On Guard!

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On Guard


It comes back
The meager suggestion of shadows on front lawns,
The way your eyes widen with surprise, thoughts
That transition you back to your infidel ideals.
The time you swear you saw God cross it's arms
The time you begged to see the miracle-
How it prays again. The sound,
Cars in the distance saying things you couldn't when you left.
Dead leaves think of you again
Reforming year after year on your doorstep to carol 
The last days of autumn into your bones.
The night flowers, whatever they are to you,
That give you their smell the way young lovers do their lips.
The architecture of joy and carnage
That almost always brings you to some avenue
On impulse or invitation that you’re not quite certain
How or why you're there. The central room
In a bus station where babies scream and hookers tramp,
There's probably more diversity than there is on most of the continent.
The vagabonds, the beggars, the reckless, the insane,
There, always looking starved of something
Private carnivals on display. The hidden
Flaw you were sure was not there. The one
Who wishes to love so profusely,
They end up indebted to despair.
The literature breaks through your heart like a derailed train.
The genius of things that injure us.
The days lived on the dark side of the street.
The emotion we create in the dark room
Where we wait like watchman on guard 
For the light that might find us. It comes back.
The endlessness of fresh identities that require you
To know all your former selves or face
Off again with every face that has murdered you before



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