built to rage against

like freedom fighters
searching for a match

in the rain

John Dorsey currently resides in Toledo, OH. He is the author of "Harvey Keitel, Harvey Keitel, Harvey Keitel" with S.A. Griffin and Scott Wannberg, Butchershop Press/Rose of Sharon Press/Temple of Man, 2005, and "Moshing With The Cosmos" with Iris Berry, Magenta Press, 2005. He can be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com

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