Poem: The Draw of Mercury

The best trick the devil pulls
is not when he smiles to show
what he has
for you .

His best trick
is when he pulls it away
and warns you not to touch it

And you know you’re not supposed to.
You know you’ve been warned a thousand times
by a thousand people.

Everyone tells you not to do it
But you’re drawn in somehow.
You’re drawn in the wild magnet that most around you
could never seem to understand.

You’re drawn in by an eager eye;
drawn in by the seductive lights
that flicker and flash against the sides of tall glass buildings
which stand in the middle of Times Square
and shimmer upwards to illuminate the sky.

The devil’s trick is a paradox
It is a question
It is an answer to a young man’s inevitable need
It answer the young man’s need to roar
and run wild
It  gives reason to run through the streets
the same as we did 
back  in the day
off Liberty Avenue in East New York Brooklyn.

We were blinded, you and me.
We were blinded by a flash that satisfied our need
to feel something incredibly pure
and contagious.

We fell for the lies.
But we resisted
(at first)

or at least we pretended to resist.
We resisted
until the urge overcame our judgment.
We resisted
until our mouths were comfortable
spilling the lies that came along with playing chicken
screaming out while giving the finger
and daring
 life on life’s terms.

We ran along the razor edge of the sharpest blade
to cut the tension and dull the senses
with the sting
of a perfect incision.

It was brilliant
(at first)

We hid in the shadows
to absorb the light
of something synthetic.

And in return, the devil smiled.
He turned and left his calling card.
He left it like
we wouldn’t remember the number
or the first place we found him.

We were only kids at the time
We were little ones . . .

We were children
whose arms
no longer reached out
for the entertainment of the sunlight,
but instead,
we were drawn into the moonlight
and hiding from the police in places
like the
cemetery near Prospect Avenue.

There was something about it though . . .
I’ll admit it
It was addicting.
I know.

There was something so beautifully forbidden
about the life we lived.

I compare it to the way a bubble of mercury
rolls around and pools
inside the palm of a hand
that should not
be able
to touch it



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