I burned through them baby

there with my youth

energy ideas & looks

all on my side

like a knife through butter

nothing taken or given

just excitement

lust love sex

life

each of us accepting rejecting

moving on to other newer times

& now I hear one has gone

taken by death silence

no more shining in the sun

& I couldn’t ask for details

burn or burial

to think of that beauty

twisted & torn

no chance now for apologies

forgive me’s for being young

arrogant

that everything would continue

in the way life had always done

& I turned away

this was a time of sadness

I’d been with the girl a while

she’d asked me to go

& what I didn’t know

straightaway

she’d found somebody she felt

could give her more

but I felt the unease

deep as the thinnest knife

between the ribs

of things unsaid

& I was spent

took a while

sleeping on couches

fretting there on the floor

it takes that while

for anything to start again

& I got offers

good people looking to bring

smiles comfort to the suffering

& I turned away

from most of these

knowing I had nothing

to bring to the table

but my dis ease

poor frame of mind

& the best about those

who really love you

is that is all

you are needed to bring

walk away

if it doesn’t serve you

walk away

you brought a knife to a gun fight

walk away

you sense an agenda you know nothing of

walk away

before it kills you whatever ‘it’ is

walk away

if there is no respect

walk away

from no love

walk away

if it costs you more than it costs them

walk away

if they don’t acknowledge your existence

walk away

when you feel the rage building

walk away

when you feel less in their presence

walk away

if they say I love you but I’m not in love with you

walk away

if the time has come for more distance between you

walk away

ode to a six inch lock knife

gifted to me by an old man

I met on the road

putting distance between them & me

I bought him a coffee

possibly a piece of pie

& listened

as he told stories

how things once were

a man could go anywhere

find a place to be

& now he was there on the road

the only place he felt to be free

he gave me a blade

a dirty old steel lock knife

blunt as roadkill

he’d not had use of in a while

though I suspected it’d been found

to be used as trade

much like today

I cleaned it, polished off the dirt

painted the slim case red

with an old rattle can laying around

& for the next few years

that knife came along

wherever I went

on a transatlantic flight

the stewardess gave it back with a smile

there at the exit as we said ‘bye

the police missed it

searching for drugs & whatever

they think they will find

one time side of the road

& somewhere around renting

moving to another town

I reached for it to cut string

& it was gone from me

I can only hope whoever found it

took better care than I ever did

& now as the old man said

everything changes

to close a man’s choices down

I know if I was to carry that knife

on the streets of this town

the law, the judge, the city

would feel no shame

in putting me away

possession of an offensive

deadly weapon

make it three to five

throw away the key

& you know

they know

I never cut nobody

or used it as a threat

no matter how peaceful its use

that’s as low as anybody can get