written in accurate timing by jake kilroy.
somehow drifting like a shipwrecked sailor
in japanese restaurants and all-too-american dive bars,
i found myself somewhere between jack-o-lanterns and turkeys
with christmas music rumbling in the heart of a woman out of focus.
it was so loud i thought the new year would come from her mouth.
what would that be?
a confetti laugh?
a showy promise?
a drunken kiss?
god help me every year i say that at midnight
in a top hat, covered in gold and black,
smoothed over by champagne and winks.
what drum did we order to beat this loud?
there's a marching band coming out of my sleeves
and every song is for whoever's in the room.
but i have to sit through the orange and black,
the orange and brown, and the red and green,
just to get to everything all at once
in the wordy backseat of a throat
that won't stop crooning auld lang syne
until everywhere becomes a bed
and we just stick to being wallflowers
until valentine's day or the spring beyond.
and without our tongues jostling the rain
of our stormy mouths, laced with lightning,
juggling two a.m. doesn't seem so wild
without sunrises to come cracking with whips,
as we slump into daylight like posters coming off the wall.
well, there was a night once or a dozen times
i came home with groceries
and had to stand on my front lawn
to consider the magic
that was possible
every waking second
once summer died out
like the bulb of a back porch.
and when the broom of my conscience swept,
it didn't leave so much as a matchbook.
it was a clean slate,
and it was glorious.