Once was a firewater time between us, now and never the same all
rapt in your rhapsode memory. You’d spin out lyrics, sing to me
naked, chords and booze crushed together, dark laughing transitive
sex, the solve et coagula of our endless red-eyed night: Apollo and
Dionysus vying, with both our hearts at the center of their song.
Never was a man like you and always broken. Patient at midnight
walking through a rail yard, showing me how to set the handbrake
on a freight car, telling me all the places never to be near when a
train’s moving, then crazed as cracked pottery and drunk with a gun
to my neck, saying everyone needs the feel of cold steel on their
throat. I said some gifts given have too black a heart to keep.
And thus always, always, some volatile liquid enflaming, dissolving
that theater you’d stage every night, monologue and postscript I
knew you’d miss more than me once gone. Your brilliant collapse,
tragic, dithyrambic, twice-born Dionysus torn to shreds endlessly
by maddened women and who could blame them.